My rating: 3 of 5 stars
In this fairytale story, Seree is a merman who comes ashore to save his cursed sister. The curse entails making the prince fall in love with her, killing him, or facing her own death. However, she realizes this is an impossible task and asks her brother for help. He takes the curse upon himself, intending to kill the prince, only to find a different answer awaits him…
I liked Blood In The Water. The actual idea for the story was a good one, and it was well-written. I like fantasy stories and mermaids are an interesting fairytale. I liked Seree and the description of his warrior status, as well as the different blades he carried that linked him to the Deep. The fact that he had too much honor to kill an innocent person to spare his own life made him sympathetic to the audience, though why he didn’t look for an alternative to his own death before the very last minute seemed a little strange, especially since his father seemed to want to help.
My issues with this story and why I only gave it three stars stem from the speed at which Seree and Aimé fall in love. While it’s understandable that Seree is up against a time limit, the time that they did have could have been better spent. In fact, a whole week in the timeframe of the story is skipped that could have been used on relationship development. Instead it felt far too hasty and the story was over before I ever got a sense that the two actually had strong feelings for one another. I think more encounters between the two instead of Aimé hiding away from Seree, and more buildup before the sex would have made for a stronger and more believable ending.
Blood In The Water is still a worthwhile read despite these issues, especially since it’s a free story. Megan Derr does a good job of building a world where merfolk are real, and if you like fairytales like The Little Mermaid you will definitely get a lot out of this.