Mer Tales by Brenda Pandos

Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Swimming and spending time with Tatiana, her best friend, are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatiana and her family fail to return home after a family emergency, Ashlyn makes an irrational decision to deal with her loss of them.

Finley Helton and his family are good at blending in with humans as they run their business in Lake Tahoe. The truth is they guard an ancient secret. When a meeting forces Finley, Tatiana and their mother to return to their underwater home of Natatoria, they learn Fin’s father will lead a dangerous mission. They must stay and wait for his return, but Fin can’t stay caged up for long.

Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, and a simple lifesave will change everything forever.

I’m going to be honest. If it wasn’t for this book, I wouldn’t have been willing to come anywhere near mermaid stories. This changed that for me.

The first thing you notice is that there is a rapid switch in PoVs. This can take some time to register, but you eventually get used to it. As far as the plot goes, these books are quite slow, but that doesn’t mean they are boring. Far from it. Actually, the slowish pace leaves plenty of room for development, and kind keeps the whole thing on edge. What I like is that instead of focusing her time on making more things happen, Brenda spends more time on furthering the smaller story of Fin and Ash.

As the books move on, though, you see that they start to pick up the pace. More details begin to emerge, and I like that there is a constant element of suspense. You can see a huge change from Everblue, the first book, to the later sequels.

As for the characters, Ashlyn seems a bit naive and girlish at first, but I’m glad to say that she quickly grows up into a much more interesting character. Finley also begins to gain a sense of responsibility, which is a good thing because he seemed a bit over reliant on his father in the first couple of books.

This is also one of those books where the reader knows what is going to happen from one PoV but the character in the other PoV is still trying to figure it out. That can be pretty annoying. I know I kept telling the characters to move on already.

Another thing you should know is that some parts can be ultra super sickeningly sweet, so I wouldn’t recommend this book if that is something that you aren’t willing to put up with.


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