[Edit: Originally published August 6, 2016]
Ice Massacre is mermaids unromanticized, well, except for the fact that our leading lady falls in love with one.
These are not the friendly mermaids that appear on our Starbucks cups, or even really the (Disney) Peter Pan mermaids, though those certainly do want to drown you. These are the sirens of legend who’ll seduce you and and then eat you for a midday snack.
The island of Eriana Kwai sits off the coast of Alaska, relatively isolated. Something that has only gotten worse since the arrival of the mermaids. They’ve all but lost their principle export, fish, due to mermaids attacking their fishing boats. So every year they have a Massacre. Wipe out as many of the demons as they can and hope that they’ll fall back enough to allow for the island to recover a bit. Problem is, they keep sending men to fight the mermaids. And the last few years, the boats haven’t been coming back at all.
This time they’re sending girls in the hope that they’ll be immune to the mermaids charms and they are except for one girl, Meela, who falls in love with one. Whoops. It’s not quite that simple, the mermaid in question had been a childhood friend of Meela’s, but after Meela’s father finds out that comes to an end and they don’t meet again until they’re fighting each other at the Massacre.
But if mermaids and the humans of Eriana Kwai are bitter enemies, then how does Meela end up falling hopelessly in love with one? The answer is carefully and slowly. Meela’s realization that she’s fallen in love with the mermaid, Lysi, doesn’t come until the final line of the book. That might seem like a little bit of a let down, however, the build up of the relationship is honestly excellent and this is the first book of a trilogy so I think it’s safe to say we can expect more development in books two and three.
The back drop to Meela falling in love with Lysi is, oddly enough, the Massacre itself. The troupe of girls has set out for the yearly Massacre. Of course, because things are never easy, there’s a divide amongst the girls and there winds up being two “groups” on the ship each following a different Captain. So there’s massive internal conflict on top of them being attacked by flesh-eating mermaids. Pretty romantic, huh? Both conflicts tie together extremely well, and in the end allow for a surprising revelation about the why the mermaids keep attacking Eriana Kwai.
- It’s pretty violent and bloody for a young adult book. The fights with the mermaids get kinda graphic at points.
- Child death. Two instances. One, a vague mention of a child being grabbed by a mermaid. Two, the rather graphic killing of an infant mermaid.
You can find it here.
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