The angelic Jonah has been battling the Dark Ones for centuries. But his noble spirit has begun to tire with the weight of war—allowing a Dark One to strike a blow that severs his wings and knocks him into the sea.
Anna is a Daughter of Arianne—a direct descendant of the mermaid of legend. Anna’s longing for love compels her to risk her very life to protect and hide the fallen Jonah. And the longer Jonah delays his return to the heavens, the more Anna’s secret passions are tempted.
But as she falls more in love with him, Anna wonders if she’s destined to lose her heart and her dreams to save Jonah’s soul…
A Mermaid’s Kiss is the first book in a new Under-the-Sea series by Joey W. Hill. I have to be honest and tell you the main reason I wanted to read it is because I heard about some interesting love scenes and I was curious. Imagine my surprise when this turned out to be a powerful novel wrapped in emotion with a dark underlying theme.
(I just finished reading Devon’s review of this novel at TGTBTU. I basically felt the same about it as she did, with a few minor differences. My review will reflect that.)
I think the biggest surprise for me with this novel was how dark and slow moving it was. There is very little humor and almost no lightness to this novel. It’s written with a heavy hand, the prose itself almost depressing, the despair of the characters coating the entire novel.
I had a hard time connecting with Anna. In the beginning she seemed almost too naive – too young – to be paired with a centuries old fallen angel. As the novel progressed she showed flashes of maturity and depth, but she never lost that innocent quality. Where that may have worked for some, I found it to be a turn off from her character. I suppose Jonah needed her innocence, since he was so filled with darkness after his centuries of battling Dark Ones, but even so, she was hard to take at times.
I think part of the problem might have been that Jonah was so over-the-top he out-shined everything around him. He had a very dominant personality (the type you’d generally see in a D/s relationship) that kind of took over Anna. She did stand up for herself, which was both surprising and refreshing. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to match Jonah’s overpowering personality.
I thought the overall story arc was very interesting. I was totally wrapped up in the fight between good and evil. The world building was very well done. I loved the twist she put on the role of Lucifer. I’m really interesting in the next novel in the series, A Witch’s Beauty (January, 2009), which features Anna’s best friend, Mina – who happens to be a sea witch.
There were some parts I struggled with. Mostly it was the pacing and how slow the novel moved for me and Anna being so naive. Devon said she was almost MarySue-ish and I agree with that. She was almost too perfect in her goodness. I was really bothered by one part (which I actually think I’m going to do a separate post about), but I’ll let you read for yourselves to see what.
As I said in my comment at TGTBTU, Hill definitely pushed the envelope with this novel. I only wish she had pushed it a little faster. Although slow moving, it was an interesting tale and I look forward to the rest of the series.
3.5 out of 5