Ice Crypt (The Mermaids of Eriana Kwai #2)
Author: Tiana Warner
Publication: July 25th, 2016
Publisher: Rogue Cannon Publishing
Format: e-ARC, 334 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mythology, Mermaids, LGBTQ+
Read: September 2016
I received an e-ARC of this book from Rogue Cannon Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Meela has just returned from the Massacre—the annual attempt to wipe out the mermaids threatening her people’s survival. After forming an unlikely connection with Lysi, a mermaid she was trained to kill, Meela is determined to stop the war between humans and merpeople for good. She knows of a legendary weapon that could bring peace if she uses it against King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. But her people have plans for future Massacres and refuse to help her uncover it.
While Meela works in secret to unearth the Host of Eriana, Lysi is held captive under Adaro’s tyranny. Sent to the battlefront, Lysi joins forces with a band of rebels that could either bring her freedom—or have her executed for treason.
Separated by the vast Pacific Ocean, Meela and Lysi must find a way to defeat King Adaro and end the war that has been keeping them apart.
Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book is action packed and full of precious folklore. It’s filled with violence, war and death. It had it’s slow moments and while there was action, it wasn’t as packed as the first book. There were a lot of plot twists that kept me on my toes and there was a bit more romance which I enjoyed it. The ending was open and I can’t wait to see what the last book brings.
Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
The writing still worked really well with the story. It’s detailed and descriptive, almost to the point of being graphic, specially when depicting violent scenes which I must say was really interesting. It’s imaginative and steady paced. There’s various POVs in this one which was entertaining but it could get lengthy at times.
Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’m slowly but surely falling in love with the characters in this series. Meela is an amazing protagonist. She’s determined and yet vulnerable. None of the characters are the same after their first Masscre and you can really tell how it has affected Meela as she narrates her story. She’s tortured and torn. She’s honest and is trying to do everything in her power to stop the war that is terrorizing her island. In this book we also get another POV which I really enjoyed. We get a closer look at the mermaid side of the war, their strategies, their armies and their different cultures. The latter was something I wasn’t expecting. I love that they weren’t all from one group and there was a lot more going on under the sea than we were privy to until this point. The side characters are also pretty great. There’s quite a few antagonists so it never felt like everyone was against just one person. And the characters we get to see more up close are complex, interesting and sometimes even sweet, specially in their relationships with each other.
I totally fell in love with the first book in this series when I read it, but this one was a little bit of a let down and a disappointment.
The plot is long. We follow Meela as she tries to find Eriana’s Host, a rumored power that the leader of the mermaid war asked her to get to help him conquer the seas in exchange for Lysi, who is trying to stay alive while fighting in said war which she doesn’t believe in. I really enjoyed getting the dual POV in this book, it was definitely needed. It was kind of a harsh change from the singular POV of the first book but it really helped move the story along and to expand the world and the relationships. I loved getting to see more about the mermaid world, up close and personal and to be able to see the war and how it’s spread and what kind of reach it really has. I found it really interesting to see how the army is divided by gender and why. It was also really intriguing for me to see how the author decided to create different cultures and I guess you can say races within the mermaid community. It’s the perfect way to include diversity into a fantasy setting. It represents the outside world while still being unique and special. I also really enjoyed learning more about the fictional island setting and it’s legends and folklore. It was really immersive and it felt real to me, like something that I could find in the history books somewhere if I really sat down to look. I just really appreciate the author’s world building because it’s easy to tell that she spent a lot of time on it, not only to make it interesting and fantastical but also to make sure that it felt tangible to the readers. However, there were some sections in the plot that really dragged and made it hard to keep my attention on the story. It was almost like huge chunks of it were slow and a little bit boring with these random bursts of action packed entertainment. I wish it would’ve been a smoother ride. The ending was full of so many crazy things, like one shot after another and it was so hard to wrap my head around all the shocking twists once I completed it. Yet it was still open ended and left a lot set up for what appears to be the final book in the series. I can’t wait to see how it ends!
I’ve gotten to really like Meela. She’s determined not only to save her island, but to end the war once and for all. Unlike the majority of the humans she interacts with, she’s open minded about mermaids and their species. She can discern between what they’re doing and who they are which I think says a lot about her character but also about the kinds of themes that are prominent in this series. I love how she is still struggling with what happened in the first book, she’s not just suddenly cured now that she’s on land. She’s dealing with a lot of things internally and emotionally as well as with trying to deal with everything going on around her. She’s freaking tough. And I love how she treats her friends too. I’m just really liking her character growth and narration in this series.
I wanted to talk about the side characters as well as the new POV in this book. It was really nice to get to know Lysi. We only knew her on the surface in the first book but now that we have her point of view, we get to know a lot more about her personality and her life. She’s kind of quirky. I didn’t really she was going to be as adventurous or funny as she was. I also loved her determination and her power. She ends up in a situation where she’s the only woman surrounded by men and she holds her own. Not only that, but she kicks some serious ass. Both main characters have friendships and with that we see more side characters. We get to know them a lot more and how they take care of each other. I particularly liked the group of friends Meela has around her, because she’s kind of an outcast at her island at the moment for various reasons but these guys love her and stand by her and work with her to try to save everyone’s lives. They were so great to her and it really touched my heart, specially when I got to the end of the book.
Overall, I’m becoming a giant fan of this series. This book was intense and powerful, though not as action packed or entertaining as the first book. There’s a lot of research and traveling that goes in this book but also a lot more insight into both of the “worlds” that make up this series. I am falling in love with the characters in this series, specially the main ones because they’re amazing and powerful women. The ending was open ended and had a lot of set up for the next book.
So that’s it for this post! I really, really, really need you guys to pick up this series. I am DYING because I want to talk all spoilery about everything that goes on but there’s no one I can talk to about it! If this series sounds interesting to you, read it and let me know what you think of it. Thanks so much for reading and I’ll see you on my next post!