62-63/100 Books: ICE MASSACRE + ICE CRYPT

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ICE MASSACRE and ICE CRYPT by Tiana Warner

What the heck is it about? The Goodreads summary:

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

My rating: 5/5 stars

I haven’t read many mermaid stories, and I don’t have any particular interest in them, so I went into this one with dubious hopes. What a lovely surprise! If you like action-packed fantasy with high stakes and an unrelenting death toll, this is for you. Or, if you’re more into stories about female friendship and f/f romance, this is also for you!

The romantic subplot is exactly how I like it in SFF books–subtle at first, with the characters slowly coming to the realization of how they feel. Added to that is a fascinating world where mermaids exist alongside Spongebob Squarepants, with complex characters who face impossible choices. The writing is solid if not spectacular, but overall it’s a great read.

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