Arc Review: TIDE by Deirdre Riordan Hall


Deirdre Riordan Hall

SeriesThe Sea & Sand #1
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: CreateSpace
Pages: 336
Release date: May 16th 2017

Never trust a mermaid’s kiss.

Tyler McColdrum has a bright future on the professional surfing circuit until his father tragically dies at sea. Unable to pay the bills, Tyler and his mother leave California and move to his late grandfather’s cottage in Land’s End, Maine—a world away from the life he’s known. Not even the stormy Atlantic can douse Tyler’s surf stoke, but when mariners go missing off the coast, legends as old as the sea itself suggest something lurks beneath the surface. As the police investigate, his friend Kiwa—the only female surfer for miles—indicates there’s more to the McColdrum family history than blood and bone.

Amara is a beautiful mermaid, a mero, who wants a life on land away from her sinister sisters. As charming as mero are, with musical voices and a tempting gaze, they’re also brutal and cruel, stealing the souls of sailors. As Initiation nears, Amara learns Poseidon selected her as consort and her desperation for freedom increases. When Tyler encounters Amara, he falls hard for her. The ocean is no longer safe for him, but he trusts their love can overcome her mero nature. As locals and officials wage war against the sea, trying to keep mariners safe, Tyler and Amara struggle with how to protect each other.

With one foot in the sand and the other in the sea, Tyler must choose love or the surf as the tide quickly rises.

I can’t resist the pull and tug of the tide.

Tide has an interesting mythology. It gives readers a fresh and unique look on mermaids; or mero, as they are called in this book. The story, told in dual POV, is slow paced and rather heavy at times, as it deals with themes of grief, family, and a mermaid shoal that sounds a lot like a cult.

Deirdre Riordan Hall captures grief and mourning perfectly in her writing. As it says in the summary, one of our main characters, Tyler, moves to a new town after his dad passes away. Most of the focus is on him, as he tries to come to terms with what he lost. Hall’s writing conveys emotion in the little things, the details, that really translate that feeling of pain and hurt.

As it is, Tide didn’t really grasp my attention. Aside from the beautiful and realistic way Hall deals with grief, that is. Like I mentioned above, the mermaid shoal is rather creepy, as it definitely reminds me a lot of how cults work. I did like the new take on mermaids. It’s refreshing to see authors writing about them as being cruel, as they should be. 😛

Even so, there is not a lot of focus on that. This could have been an interesting aspect to explore, but Amara, our other main character, only gets chapters from her POV every once in a while. And when we do get a glimpse of her life, it has mostly to do with singing.

I have to mention again that this book is very slow paced. We read a lot about Tyler’s daily life, his friends, school, surfing. That overshadows the missing people subplot, and makes a few chapters kind of boring to read. Also, despite this being told in first person POV, the language is rather formal. Tyler, most times, doesn’t sound like a teenage boy at all.

It also takes a really long time for the main plot to get any kind of development. The summary sells a book about star-crossed lovers and a war with the sea, but that doesn’t get touched into after half of the book. And when it does, it is hard to believe there is a real romantic connection between Tyler and Amara.

Overall, Tide is well-written and presents some unique concepts. I’m sure readers who are always looking out for new takes on known creatures, especially mermaids, will like this. There are also some pretty cool twists along the way, which are surprising.


ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


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