Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper

From Goodreads: When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people - until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process - or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: Despite The Little Mermaid being one of my favourite Disney movies – The Lion King being the other; Tangled Tides by Karen Amanda Hooper is the first mermaid book I’ve ever read. Told from the perspectives of Yara, the merman Treygan and the selkie Rownan, Tangled Tides had an original plot and made me laugh often. In spite of the story being told by three characters however, I was still often left in the dark about what was to come because they were so good at not revealing their secrets and plans.

Yara was a fairly realistic character who initially goes into denial about being turned into a mermaid and attempts to get back home. After accepting her situation though and understanding her role in the struggle between the selkies and the mermaids, I liked that she was determined to make her own choices rather than be subject to others’ whims. As for the male leads, neither of them were particularly appealing to me. I didn’t really care about or like Rownan until the end (when he redeems himself) and didn’t find Treygan as interesting as his friends. Pango was definitely my favourite merman.

Hooper’s worldbuilding is solid and detailed, and I liked the idea of merfolk and selkies being enemies of each other. There are also sirens and gorgons present in Tangled Tides so it was interesting how Hooper made all the creatures connect using the myth of Poseidon and Medusa as her foundation. As each new species was introduced, I didn’t think that it would be possible for Hooper to juggle all these creatures together without overwhelming me; but she was able to for the most part. Things only became confusing when the characters starting discussing conversions and intermarriages and how they affected the plot.

A nice mix of paranormal and mythology, Tangled Tides was released in November 2011 by Rhemelda Publishing. 

Comments About the Cover: I love the colours used – the tail is especially awesome – and how it looks like the mermaid is bursting out of the water during a storm. 

In exchange for an honest review, this ARC was received from the publisher (Rhemalda Publishing) for free.


  1. I haven't heard of this book before, but it's def. worth my attention. I haven't read a lot of mermaid books and this one sounds like a fine read. I do love paranormal and mythology, so a mix of that is of course great! Great review. :)

  2. Oh I've been seeing this book a lot around the blogosphere lately.

    I've read a couple of mermaid books, some of them I liked, but I still feel a little awkward reading them. You see, I have this strange feeling of fear-slash-disgust toward dead colorful ornamental fish, so maybe it's that. :/

  3. Thanks for the honest review. I'm sorry you didn't care for Treygan or Rownan, but I'm happy to hear you liked Pango. :)

  4. Huh, this one looks interesting. I like a detailed world building but I would find myself a bit frustrated with being in the dark most of the time. It's hard to connect with characters without having all the necessary information. Thanks for the honest review, Z!

  5. I havent read any siren book yet, so you werent the only one XD Now I AM the only one lol! I guess is because I haven read any review of a siren book that could blow my mind. This one sounds interesting but now like to read it asap. Still, thanks so much for the honest review my dear ^_^ muah! great review!

    Dazzling Reads

  6. The Little Mermaid is one of my favorite Disney movies too! Beauty and the Beast is the other:) I've read a couple mermaid stories and haven't had much luck with them, and it seems like this one is fairly middle of the road as well. I like that it made you laugh though:)

  7. The cover really catches my eye. I've read a few mermaid books but I'm hoping to read more in the future so will add this one to my list.

  8. I can count the books I've read about mermaids on one hand. I don't know why, but they just don't appeal to me.

    But I like the sound of the mythology used in this one. Right away you can tell there is going to be problems among the species, so it's good to know that it wasn't overwhelming.

  9. How fun to have so many different creatures in the book. Glad it didn't get too confusing. I agree about the cover, I like the energy and colors.


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