Evie lost her mother to dark magic when she was a young girl. Now, many years later, Evie knows the magic run through her veins too but she doesn’t dare cast more than a few blessings over her father’s ship. She’s already been the outcast of her small town since her best friend, Anna, drowned in the ocean because of a friendly challenge. So when a strange girl arrives, the spitting image of Anna, Evie forgets to be cautious and gambles with her fragile life – and the lives of those around her.
I was not impressed. It started out pretty decent as we got to know the environment and the Danish atmosphere in a fishing town but eventually it just got boring. Another downside is that we go through the story in a weird pace. Suddenly a chapter starts with “Oh today is actually a super important day where we celebrate the harvest”. Ooo-kay, sure?
It all just felt a little messy and random and on top of that, juvenile. Another example is the romance we follow in the story, which is kind of rootless and just.. happens. I feel like, this should either have been a middle grade book or a longer story with more world-building and foundation for the various relationships.
The teenage characters are not very likeable and as per usual, no parents are in sight. Mermaids, witches and dark magic soar through the air but of course no-one notice a thing cause that is what YA has become lately. Do I sound bitter? Noooo, surely not. I’ll give you some positive points for compensation. The little Havnestad is a great background for the story and the atmosphere is constantly dark and weary. You really do want to connect the dots – unfortunately you can guess the outcome a bit too early. We also get a glimpse of the underwater life of the mermaids which I liked and wanted more of. Now I’m definitely in the mood for some 90’s Disney cartoon binging!
As a Dane, I can’t help but feel slightly offended though. I know it’s hard work writing about a culture that’s not your own and I appreciate the attempt but there are definite flaws. Names, words and even the food are a giant mix of random Scandinavian-ish picks.. This is something we often laugh about up here in the North. Even in the popular movie “The Prince & I” (taking place in Denmark), they couldn’t be bothered to Google the Danish royal family and just went with the Swedish one instead.. Ahem, we are not all ONE country. Although it annoyed me a bit, I won’t let it affect my rating too much. Honestly, I probably couldn’t name all the US states if you asked me to – but I would at least Google it!
Overall, it was an okay read with some interesting twists and turns but the further I got into the story, the more bored I also got. If you’re looking for and edge-of-your-seat plot with a beautiful fairytale vibe, this isn’t it. If you just want a nice story that makes you want to binge Disney movies, you should give it a try!