Everson presents a mermaid/vampire tale set in a coastal California town.
Teenage Kristella has a complicated fear of water where she feels that she’s being pulled away from it, but her heart tells her “to go for it.” One day on the beach, she listens to her heart and dives into the ocean. After swimming to a large rock, she hauls herself out of the water and is promptly pulled under when a shark grabs her dangling leg. Thankfully Garrid, the local merman-vampire crossbreed who is new in town, just happens to be at the right place at the right time to fend off the shark and heal her wound. Garrid and his siblings attend Kristella’s school and sit at the same table at lunch where no one really eats. One of the brothers makes it known that he doesn’t much care for Kristella. Not many people know where Garrid’s family lives, mainly because the home is located off the beaten path, and there’s the added mystery that the family is wealthy and the townspeople don’t know Garrid’s parents. Garrid and his brothers aren’t the only unusual residents in Bay View, though; a local werewolf pack/family wants to kill Kristella before the next eclipse and her metamorphosis into a mermaid-vampire. Much of the story takes place in the local high school and around the events of Kristella and company skipping school. Garrid has a deep, dark secret that he won’t share with Kristella, and this provides readers with a brooding hero and a pleading heroine. The story borrows heavily from Stephanie Meyer’s hugely popular Twilight series. There is a distinct lack of prurient elements; there’s no focus on blood, sex or violence. Rather, the tale hinges largely on its dialogue, which is invested heavily in high school drama and emotion. But the lack of any real culture for mermaids keeps the story from being as compelling as it could have been. The plot gets off to an exciting start, but gets bogged down in high-school antics.
An intriguing, fresh take on the vampire genre, but doesn’t quite fulfill its promise.