Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: Promises by Amber Garr

Genre: Fantasy | Mermaids


Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. 

Kain, her devoted fiance, would make a wonderful husband except that she's been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined. 

A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan's life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape. Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.

This novel is jam-packed with teenage angst and drama. Eviana is smitten with her childhood friend, Brendan, a handsome and smooth-talking selkie. Despite how determined Eviana is to be with Brendan, I couldn't help but hope that she would change her mind and fall for Kain. 

The selkies were probably the most exciting aspect of the novel. Every so often I will come across a novel that mentions them, but Promises really explores the mythology and makes selkies the stars. 

I enjoyed the plot, but had some issues with the characterization. Eviana is extremely immature for a seventeen-year-old. Maybe Garr did this to really emphasize how much she has to develop when leadership is thrust on her; however, her personality made her very unrealistic. She acted like she was thirteen, not a noble with an immense amount of responsibility.

Overall, I enjoyed Promises. It was a very quick read. I think it's worth checking out.

Rating: 3 out of 5 owls

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