// Genre & Themes: Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, Romance,
// Publisher: self-published
// Trigger Warnings: none
Keola is a mermaid – and bound for marriage to a foreign human prince. Unable to face a life cut off from the ocean with a man she despises, she chooses freedom at a terrible cost. Posing as a human wavesinger to remain hidden from her pursuers, she finds work on the ship of the dashing captain Anaar Kahlani.
Anaar is searching for a mythical treasure and believes that Keola is the key to finding it. Amidst the hunt for fame and fortune, Anaar begins to fall for the mysterious wavesinger. Confronted with a secret and a dangerous revelation, she must decide what price she is willing to pay for untold riches – and for love.
When Keola’s past catches up with her, can they survive the oncoming storm together, or will the trials ahead demand more of them than they are willing to sacrifice?
I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily
A Melody in the Deep features Keola, a mermaid who is being forced to marry a prince she’s never met, and Anaar, a pirate captain in search of a treasure that most say are a myth. When Keola makes a run for it she ends up on Anaar’s ship — and might just be exactly what Anaar needed to unlock the secrets to her treasure.
I often find pirate characters to be more like caricatures in books. The way they talk and act tend to be stereotypical and superficial, without any nuances to their characters. This is not the case with A Melody in the Deep.
The characters were refreshingly realistic and three-dimensional. Nothing they did was out of character or forced, and it was clear that they all had lives outside of the main plot that added another layer of depth. In truth, the characters were the main reason why I liked the book as much as I did.
And honestly, it was thew reason why I instantly fell in love with Anaar. I can’t express to you guys how much I loved the pirate captain in this book. I connected with her wanderlust but her characterization is also so on-point and I’m just obsessed.
I loved the romance. The pacing gave me time to connect to the characters and really get invested in them individually and together. Anaar is just the love of my life and I would like one of my own please and thank you *quietly negotiating with the universe to manifest it*
The writing is very clean. I’d be super interested in knowing who edited A Melody in the Deep, or if Cara N. Delaney did it herself.
don’t mind my editor brain switching on It was super engaging, and it has a fairy tale-esque vibe to it that helped build the mythically of the world.
It doesn’t focus on the world building too much, but I found I didn’t really miss it. I read it for the romance, and it delivered.
The one place where the book lost me a little was the ending, specifically the epilogue. Obviously, I can’t talk about this without spoilers, so I’ll add my thoughts in a spoiler tag.
➵ Click for Spoilers About the EndingI’m not a fan of “the love interest also becomes a mermaid at the end” trope. I’m not sure why, but it never plays well with me.
It happens a lot in stories with mermaids, or where one of the love interests is more than human. Is it too idyllic? Does it take me out of the story? Does it negate the rest of the challenges when one is human and one isn’t?
I also really connected to Anaar because of shared wanderlust, and having her settle down only a year after everything happened kind of left me in an . . . okay I guess? sort of mood.
In conclusion, A Melody in the Deep was everything I didn’t know I wanted: Pirates, mermaids, sapphic love, and a captivating fairy tale-esque writing style.
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