Series: The Aquarathi Book One
Author: Amalie Howard
Publication Date: October 29, 2013
THE GIRL WHO WOULD BE QUEEN
Nerissa Marin hides among teens in her human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright—the undersea kingdom stolen from her the day her father was murdered. Blending in is her best weapon—until her father's betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa's upcoming birthday—the day she comes of age.
Amid danger and the heartbreak of her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defenses and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help her desperate search for her mother, a prisoner of Nerissa's mortal enemy. Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
A copy was provided through NetGalley and the Publisher in exchange for an honest review
So, let's start with the things I did like. The writing, the whole idea of the Aquarathi, and Jenna. Jenna was amezeballs. Her relationship with Nerissa was great! She was just such an awesome friend, you don't see that kind of friendship much in YA for some strange reason. Usually the girls always end up being frenemies not actual, you know, friends, and really if it wasn't for Jenna and Sawyer I would have had a much harder time remotely liking this book.
The writing was solid and the whole book just flowed. So even when I came across parts that I didn't like and would have normally just stopped reading, it was just really easy to keep going instead. The idea of the Aquarathi and the whole back story of them was very interesting. I had no clue this is about aliens instead of you know, mermaids. They only tell you about an undersea Kingdom in the blurbs so I just assumed it was mermaids we were talking about, but these people aren't even human!
But therein lies my first problem. I just find it hard to believe that a species who has evolved enough and has the technology for space travel through galaxies not just from solar system to solar system isn't more...impressive I guess. Once I realized these aren't mere mermaids I just felt slightly disappointed. I mean they are Aliens! Who had the tech to test out other planets' topography to find out which one would allow life and yet once they get here they just stay put and that's it. I don't know, it just didn't mesh with me.
My biggest issue though is Nerissa. She goes from bratty and selfish to queenly and badass and back again so much that I had a hard time keeping up. I didn't know if I wanted to slap her, shake her or clap. Honestly it was really annoying. She is the main character and the one telling the story, so I would have liked a bit more consistency with her personality than that. By the end she does start leaning more into the queenly bit since technically she is a queen, but still.
And last but not least is the romance. I didn't like it. Yes it wasn't quite insta-love, but it was way too hate you/love you for my liking. They went back and forth so much, and Nerissa was always acting like such a bitch towards Lo! And she was also so incredibly blind to the obvious about him. I understand the bitchiness was a defense mechanism for her, but Jesus tone it down a bit woman! It was over the top.
So at the end this book was interesting enough to keep me reading the whole way through with some nice solid aspects that I enjoyed, as well as some that I really didn't.