To Kill a Kingdom

To Kill a Kingdom

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Pr...

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Title:To Kill a Kingdom
Author:Alexandra Christo
Rating:
Edition Language:English

To Kill a Kingdom Reviews

  • C.G. Drews

    I'm alllll here for pirates and sirens and (dark) Little Mermaid retellings, and this just delivered omg. Plus it was super funny, and if there's something my dark little heart beats faster for: it's people who sass each other to death so lovingly.

    (Also, claim to fame 😂, I have been a beta-reader for Allie in the past, so I kneeeew I'd love this and ajfdksald her writing is a masterpiece.)

    I'm alllll here for pirates and sirens and (dark) Little Mermaid retellings, and this just delivered omg. Plus it was super funny, and if there's something my dark little heart beats faster for: it's people who sass each other to death so lovingly.

    (Also, claim to fame 😂, I have been a beta-reader for Allie in the past, so I kneeeew I'd love this and ajfdksald her writing is a masterpiece.)

    It's dual narrated by both Elian and Lira. Elian is an anti-prince (like "here is a crown but I don't want it) and Lira is a siren (like "here is a prince what if I ate him"). He's hunting her and she's hunting him, which is obviously the recipe for a perfect romance. And their romance was A++ like this is enemies-to-lovers at its finest! It wasn't rushed or awkward. Seriously

    perfect fun to see them go from distrust to distant admiration to snarking at each other to "accidentally" "saving" each other's lives. Like YEAH that's no indication of liking of courseeeee, Lira.

    (Lira was in such denial the whole time. So cute.)

    I

    Lira is a murderous siren, but also with a soft streak. She takes care of her murder-little-cousin, but she also enjoys the thrill of killing princes. But she totally won my heart too, just by being so complex and compelling. And

    He was the sass pirate of your HEART. I swear. That boy. He was smooth and sassy and absolutely allergic to the idea of being king. Bless him.

    Which is ironic, given that the sea was super deadly but oh well. I love it. I love the descriptions! I could actually

    the gorgeous settings, taste the salty sea, and absolutely lose myself in the world. There's plenty of sailing too! And although I KNOW they were all claiming the "pirate" title lol lol Elian you sweetheart. He was a siren killer and really didn't do anything piratey (except for fight with other pirates). But I love pirates. I'll let him have it.

    There are SO many different places they went to! Kingdoms and mountains and palaces! It was INCREDIBLY well done too. No getting swamped with mega-long passages of description, yet I could see each setting so clearly. (Plus they were excitingly unique?! With kingdoms of frost and blue-lipped kings, and queendoms of love, with cursed queens on heart thrones.) My opinion is: yes.

    This part I truly adored. And smiled a bit like the dork I am. I also loved that Lira/Elian were sassing each other to death, but also the secondary characters were too! Madrid/Kye's banter was amazing!

    It was very bloody (although not gory) and I would definitely say it's a dark one. So pleased. (I'M NORMAL I SWEAR. DON'T BE WORRIED.)

    I'm in loooove. It was perfectly written, with scenery and prose that just leap off the page to DEVOUR YOU (go the siren life) with a fantastic combination of pirates and princes, sirens and curses, and a journey that's always fascinating and fast-paced. With buckets of sass and salt along the way. 😍

  • Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

    Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

    I am just sitting here in shock and full of feels and alskfjal;skdjfa;lksjf GO ORDER THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. How am I supposed to write a coherent review? Gah!

    Okay *breathes*

    So if you haven't seen the description, this is somewhat of a little mermaid retelling, except there are lots of creatives spins that pull from other folklore as well! (For example, Midas ;))

    Lira is a siren known as the 'Prince's Bane' - and she's infamous for killing princes. Yep, that's what she does.

    Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh.

    I am just sitting here in shock and full of feels and alskfjal;skdjfa;lksjf GO ORDER THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW. How am I supposed to write a coherent review? Gah!

    Okay *breathes*

    So if you haven't seen the description, this is somewhat of a little mermaid retelling, except there are lots of creatives spins that pull from other folklore as well! (For example, Midas ;))

    Lira is a siren known as the 'Prince's Bane' - and she's infamous for killing princes. Yep, that's what she does. She rips out their hearts. Not to mention, she's the daughter of the mighty Sea Queen who is pretty much terrible all around. She's Ursula if Ursula was chewed up, spit out by the devil himself (but still manages to be attractive). Poor Lira's upbringing, and the reason she is a killer, is actually horribly sad.

    Annnyyywayyy, Lira is unashamedly brutal and hunts with vicious intent.

    Elian is a prince whos pastime is piracy. Yep, you heard me. We have a pirate prince on our hands, ladies and gentlemen. Nikolai Lantsov, meet your brother from another mother. Anyway, Elian is hilariously sassy and all around amazing. But why does he patrol the seas, you ask?

    He hunts sirens. And he kills a great deal of them.

    So we have a prince killer and a siren killer - the makings of a perfectly delicious story.

    Anyway, after an event that royally pisses of the Sea Queen, she changes Lira into a human as punishment and orders her to go kill the siren-killer prince (but without her siren powers.) Elian finds Lira, who looks like an ordinary girl at this point, conveniently drowning in the ocean. But instead of trying to kill him right off the bat, Lira has another idea - and decides to stick around for a while.

    That's all I'm going to say.

    Here's what you need to know:

    Elian is everything. His crew is everything. The WRITING is everything. (Seriously, all aspiring authors need to read this and revel in its beauty. I have SO MANY LINES highlighted.) There is romance, banter, pirates, action, drama, adventure, strong character arcs, and lots of fun kingdoms. I don't want to spoil anything else. Just read it.

    Alexandra is a master of creative writing, character, and storytelling. I honestly loved every bit of this book, and you can bet I'll be shoving it at everyone I know.

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  • Melanie

    You all, I buddy read this with

    of my closest book friends, and we all five starred this amazing story. Please, go treat yourself and preorder this book. Please. Do you like killer sirens? Angsty romance? A+ witty banter? Vivid fighting scenes with mind-blowing imagery? One of the best

    You all, I buddy read this with

    of my closest book friends, and we all five starred this amazing story. Please, go treat yourself and preorder this book. Please. Do you like killer sirens? Angsty romance? A+ witty banter? Vivid fighting scenes with mind-blowing imagery? One of the best and strongest protagonists I’ve read about in a long while? And all these things in a standalone? From a debut author? Seriously, we’ve been blessed.

    And I can safely say that there is no better feeling than picking up an ARC that is not exceptionally hyped, and that you’re not expecting anything from really, and you come out absolutely loving it. This was perfection and one of the best reading experiences I’ve had all year. I can’t wait for you all to love this book, too, come March 6th.

    This is a magical standalone that surrounds two very different people that are both next in line for two very different crowns:

    - AKA: Prince’s Bane, the most feared siren of all time. She has a collection of seventeen royal hearts. She is also the daughter of Sea Queen, who rules the sea kingdom, Diavolos. Yet, the Sea Queen is abusive, a manipulator, a tyrant, and not willing to relinquish her throne anytime soon for Lira.

    - AKA: Siren Hunter. He is a royal prince, but also a cutthroat sea captain who sees the world on his ship,

    , with his crew. His family rules Midas, the city of gold, and they want nothing more than for him to give up his pirate life and to finally be king. Also, Elian and his entire family are brown-skinned.

    In this world, humans fear the sirens that lurk below the water. And under the ocean, sirens are forced to bring back a human heart during the month of their birth and present it for all to see. But our dear Lira has taken to only the hearts of royals. This story is very loosely inspired by

    , therefore, I’m sure you guys can somewhat guess how these two’s paths cross. But after Lira upsets her mother, the Sea Queen wants to find a new way to ridicule and humiliate her, so what better way than to force her to steal the most royal heart of all, but also forcing her to do this task as a human, and while no longer having her siren voice to lure humans towards her.

    And what kind of prince in waiting would Elian be if he let this damsel in distress drown in the water? I mean, until he rescues Lira and realizes how much of a damsel in distress she really isn’t. You all, this was some of the best banter I’ve ever read in any book, ever. And you guys know that hate to love romance is the trope that I love more than any other. And this angst? Perfection. These two might honestly end up being my favorite partnership of 2018. From actually laughing out loud, to swooning, to crying, to everything I felt for these two, and all I want is more.

    I was astounded by the worldbuilding and how seamlessly it was crafted and presented. Honestly, this entire story’s imagery was so impressive. The last battle was so visually breathtaking, I feel speechless. The last few chapters were perfection, and I feel so honored that I was able to even experience them. Me and

    both were absolutely astonished by that last battle and how visually pleasing it was to the mind. I honestly could picture this being a movie immediately.

    And this book tackles some pretty serious topics, too. We see parental/adult abuse, manipulation, and gaslighting in this book a lot. Kids only want to be loved, especially from their parents, and it takes a lot to realize that sometimes the people who are supposed to protect you and unconditionally love you just blatantly don’t.

    And there is such an important and constant theme of how a new generation can change the world. Which is a message that everyone in The United States should be behind right now. As I’m typing this review, high school kids are changing our world, because the baby boomer generation that’s in office currently think it’s more important to protect assault rifles over innocent kid’s lives. Seriously, these teens, who this book is marketed for, won’t be teens for long. They will be voting, they will activists, and they will be changing the damn world for the better. Do you know how powerful it is for them to have books like this? With themes like this? Seriously, this was probably my favorite thing in this book where there was so much to easily love.

    This story also beautiful emphasizes the importance of found families. Blood is nothing more than blood. The people who choose to unconditionally love you, support you, protect you, those people are your family. Madrid, Kye, Torik, Kahlia, I fell in love with all of the side characters. And this book beautifully depicts how important it is for you to choose who is worthy of your time and love.

    Overall, this was honestly just a joy to read. The writing was lyrical and beautiful. The world building was fantastic and so impressive, especially for a standalone. The romance was absolutely perfect. Also, my

    loving heart will read any and all books about sirens luring men to their death. I loved being on this adventure and journey alongside Lira and Elian. I absolutely cannot wait to see what Alexandra Christo does next, and this debut novel of hers is one of the best debut novels I’ve ever read.

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  • Katerina

    Dark as a stormy night.

    Seductive as the call of a siren.

    Beautiful like the bluest sea.

    I marvel at how wonderful most of the 2018 YA releases have been. Even though the time I dedicate to reading is far less than what my heart desires (thank you adult life, really), discovering books that sing their melodies to my soul and enchant me to oblivion is a fair compensation. Reading

    was last week's highlight. A

    . It was

    Dark as a stormy night.

    Seductive as the call of a siren.

    Beautiful like the bluest sea.

    I marvel at how wonderful most of the 2018 YA releases have been. Even though the time I dedicate to reading is far less than what my heart desires (thank you adult life, really), discovering books that sing their melodies to my soul and enchant me to oblivion is a fair compensation. Reading

    was last week's highlight. A

    . It was

    . So, I simply

    it.

    But

    is not a prince like the others. He's a

    at heart, and the only place he feels at home is the ocean and his war ship. His kingdom and his responsibilities suffocate him, and so he roams the seas, hunting sirens and making the seas a safer place.

    , on the other hand, is the daughter of the Sea Queen, known as the

    . Each year she harvests a prince's heart on her birthday, as a way to prove her ruthlessness to her cruel mother and secure the loyalty of her future subjects. Monstrous and inhumanly beautiful, the sirens only exist for power, and every other feeling is considered weakness. Until the Prince's Bane and the Siren Hunter cross paths. An unpredictable turn of events brings the Sea Queen's wrath upon Lira, and she ends up exiled, having two legs instead of a tail, and an order to rip the heart out of Elian's still warm body. Elian wants to exterminate the sirens and their Queen. Lira wants to take the throne that belongs to her. In order to achieve their goals, the two sworn enemies need each other. Until the final confrontation, that will probably end with one of them dead. Which one, well that is the question.

    is

    . During the first half of the book, I couldn't shake the notion that it's not a typical story about the prince saving the princess, or vice-versa. Lira and Elian were both

    , two souls who seemed beneath salvation. Lira begins her narration stating nonchalantly that she collects the hearts of princes, while Elian claims that he's a murderer, and that's not his worst trait. Their hands are stained with blood, something they do not crave, but accept nonetheless. But as the story progressed, something cracked inside of them, and thus inside of me. Lira tasted freedom for the first time in her tragic life, she tasted humanity, and compassion she could not comprehend. Elian found himself trusting this venomous girl with the secrets, and somewhere along the way realised that maybe death is not the only way. In the end, I came to the conclusion that no, it was not a story of anti-heroes.

    .

    I can't pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with

    . Maybe it happened during the very first chapter, maybe halfway through.

    has the uncanny ability of bringing characters and objects alike to life. My feelings are like the surface of the sea, calm and then tumultuous, and then peaceful once more.

    I can taste licorice in my tongue, and inhale the salty air. I can see the deck of an enormous ship where a siren seethes and turns to foam. Two lonely figures gazing at the stars. A song that speaks of undying love and devotion. Black tentacles scraping skin, and evil laughter that pierces my bones. A sea named after the Devil with the colour of sapphires. Every description was

    , and there was something in the narration that made me feel that I was sitting next to Elian and Lira, listening to their soft voices while the sun burned my skin and the cold water licked my feet.

    's prose was

    , her world-building simple yet full of imagination; her lores were entrancing, and her world pulsated with monsters and monstrous humans, brutality and violence, but also a fiery need to belong, to be the person you want to be instead of the one that was forced on you.

    . Two enemies bred in blood, two souls burdened by expectations and invinsible chains, they forged an unwanted alliance, unaware that they would both change in a way they never predicted. There were no flowers and sonnets and love declarations. There were

    , that tethered their souls nonetheless. Love didn't make them mushy. It made them strong, and they emerged from their trials better, wiser, more complete.

    P.S. My only complaint is technical.

    , the language of sea, is basically Greek. Being my native language, I have to point out that, even though the use of individual words was correct (and I felt really proud because that doesn't happen quite frequently), the sentences had some issues, and to a person speaking Greek they sounded funny. That's all folks!

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  • Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

    *insert drooling face here* I can't help it. I'm a wee bit bloodthirsty and I

    these types of he

    *insert drooling face here* I can't help it. I'm a wee bit bloodthirsty and I

    these types of heroines. *excited squeal*

    Oh hi, remember me? It’s been a long ass time since I reviewed a YA book because I got sick of all the crappy books, but this book caught my eyes (BECAUSE SIRENS) and holy crap, it’s good!

    This is kind of a

    retelling but with sirens, and instead of the main character wanting to get forked (no pun intended), our main character sings and seduces and kills the hapless men that fall into her and her cousins' trap.

    *snickers*

    Our prince isn't a handsome, useless fool, but one whose life is devoted to

    sirens.

    , 17-year old siren princess. Through a mistake, she "saves" Prince

    and gets turned into a human.

    It was a really good book. The setting is beautifully woven and explained so that it doesn't feel like a textbook. The characters are vibrant and fun and likable. There are no longing glances and pained flushes and beating hearts, just a slowly developed friendship and alliance that blossoms. I was entertained.

    This would make a pretty good movie.

  • Emily May

    Meet our two main characters--

    That should give you a sense of what to expect.

    is a

    and it tells a compelling, vicious story without falling into all the usual tropes. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Lira is a siren princess, daughter of the Sea Queen, and known amongst humans as Princes

    Meet our two main characters--

    That should give you a sense of what to expect.

    is a

    and it tells a compelling, vicious story without falling into all the usual tropes. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Lira is a siren princess, daughter of the Sea Queen, and known amongst humans as Princes' Bane - because of all the princes whose hearts she has ripped from their chests. I mean it literally; not talking romantics here. When she disobeys her mother, the Sea Queen punishes Lira by turning her into a human. Floating out on the sea with her new pair of legs, Lira is picked up by Prince Elian's ship.

    Elian is a siren killer and adventurer. He does not want to be bound to the throne he is set to inherit. What he wants more than anything is to put a stop to the Princes' Bane. When it seems like an old fairy tale might hold the secret to finding the Crystal of Keto - and putting a stop to the Sea Queen and her sirens forever - Elian sets out on a perilous journey to uncover it.

    These two unlikely companions are thrown together by their strange circumstances. Each wants to kill the other but only Lira is aware of both of their identities. I really enjoyed the developing relationship between them that grew through sarcasm-laced banter. Both are somewhat morally questionable and Lira is a murderous anti-heroine bordering on straight-up villain. There's also a band of lovable and funny secondary characters onboard ship.

    A romance grows but it is

    . I would not recommend this book for readers who like their fantasy heavy on the romance. And, despite the obvious parallels that can be drawn with

    (Lira loses her siren song instead of her voice), I wouldn't recommend this for those looking for a retelling either. It's very different, and this "mermaid" definitely doesn't want to be human and bag a prince - unless by that you mean killing him. This prince is far more badass, too.

    There's lots I like here: anti-heroines, slow-burn romance, fairy tales that contain prophecies, fun banter and strong friendships. I only hope I don't get burned out on this influx of sea fantasies after I read my arcs of

    and

    .

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  • Lola

    A bewitchingly dark retelling of

    .

    In which both the siren princess and human prince want to cut each other’s throats if that’s the last thing they do.

    Lovely. My newfound love of dark fairytale retellings—caused by

    —propelled me to read this book.

    How could I ever go back to the innocent Disney tales I read as a child that would make me dream of a boundless future? This is atmospheric to the point that I felt Lira and Elian’s hate for each

    A bewitchingly dark retelling of

    .

    In which both the siren princess and human prince want to cut each other’s throats if that’s the last thing they do.

    Lovely. My newfound love of dark fairytale retellings—caused by

    —propelled me to read this book.

    How could I ever go back to the innocent Disney tales I read as a child that would make me dream of a boundless future? This is atmospheric to the point that I felt Lira and Elian’s hate for each other in the marrow of my bones.

    And I loved that. Especially since I found the original prince in

    rather one-dimensional, whereas Elian’s personality is attractive. No wonder his crew is so loyal to him: he’s authoritarian without being tyrannical, smart with a bit of smugness showing through, and as dashing on a ship as inside a palace.

    But this is very much a debut: the world-building is limited, the action scenes various but short (not enough intensity), the romance pleasant but not romantic, and the Sea Queen the stereotypical mother who can never be pleased because she has high expectations… on crack (so a not-so-surprising version of Ursula).

    On the other hand, it is a fast-paced addictive story that makes you wish more books about sirens and pirates were published, with characters that constantly do the unexpected.

    The author seriously needs to work on her fighting scenes, but

    is a decent source of entertainment.

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  • Warda

    I’m disappointed with how mediocre this was. It’s described as a dark and romantic story.

    It was dark at the beginning, then turned into mush. By the way our main characters were introduced, I was expecting some straight-up nastiness and bravado. False advertisement that was because that’s not the tone the story carried on with (but I didn’t mind this too much since there was some introspection our characters were going through).

    And the romance was...lacklustre. I mean, did it have to be there?

    I’m disappointed with how mediocre this was. It’s described as a dark and romantic story.

    It was dark at the beginning, then turned into mush. By the way our main characters were introduced, I was expecting some straight-up nastiness and bravado. False advertisement that was because that’s not the tone the story carried on with (but I didn’t mind this too much since there was some introspection our characters were going through).

    And the romance was...lacklustre. I mean, did it have to be there? It served no purpose. I felt nothing!

    I think the only aspect that I appreciated was the Prince and his crew, the bond and witty banter they shared. Plus the similarities Elian and Lira had in terms of them both wanting to desperately escape the shackles that had been forced on them.

    I wanted that angle of their character to be explored (it was too flimsy!) and wanted more brutality. The ending was annoyingly happy. It probably would’ve felt more satisfying had the initial plot point been carried out. I’m slightly getting over happy endings, particularly in fantasy. Or maybe this wasn’t just well done as it was too dramatic for my taste.

    It felt and read like the story was being crammed in. It wasn’t necessarily slow at any point. The plot was moving, however it seemed almost too calculated and each aspect of the story was placed accordingly. It didn’t flow, rather it felt too deliberate and purposely steered into a particular direction, i.e. getting the two main characters together.

    Pointless.

    There wasn’t enough time for me to grow attached to the characters and world, which is a shame, because it had so much potential. I think this would’ve worked better and read more fulfilling had it been a duology possibly, where then the writing, the characters, the world and plot would’ve been given their due right.

    I liked it enough though.

    This cost a quid. Naturally, I bought it. I miss me some good ol' fantasy.

    Book, you better deliver. You have standards to uphold now.

    LEGGO!! 🏃🏾‍♂️

  • emma

    I am proposing a new law: Books that are not good should not be allowed to have really good opening lines. Because then I open them in Barnes & Noble and am like “wow I should buy this” and then I do (except not immediately because I don’t have B&N levels of money honey) and then I’m disappointed and I hate it and it’s honestly bad for all of us.

    This law is for the good of the people, you know?

    LISTEN TO THIS OPENING LINE YOU GUYS. And by listen to I of course mean read. But like, come on

    I am proposing a new law: Books that are not good should not be allowed to have really good opening lines. Because then I open them in Barnes & Noble and am like “wow I should buy this” and then I do (except not immediately because I don’t have B&N levels of money honey) and then I’m disappointed and I hate it and it’s honestly bad for all of us.

    This law is for the good of the people, you know?

    LISTEN TO THIS OPENING LINE YOU GUYS. And by listen to I of course mean read. But like, come on:

    Tell me that doesn’t seem like the rest of the hundreds of pages that follow it should be good!! Tell me! You’d be wrong. It seems like they should be good and yet they aren’t and that is an injustice so massive I will dedicate the rest of my life to getting legislation on the books that will prevent it from ever happening again.

    Hahahaha. “Legislation on the books.” Get it? Like that’s what you say about passing legislation successfully, but also it would be legislation on books? God I’m funny.

    But let’s talk synopsis. To Kill a Kingdom is (allegedly) a high fantasy about this gal Lira. Lira’s a siren - the princess of the sirens. Sirens RIP the HEARTS out of dudes!! Pretty rad stuff, violent af, we love it. Lira is especially badass, and she ONLY steals the hearts of princes. F*ck the system, girl, I get it. Take down the patriarchy/our capitalist oppressors/etc etc. I’m still into it.

    Here’s where you lose me.

    This is a Little Mermaid retelling (okay actually still rad) in which Lira is given human legs because she takes a heart without it being her birthday (she can only take a heart for every year yadda yadda) and her mom (the queen, a Very Bad Lady) says oh you think you’re so tough??? Okay. Get me the heart of an Extra Special Prince - the Siren Killer.

    Dun dun dun!

    This might sound good, unless you’re like me and cynical and well-versed in YA and you know what that actually means. Because if you guessed “Lira will now participate in a not-so-slow burn but absolutely teeming with sh*tty banter romance with the Siren Killer himself, Elian,” you’re today’s lucky winner! Congratulations. Your prize is universal suffering.

    This should have been violence and revenge and piracy and maybe some cool monarchical world-building if there’s time. Instead, it was boring and romance and boring and terrible banter and boring and confusing info dumps and boring and weird flat writing and oh my god you guys this book was so f*cking BORING!!!

    I hated this book!!! It’s been so long since I’ve read garbage YA fantasy that I almost forgot why I don’t read YA fantasy like ever!!! Contemporaries can be worse than fantasy could ever be but they are never so horrible to read.

    Like, let’s talk about the basic requirements of high fantasy that this book does not even BEGIN to satisfy. For one, language??? It’s not that hard to not use slang!! And like I’m SO sorry but when you’re pretending you’re writing high fantasy while using the word “okay” it doesn’t work for me again I’m SO sorry.

    And if you’re going to write a standalone about a world with one hundred separate island kingdoms and do this bad of a job worldbuilding, honestly please at least give me a map so I can gaze lovingly at it and pretend to enjoy it. This world could have been so cool but we get basically zero geographical or historical or general information, just weird random details about specific island-nations, and I’m quite seriously sick of it!!!

    I hated the romance. It was mostly banter that was just uniquely terrible, really just a whole new level of unfunny and bad but with characters being like “Wow...she is very funny...I quite like her...ha ha dare I say she is one of the gang...lol you may have met your match, dear sir...sounds like someone else I know...ha ha ha, I kid, oh yes, we have fun, lmao.”

    Also as established, the language is like one step above using text abbreviations anyway.

    Anyway once we get past the banter stage of the romance, we jump straight into “icky gross touchy feely lovey dovey I hate it get it away from me.” And then betrayal, and then more of that again! It’s painful in a hundred different ways and it never gets better.

    Part of this is because THE CHARACTERS ARE AWFUL!!! Lira is nowhere near the cool violent siren I EXPECTED and DESERVED. She’s just mean and prissy and thinks she’s really funny and badass but god she is not at all.

    And Elian is just...boring. The siren song of the YA male love interest. A real poor little rich boy type situation. SO SORRY YOU MIGHT HAVE TO RULE OVER AN ISLAND MADE OF GOLD, ASSHOLE. WE WEEP FOR YOUR SUFFERING, WE REALLY DO.

    Speaking of boring, this sh*t had absolutely no right to be and yet here we are. This is the most boring book in the history of ever. I don’t get it! The world-building was god awful, half the characters were flat, there was no setup or explanation or exposition of any kind, and yet NOTHING HAPPENS IN THE FIRST HALF OF THE BOOK. I got halfway through and thought I was only a fraction of the way in! Nope, just bad writing!

    How do you pitch a violent siren/pirate high fantasy YA retelling of the Little Mermaid and somehow make it boring? That’s almost so awful it turns in on itself and becomes impressive.

    Almost.

    Plus this wasn’t violence-y anyway. It was just “““character development.””” Elian spends half the book crying about how it’s so mean of him to kill sirens (they’re only killing his people for no reason, guys!) and Lira spends half the book thinking about how it’s too mean of her to kill someone as

    great as Elian even though she should be planning that grand revenge plot on her mom she swears is happening and will def involve murder for sure.

    We get no violence. We get pondering and crying and more pondering and the ultimate condemnation of violence and it is a hundred thousand million times worse than if this were a straightforward Little Mermaid retelling with no violence at all.

    : Boring. Bad characters. Bad romance. Bad world-building. Weird bad writing. Bad, inaccurate synopsis. Boring boring boring, bad bad bad.

    --------

    Really starting to think you guys all just pretended this book was good and got me all excited to read it as some sort of elaborate, cruel prank.

    IT WAS BAD AND NOW I'M DISAPPOINTED.

    review to come once I recover from this (read: NEVER. I'LL NEVER GET OVER IT)

    --------

    I hadn't picked up this book in a couple days and assumed I was like 1/4 of the way into it, since nothing has really happened yet.

    NOPE.

    I'M MORE THAN HALFWAY DONE.

    WHEN ARE WE GOING TO GET TO THE GOOD STUFF.

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