Sunday, May 7, 2017

REVIEW for "Mer" by Joelle Sellner

**(2) out of 5 stars

Twilight meets the legend of Atlantis in this gripping graphic novel from writer Joelle Sellner and artist Abby Boeh. After the death of her beloved mother, Aryn’s father has moved her family to a new town hoping for a fresh start. At first things seem to be going well—Aryn is making friends and has even caught the eye of one of the hottest guys in school. But there are dark forces moving under the surface that Aryn cannot see; and her new crush may not be… human.

This book caught my attention because it isn’t often that you see stories about mermaids (other than in kids' books).  Overall, it was a cute tale and a fun read, but certainly nothing spectacular.  

The graphics were fairly good; rather simplistic, but clear and concise, and it was easy to differentiate the characters.  The dialogue seemed rather stilted at times, but that was often from the characters you later discovered were mer-folk, so maybe it was just to highlight the difference between the cultures.

The plot was interesting, with a few unique twists and turns.  However, the storyline just didn’t seem to be fleshed out very much.  It definitely could have benefited from an extended page count or just more detail or… something.  Everything seemed to progress as such a rapid-fire rate, from how quickly Aryn and Adrian developed feelings for one another, to how swiftly Julia turned on Aryn, and how speedily everything escalated from there. 

Aryn also accepted very easily the fact, not only that mermaids exist, but that her crush, as well as some of her additional classmates and other acquaintances, were mer-people.  She correspondingly fairly quickly became knowledgeable about many of their secrets, and wasn’t at all shy talking about them. 

The scary siren character of Anastasia was at times drawn so hideous looking that I highly doubt anyone would have believed she was human.  And what was up with her and her bodyguard?  Those two just had a really weird relationship dynamic.  I originally thought he was perhaps another sea creature, sharing her secret, but he appeared to be simply a regular human.  Although her husband was okay with it, so whatever.  Perhaps she just had all of the males in her vicinity lulled by her siren song.

There seemed to be way too many coincidences, and a lot of plot points appeared to contradict one another.  There were also a disturbing amount of characters left without their mates, even though finding them seemed to be a central issue of the story. 

Again, overall, this was an somewhat entertaining read, and I wouldn’t mind reading a sequel.  But it was definitely not real high caliber stuff, and certainly didn’t live up to its potential. 

I received a free eGalley of this title from NetGalley and have willingly provided an honest review.  

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