Author: Marilena Mexi
Genre: Young Adult
Goodreads Summary: Peace and tranquility on the island of Aster, home to both humans and 'merfolk', has long been broken by a devastating phenomenon, recurring every five years. A storm including gusting winds and huge waves mysteriously appeared and eradicated much of the population. The misunderstandings, suspicion and hate born of this disaster have torn the two races apart, and the peace loving merfolk are now in a never-ending struggle to prove their innocence and restore peace to the island. On the human side, things are even worse; under the tyranny of cruel king Orestis, the people suffer and all their king cares for is vengeance against the "fish", as he spitefully calls them, executing merfolk after merfolk for just being near his lands. Secrets, intense emotions and strange phenomena will upset their lives forever.
My Review: This is the debut novel, Antara, written and illustrated by Marilena Mexi. I was lucky enough to receive an ebook, courtesy of Ms. Mexi and I’m certainly happy to convey my thoughts on her wonderful story.
I must say the story is good, but the illustrations are simply amazing. Pair the two together, and you have a unique experience where at the end of every chapter, there are beautiful images awaiting. It made reading, exciting.
Though I’m not a huge fan of stories that involve merfolk, I could certainly appreciate the essence of the tale. At the heart, the merfolk are simply trying to co-exist along side with their human counterparts. But King Orestis hates merfolk, and blames them for the mysterious catastrophe that happened years ago that claimed the life of his mother. Understanding that the event is supposed to happen once again, the merfolk send a representative to try and reason with the humans. From here, the story then develops into a budding romance, as the impeding doom of an eminent future catastrophe looms over the young mermaid sent to reason with the King.
The story really has it all;' action, history, fantasy and romance. It was really an enjoyable read.
However, there were a few issues that I had with the novel itself. First, I think the story still needs to be edited. There were quite a few grammatical errors, but nothing that can't be fixed. In addition, I found some of the dialogue, out of place--maybe a little too modern at times, almost too slang for the setting that the story was set in. Again, these are things that are easily correctable if the author should chose to correct them. This author has an amazing future and is a talented writer and an exceptional artist. We wish her much success!