Athlanmara: Seaborn Series Book I
I remember the very first time I read a mermaid fantasy novel; I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into, but I ended up loving the story. Ever since that first mermaid encounter (haha) I’ve had my eyes peeled for the moment I would find another book similar to that series, so when I got a review request for Athlanmara, I was very excited.
Maybe my excitement from my first mermaid adventure had left a big impression, maybe the buzz from DC’s Aquaman movie hadn’t settled yet—I don’t know—but for some reason I went into this book somehow knowing that I would enjoy it and I’m glad to say I wasn’t wrong!
On the surface, Athlanmara is a lighthearted supernatural romance between a merman and a human girl. Brooke, a shy but somewhat rebellious teen, gets in over her head and nearly ends up drowning. Thankfully, she is rescued by a merman who happens to be beautiful and charming. I think any reader can probably piece together the forbidden romance that soon develops between Brooke and Adrian, the majestic merman, but there’s more to this story than sweet kisses and forbidden love.
A message about pollution, irresponsibility, and a war between two separate worlds lines the pages of this book. I really liked the world-building we got to see with the oceanic culture introduced by Burrows. I think the language and the history of the mer-people was fantastic and helped provide another element to the story. Marine life and aquatics are obviously a big part of the book, but not just because we’re dealing with mer-people. There’s insight on how pollution impacts our environment and that comes through in the world of Athlanmara which I found to be an incredibly interesting point in the story.
I don’t have any particular complaints about the reading; I wish there was more exploration in Athlanmara and maybe just a little less romance? Other than that, the writing and the story were both great and I would certainly recommend this to readers of all ages. Anyone who loves fantasy romance will enjoy this very much and if you have any interest at all in mermaids and aquatic life, I would urge you to give this series a try.