‘The Deep’ by Rivers Solomon
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant enslaved African women thrown overboard by enslavers—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by all, save one—the historian, Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. She flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
I’ve heard this Black-authored book is amazing, has an all-Black cast and LGBTQIA+ rep. So, as the poets say, the hype is real. Also the cover is just *grasps at the air wordlessly* gorgeous.
‘To Kill a Kingdom’ by Alexandra Christo
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 Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Retellings and enemies to lovers, oh my! I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages!
‘Sea Witch’ (‘Sea Witch’, #1) by Sarah Henning
Ever since her best friend, Anna, drowned, Evie has been an outcast in her small fishing town. A freak. A curse. A witch.
A girl with an uncanny resemblance to Anna appears offshore and, though the girl denies it, Evie is convinced that her best friend actually survived. That her own magic wasn’t so powerless after all. And, as the two girls catch the eyes—and hearts—of two charming princes, Evie believes that she might finally have a chance at her own happily ever after.
But her new friend has secrets of her own. She can’t stay in Havnestad, or on two legs, unless Evie finds a way to help her. Now Evie will do anything to save her friend’s humanity, along with her prince’s heart—harnessing the power of her magic, her ocean, and her love until she discovers, too late, the truth of her bargain.
I’ve come to realise that I really, really like villain backstories, especially if they’re fairytale-related or subversive in some way. I’m excited for this!
‘Breathing Water’ (‘The Siren Anthology’, #1) by S.R. Atkinson
Returning to the ocean could mean returning home, returning to the unlikely friends and family who filled Santi’s childhood, and returning to the magic little girls only dream of.
But it could also mean returning to the devastation and death she witnessed six years ago.
Now at eighteen, with the mysteries of the ocean a distant memory, Santi must overcome her fears to find out what became of her beloved friend Rogan, his family, and an entire world of mythical creatures. But will she find the ocean as welcoming as she did when she was a child?
I read the third book last summer and really enjoyed it! I’d like to see how the whole story began… (Also I just love the covers in this series!)
I’m gonna go ahead and drop in a fanfic TBR :
‘When the Tides Held the Moon’ by Mudblood428 on AO3 (Simon Snow Victorian Mermay AU)
Simon Snow needs a job, though most would argue he needs a friend. When he finally lands work as a day labourer at Mage’s Traveling Carnival of Curiosities, he’s suddenly got the pick of the rarest company in Blackpool, including a bearded lady, a pretty contortionist, The Tattooed Australian, and a slightly unhinged fire-breather.
With friends like these, sideshow life would be interesting enough, but everything changes after he comes face-to-face with the mysterious and beautiful occupant in the last tent.
I absolutely adore Venessa Kelley’s artwork, am a hardcore Snowbaz shipper, and love mermaids and Victorian historical fiction… SO OBVIOUSLY I AM STOKED TO READ THIS!