Author: Amalie Howard
Publisher: Harlequin Teen Australia
The girl who would be queen.
Nerissa Marin hides among teens in human form, waiting for the day she can claim her birthright- the undersea Kingdom brutally stolen from her with the murder of her father. Blending in is her best weapon, until her father’s betrayer confronts Nerissa and challenges her to a battle to the death on Nerissa’s upcoming birthday- the day she comes of age.
Amid danger an heartbreak for her missing mother, falling for a human boy is the last thing Nerissa should do. But Lo Seavon breaches her defences and somehow becomes the only person she can count on to help with her desperate search for her mother- a prisoner of Nerissa’s mortal enemy.
Is Lo the linchpin that might win Nerissa back her crown? Or will this mortal boy become the weakness that destroys her?
The sea is about to reveal its most beautiful and deadly secret.
Plot: Nerissa Marin is a sea serpent type alien princess from the planet Sana who is destined to become Queen. Her species moved here thousands of years ago and made their new home in the deepest depths of the ocean when their home planet was destroyed. Being an heir, Nerissa is learning about the human culture by completing a four-year initiation cycle in human form on land. But during this time her father is killed and just before his death sends Nerissa a message saying to never come back. Now an orphan, she must stay on land with her guards in human form and give up her birthright of being queen. Everything is going fine until new boy Lo Seavon comes along. Upon his arrival everything seems to change.
What I liked: When I picked up the book and read the title and the blurb and then turned around and looked at the front cover I immediately thought the book was about mermaids. Even when I initially started reading Waterfell and hearing about how much Nerissa needed water and ate a lot of fish products I thought that it all pointed to her being a mermaid. So I was quite surprised to learn that she was an alien and was in fact more like a Loch Ness Monster type creature. This is in my opinion fantastic writing on behalf of the author, to have convinced the reader to thinking that the book was about something entirely different is amazing. I know that I was certainly fooled by it all.
What I didn’t like: SPOLIER ALERT
I liked how the author made Nerissa and Lo’s mothers a gay female couple but I was disappointed that it wasn’t explored a bit more. I would have loved to have seen how both Lo and Nerissa would have acknowledged their mother’s relationship and how they would have dealt with it.
Favourite quote/part: my favourite part is where Nerissa is described in her natural form.
‘A creature with an elegantly curved neck cresting above a torso covered in burnishes golden scales, each the size of a silver dollar, stares back at me. Its eyes are glowing multi-coloured orbs, the pupil barely a black fang slicing through the middle. In the mirrored glass, the creature is so bright that it appears to be glowing.
I tilt my neck, stretching upward, and the reflection follows.
My body is muscular but slender, with a thin iridescent purple-fined membrane that is interspersed with spines extending along the entire ridge of my back to a fan like tail. Two wide, lustrous fins extend on either side of my upper torso, bearing down into clawed forearms. The shorter spines along my back lengthen on my head and curve backward in a circular fan, while shorter ones dot my pointed nose with frill-like tendrils on either side of my snout. A ridge of sharp, coal-like thorns crowns my brow… the mark of an Aquarathi heir.’
If you like: Any Anna Banks fans will love this book