{Review} DARK TIDES Trilogy by Devyn Quinn

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O P E N I N G   H O O K:

KENNETH RANDALL WALKED ALONG THE CRAGGY BEACH. Hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket, he watched ever-rising waves lap against the shoreline.  Gray, brooding clouds hung low in the sky.  Lightning scratched like an angry animal at their fat bellies.  Thunder rumbled in the distance, ominously warning of the deluge soon to arrive.  A foghorn blast from the lighthouse standing about a mile off the bay warned stragglers off the water.  When the storm finally made shore, it would hit with vicious force.  

(Page 1, US Paperback Edition / SIREN'S CALL)

I picked up Devyn Quinn's DARK TIDES trilogy to read in May when it was hard for me to concentrate on books with deeper plots.  Someone who knew I liked mermaids gave me the books as a gift, not realizing that I'm not a big romance novel reader. When I was talking about how I was looking for a book that didn't make me think but took my mind off life, a co-worker jokingly recommended FIFTY SHADES OF GREY.  While I didn't take him up on the advice, I did remember that I had a mermaid romance series sitting unread and decided to pull the books out once and for all.  While the books are traditional romance novels, there's also an overarching fantasy plot revolving around mermaids that kept my interest.

Each of the books in the trilogy centers around one of the Lonike sisters, all of which are mermaids living among us as humans.  As half-mer-babies are born, if they aren't given a soul-stone, they'll never be able to tap into their mer-powers and transform later in life.  The Lonike sisters are among the last of the mermaids, and they all accept--or reject--their heritage in different ways.  In the first novel, SIREN'S CALL, Tessa makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a wormhole that's been sealed off for centuries, one full of mermaids who have been banished from the human world.  These mermaids are dangerous and with a path between the two worlds once again open, may spell the end for humanity.

I enjoyed the way Quinn developed mermaid lore in new and unexpected ways.  The vicious mermaids live in a gritty world on the cusp of destruction and are desperate to escape, yet they view humans as inferior beings.  At times, their methods were extreme, but these same scenes also enforced the image of a savage being that's not fully human, and let's face it:  Mermaids aren't fully human.  The deep sea can be a wild, unruly place, and it makes sense that mermaids are more animalistic, especially when their blood hasn't been as diluted with human blood over the centuries.  I really liked the inclusion of a new species of sea-being in the third book (I won't spoil what here) and wish that element had evolved further and not been left for the very end.  

There's enough lore and magical elements to create a fantasy world that maintains a reader's interest even if romance novels aren't a top genre of choice.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

The first two covers scream both "Mermaid!" and the colors are gorgeous.  The third book is different in that the model is "human" and the colors are brighter, though the dress is the same color as the sea from the second cover and there is a little purple pulled in from the first cover as well, so it isn't strikingly different.  The object being held on this cover is important to the book and hints at the fantasy lying within, though not as blatantly as the first two books featuring actual mermaids.

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

{The following summary is for the first book in the series}
Author: Devyn Quinn
Release Date: Out between 2010~2012
Publisher: Penguin / Signet Eclipse
Received: Gift


Between desire and love there are some things that can’t stay buried, even in the deep of the ocean.

As a woman with a secret, lighthouse keeper Tessa Lonike savors her solitude on the island of Little Mer, off the coast of Maine. During a violent storm, Tessa spots a man thrashing in the ice cold waters and dives in to save him, using her ability as a mermaid to easily pull him to shore.

When Kenneth Randall awakens on the beach he is alone, left with the haunting memory of his beautiful, flame-haired savior. But a year later, when Kenneth meets her again, he’s determined not to let Tessa slip away. Just as the desire between them begins to burn, Tessa’s archaeologist ex-lover comes back to town with a tantalizing clue to her murky heritage.

The trio travel to the Mediterranean in search of answers, and when Tessa inadvertently opens an underwater portal they find a lost mermaid city. But in the deep, not everything is as it seems, and Tessa must decide if she wants to take her place as the royal heir, or follow the call of her heart…