Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sleeping with the Fishes

I genuinely cannot remember the last time I laughed as much, out loud, to the disturbance of other commuters, as I did reading this book.

The author, the incredibly talented Mary Janice Davidson, has managed to create one of the best female "paranormal" characters I've had the honour to meet.

This is the blurb from Amazon:

Fredericka Bimm - Fred - is a mermaid. But she is not the stuff of legends. A marine biologist, she knows what's in the water so chooses not to expose herself to those toxins. She's allergic to shellfish. The sea creatures she can communicate with won't do her bidding. She doesn't have long blonde hair or a perfect body. And she's definitely not perky! Fred's life is mostly spent trying to conceal her origins - and lately she's been trying to figure out just why there are weird levels of toxins in the local seawater. Then two strangers come into her life. Her new colleague is a sexy - if over-curious - hunk with a mermaid fixation. The other claims he is Artur, the high prince of the black seas - and Fred's rightful ruler!

If, just reading that doesn't crack you up, your heart is stone. Fred is tough, funny, kick-ass and has a very interesting time fending off the advances of the two unexpected men in her life. It is written in a light and engaging way, the dialogue genuinely works very well, is never put upon and is rilly, rilly, cool.

Fred is an engaging main character because she doubts herself, she worries constantly about being found out, about flying under the radar. Importantly she tries to hide herself from everyone, whilst trying to find out exactly what she is, as she is a hybrid. As at home in the sea as she is on land and this is where her identity crisis comes in - she gives Artur a stern telling off, and it resonates with truth. It deals with pollution in a non-preachy way, and with human / Sea Folk relationships in a very direct manner. And please, this is at least an 18 rating book - the language is tough, but funny, the situations real and hilarious.

I will definitely find the other books by the author to read. Thanks Piatkus for sending this along.

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