4 out of 4 stars
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A merman washes ashore in Maine, injured and unconscious. How do you fix a man with a tail? How do you keep him from being swallowed up by the US government never to be seen again? How do you thwart the media circus that is sure to follow his trail? Where did he come from, and are there others like him? If so, are they going to try to get him back?
Underneath is book one in The Under Series by M.N. Arzu. It's a little over 300 pages and falls into the science fiction/fantasy genre. The book explores what would happen if merfolk really did exist in today's world.
This story seemed to set the scene for the series as a whole. We are introduced to the major players in both the mermaid world and the human world. We get glimpses of life as a mermaid but not much factual information. That's not to say, though, that the story didn't have merit by itself. Indeed, I was intrigued and entertained throughout. The author drops hints all through the story of things that will come later in the series. This whet my appetite for more, making me want to snatch up the second book before I was even done with the first. Very clever on the part of the author.
The ending was just what it should be in a series such as this. Without giving anything away, I will say that it wasn't really a cliffhanger. Most of the plot was wrapped up in a nice, neat, little box. However, because of the foreshadowing that the author does during the novel, you still want to read the next in the series. I loved that as so many authors simply rely on breaking up what should be one story into two.
As for the characters, it was a nice mix of the good, bad and indifferent. Some of the characters you wanted to congratulate; some you wanted to hit over the head with a baseball bat. The story was told from the third person with many different participants to follow. Nevertheless, I never was in doubt as to which character was speaking.
I rate Underneath 4 out of 4 stars. There were very few errors, and the book as a whole was entertaining. This is one of those books that there just isn't much to talk about because everything was so well-written. Nothing was particularly noticeable because it wasn't supposed to be notable. Any science fiction/fantasy fans will enjoy this one immensely as well as those who enjoy a good mermaid tale. It won't be particularly attractive if you don't like much mythology in your stories. I, however, can't wait to find out more about these merfolk and their society! Will there be continued interactions between humans and merfolk?
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