The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid's allure.
Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that's haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.
For the first time, Eriana Kwai's Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people's freedom on the Pacific Ocean's deadliest battleground.
|Publisher:||Rogue Cannon Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 17 Years|
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***Disclaimer: I received a copy in exchange for a review.*** If anyone's looking for a YA/NA Urban Fantasy novel that finally breaks the mold of cliched plots, trite dialogue, over-pretty sparkly people and instant soul-mates- Ice Massacre is that novel. This is a gripping, dark and stormy read. Characters are believable and not always likable- just as they should be. The girls are faced with a bleak task and the enormity of it begins to take its toll on them in the face of wave after wave of mermaid attacks. If you're a certain age, the scenarios will bring to mind movies like Jaws and Aliens- the hunters becoming the hunted- with a dash of Lord of the Flies thrown in. My only two negatives are the repeated use of descriptors for the mermaids when they're attacking: skin colored like rotting flesh, blood red eyes, bulbous ears, etc. After the eighth or ninth time reading these descriptors, I started skimming. The second is a couple of major plot holes. If a race of sea-people were discovered and began depleting the fish populations in the Pacific and attacking ships, every major government in the world- especially the U.S. and Japan- would've brought everything they had to bear against them for all the reasons you'd imagine. Plus as the seas are so dangerous nowadays, how hard could it be to send U.N or other humanitarian aid flights over to assist Meela's people? Not at all. Yet none of this ever emerges within the story. And you'll always be wondering why. Beyond that, Ice Massacre is a very good read, the start of a new series that definitely hold your attention. Can't ask for more than that.
Ice Massacre really emphasizes the old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover," because at first glance it's a YA book about killer gay Alaskan mermaids and a title that could be a bad action movie. So of course, I bought it was the ultimate self-indulgence and then it just blew me away. The main character, Meela, has a very strong voice throughout the book and her views don't develop linearly, which I think is pretty cool. Tiana Warner knows when to take her time focusing on a character's emotional development and when to include fast-paced action sequences. And let me tell you, the action in this book is intense and gritty, but I feel like there's always a hint of hope. I read this book in two sittings because I just couldn't bear to put it down, even though I had so much work to do. I highly recommend it.
How could I resist a book about mermaids, especially some deadly ones. This isn’t a whimsical, romantic tale of beautiful mermaids. Yes, they can be beautiful, but when they change to feed, their true nature is unmasked and they become monsters with red eyes, scaly skin, and teeth like pointed daggers. No one knows why the mermaids came to the island of Eriana Kwai or why they started to attack the sailors. For many years now, the islanders have sent out ships filled with warriors to try to destroy the mermaids. Year after year the ships don’t return and the mermaids continue to rule the seas, cutting them off from the bounties of the deep, forcing them into poverty and desperation. No matter what they tried, even training the men to fight blind to resist the hypnotic eyes of the sirens, fails. Then, what was tossed out as a futile suggestion was implemented and a new ship set sail, armed with twenty young girls, maiden warriors that will not fall to the sirens call of the mermaids. All hope rests on these maidens. Hope they will succeed. Hope the fishermen can return to the seas. Hope for freedom once again. I read this book in one evening, completely captured by the characters and action. A young girl, defying the edicts of her people, ventures to the beach and rescues a young female mermaid. The two become secret friends until a betrayal brings Meela back to earth. These creatures killed her brother, killed so many brave young men. They are a parasite that must be destroyed. Meela is wise for her years and becomes a fierce warrior. When they maidens set sail to the the mermaids nest, I was confident they would succeed. Until the first encounter. These mermaids are smart, working together and using the seas resources to battle the humans, and they are relentless. Some of the descriptions of their change from alluring to lethal really chilled me and the battles were bloody and cold-hearted on both sides, the seas red with blood There’s no room for mercy or humanity against them. There’s emotional conflict too. Meela isn’t heartless and is torn between protecting her people and what she can do to change things. As the girls battle the mermaids, they also battle each other. Being trapped on a ship together in the vast ocean, they are bound to clash and leaderships will be challenged. Girls become women become warriors in a bloody battle for survival. The war is ongoing and I’m looking forward to more high seas action.
One of the first things that really caught me off guard with this book was the way I started feeling nostalgic while reading it. I felt like I was back to my teenage days, in my bedroom, the window open with a slight breeze coming through as I laid across my bed reading about mermaids and mermen. I forgot just how much I loved the stories of the sea and the mermaids seducing and picking off the sailors. Bringing back that feeling was amazing on many levels and I even mentioned it to a couple of my coworkers. Meela is written strongly, both as a 10 year old with a secret but deadly friendship, with a young mermaid, and as an 18 year old, coming into her own as an adult, a woman and a uncertain warrior. The story evolves from a girl who doesn't see black and white, but the colors in between, in people and creatures. She is very trusting of what she doesn't really understand. This trust is betrayed and the author gives us the insight to see how that impacted Meela and sculpted her in the years to come and to the point she becomes part of the team that goes out to seek revenge against the mermaids. The author lets us in to Meela's head, lets us know how she ticks and lets us understand her compassion with the mermaids. We feel the betrayal, like a slap in the face. We feel the fear, the anger, the indecision's, everything that makes up Meela as a child and as an adult. She is bullied by the same girl for years and in a way it creates a certain armor for her. As an adult, she is able to understand better the things she learned from the mermaid of her youth and in many ways it works to her advantage. With this story, you learn about the island that Meela and the villagers live. The hardships brought on by the constant killings of fisherman and such, but the mermaids. Women becoming widows at a young age. The fear of the sea and the beaches while being surrounded by such, because they are on an island. You also learn the plight of the mermaids. A very well written book, it grabbed my interest quickly and took me along for the ride. When I wasn't reading, I found myself thinking about the story and the characters, wondering what was going to happen and how Meela was going to get through it all. By the time you get to the end, you will be wishing the next book was out. Now, this book isn't all about the interaction of Meela and the mermaids, but also about a war that is being waged between humans and creatures of the sea. There is graphic violence involved, so consider yourself warned.
I'll admit right from the beginning that mermaids aren't my thing. They always remind me of Ariel, and I'm not the biggest fan of Disney movies. (I've never really watched them. For shame.) But the way that Tiana Warner writes them, I'm a fan y'all! Gone are the fairy tales. I really enjoyed the angle that the author portrayed mermaids. Meela was a strong main character. I feel like Tiana Warner was really able to capture her voice and make Meela seem so real and authentic. Even though she was fierce, Meela had her moments like the rest of us. What I didn't like was the drawn out back story. I'm always weary of information dumps, but I don't think that's what the author intended. I just think that less would have been more with such a drawn out glimpse into the past. Tiana Warner is such a talented writer. I think with time, she'll only get better and better. While mermaids aren't my thing, I was still easily swept up into the world of Meela. If you're looking for Ariel, I don't think Ice Massacre is for you. But if you love a good and gritty fantasy, then you'll enjoy this epic tome. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.