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"The Teeth in the Tide" by Rebecca F. Kenney (Book Review)

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Romance

Book Description: Pitched as Attack on Titan with mermaids, this savage gender-swapped retelling of “The Little Mermaid” is perfect for fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Alexandra Christo, and Holly Black.

Trapped on a walled island with her people, Kestra aches for vengeance against the swarms of ravenous mermaids that ate her father fifteen years ago. The swarms threaten her town’s last supply ship and the safety of the brave young captain who smiles so charmingly at her whenever he makes port. With the help of her scientist cousin and the handsome captain, Kestra takes her future and her people's fate into her hands, determined to find a way to destroy all the mermaids for good.

Abused and miserable, Rake serves in the harem of the three high mermaid Queens. When he is given one of his spawn to raise, Rake resolves that his little son will have a better life. With the help of a monstrous creature that deals in memories, he discovers a century-old secret—one that could lead to freedom.

This fantasy novel blends a dark, brutal setting with romance and humor. New Adult. (Content warnings: Violence, abuse, brief mention/implication of off-screen rape/sexual slavery, cannibalism, PTSD.) Review: I was lucky enough to win a signed hardcover from the author, and I'm so happy I did!

Firstly, this is incredibly well written. Descriptive without being overbearing; poetic without being pretentious. The characters were distinct and well-rounded, each with their own strengths and flaws. Also, despite having a sizable cast, not a single one felt like a placeholder. The dual POV was done well, and I like that we switched perspectives between the two every chapter.

Most impressively, it wasn't what I expected. "Teeth in the Tide" flirts between genres, and I LOVE that. This is not "The Little Mermaid" of my childhood. It's dark and twisted in a way that makes this book feel less of a retelling and more of an original dark fantasy in its own right.

Word of warning. When I say dark, I mean dark. Kenney does not hold back on the viciousness, and abuse the MC, Rake, goes through. While there is nothing incredibly explicit, the references to sexual abuse could be triggering to some readers. Overall, I would probably classify it more as New Adult/Adult because of some of these themes.

There is a hint of a love triangle brewing, which I'm not entirely sure how I feel about quite yet. I've never been one for love triangles, but after reading this first installment, I have faith that if someone could pull it off, it very well could be Kenney. Buy it on Amazon Here Browse other Recommendations in The Library

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