Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)
Humanity is often scared of things they do not understand. Sirens are no exception. After Captain Kian captures one for her own collection, her blood lust reigns and she yearns to continue exploiting her newfound talent. That is, until Captain Dejean Gayle claims her ship for his own…and discovers her prize: a pearl-white siren. Through an unlikely friendship and companionship, Dejean and Perle build a deep trust and together agree to take down Kian.
Our Bloody Pearl is a beautiful written tale that takes the reader on a journey of friendship, romance, trust, and understanding. It’s fast pace will keep the reader on their toes the whole time, saying to themselves “just one more chapter” before they are finished.
Probably what makes Our Bloody Pearl so endearing is the characters. Perle is an endearing blood thirsty siren, who grows throughout the narrative, while still retaining a sense of individuality. They call beds “sponges”, elevators “clam shells”, and Dejean, well, “idiot.” Bryn highlights unique aspects with Perle. They communicate with Dejean through sign language and face a unique disability that hinders their ability to swim. They’re set a part from the human characters by their quirks and mannerisms. But, that doesn’t mean the humans aren’t uninteresting. Where Dejean is kind and sympathetic, you have Murielle who is clumsy and outspoken. The cast is diverse and well thought out, which makes the entire story endearing.
That being said, while the cast shines, I personally had a few problems with the plot. The story as a whole is wonderful, but to an extent I needed more. What I mean but that is iffy but I have a few examples. For instance, I would have liked to see more of Kian and her interactions with Perle to obtain a better understanding of that relationship. I also would have liked to see Perle explore coping without the use of their tail and adapting to the mechanism Murielle built for them. These little things would have helped add more depth to the overall plot, at least in my opinion.
I think though the biggest issue I had was Dejean and Perle’s relationship. While I adore them together, the way the relationship formalized seemed a little off to me. I am not a big fan of the trope where someone’s “savior” become their partner, no matter the situation.
That being said though, these small issues did not detract too much from the overall story and Our Bloody Pearl was still an enjoyable read! And I definitely cannot wait to see what Bryn puts out into the world next!
So if you want a story with strong characters with pirates and steampunk elements, definitely check out Our Bloody Pearl! But…make sure you bring some fish for Perle so they don’t try to take a bite out of you.
What’s it about?
The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.
That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.
Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?
Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.