Merkai – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5 / 5 stars)

Wren is fleeing from her destiny. She doesn’t want to be like her mother, cursed to murder innocent men with her song. But, when she is pulled aboard the ship of temperamental King Kellan, her plans are sent awry. Now she is forced to help Kellan get his family back, while her destiny is chasing her across the sea.

In a fast paced, gripping novel, we join Wren on her fight to take back her destiny. A powerful, sarcastic syren, the reader will be captivated by her tale. Naomi Kelly pulls from different areas of Greco-Roman mythology to create this world that guides Wren’s life: the Gods are watching, different creatures bow to their whim, and humans respect these gods with the same intent. It makes her capture, Kellan, all the more interesting as a descendent of the Gods himself. The amount of research and care that went into creating such a wonderful setting is astounding. The author deserves kudos for being able to paint this picture of the world in less than 250 pages.

I was enchanted by Wren’s story, or perhaps her “song”, until the very end. I wanted her to win; and as I hoped, she fights until the very end, not letting any one “man” save the day. This is her fight to win. This is something I always love seeing in stories: a woman fighting no matter the cost. Naomi Kelly’s ability to write fast paced and exciting battle scenes also help us to cheer for Wren. They’re realistic, leaving your heart pounding and hoping for more.

While the pace of the book helped with these fight scenes, it also impacted it negatively. The story probably deserved another 50 to 100 pages to help us really understand the world as a whole. For me personally though, the pace negatively impacted the romance that blossoms. The enemies-to-lover trope is not my favorite, and while it can work in many situations, it needs time to fester. Because of the speed of the book, we didn’t get to see Wren and Kellan’s relationship naturally evolve from captor to friends to lovers. This is of course a personal opinion, and some people will like the pace in which this unfolds, so I wouldn’t say it should prevent anyone from picking up the story.

Naomi Kelly is a captivating writer though and I cannot wait to see what else she puts out. She’s definitely on my “to-watch” list, and highly encourage everyone to check out Meraki.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What’s it about?

Her song is a gift bestowed by the gods; so why does it feel like a curse? Seventeen-year-old Wren thinks she has just swum away from the greatest threat in the sea. That’s until she finds herself being hauled upon a warlord’s boat. With her life at the mercy of a young, temperamental King, Wren must decide who is her ultimate enemy.Can Fate be altered? What do gods have planned?

Syrens are bound to tell the truth, but that doesn’t mean their lives cannot be riddled with lies.

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