Award-Winning Finalist, 2020 International Book Award, Historical Fantasy
Award-Winning Finalist, 2020 Next Generation Indie Book Award, Fantasy
Most men sail for treasure. Merrin Smith was no man.
The year is 1716—the Golden Age of the Pirates.An orphan who sleeps in the dusty kitchens of a quayside brothel, Merrin Smith is desperate to unravel the secrets of her past and find the truth about the events that brought her to Isla Perla as a child. Disguised as a sailor, she joins the crew of the pirate ship Riptide, helmed by the notorious Captain Erik Winters. Tenacious and rumored to be a madman, Winters is known as much for his ruthlessness as for his connection to the enigmatic and beautiful proprietress of The Goodnight Mermaid, Evangeline Dahl, who vanished from the island two summers before.
This book is an epic, emotional adventure of two women—one desperate to save herself, and the other determined to be rescued—and the secret which binds them together.
In this meandering debut, Jane weaves a tale of myth and magic but fails to deliver on the promise of epic adventure. In 1716, Merrin Smith is about to embark on a journey from her Caribbean home. An orphan, Merrin seeks to join the pirate crew of the Riptide, a ship captained by Erik Winters. Their quarry is Evangeline Dahl, Winters's lover, who has been taken by the goddess of the sea, a vindictive woman with access to the creatures and monsters of the ocean. Dressed as a young man, Merrin joins the crew and embarks on what should be a great adventure to save Evangeline at the mystical heart of the sea, where the goddess resides, and discover her own history. Unfortunately, much of the novel is spent waiting for something to happen, telling the reader about great myths, and about the crew on board the ship, rather than showing Merrin building relationships and battling to make the great discovery of her true origins. When Merrin does finally learn about the secrets kept from her, she does so without a fight, and, indeed, she has no agency aside from choosing to join the crew. Even the ultimate battle happens off the page. This tempting novel will entrance but ultimately fail to satisfy.