Mermaid May

So this month I started a new series and finished another. Those series both happened to be about mermaids, so I thought May would be an appropriate month to present to you some of the YA mermaid books I’ve read over my reading lifetime. And aren’t the covers of these books just stunning?

Ingo by Helen Dunmore

5 book series (quadrilogy and a sequel set in the same world with different characters): Ingo, The Tide Knot, The Deep, The Crossing of Ingo, and Stormswept.

Synopsis of the first book:

I wish I was away in Ingo, Far across the sea, Sailing over the deepest waters, Where love nor care can trouble me…

Sapphire’s father mysteriously vanishes into the waves off the Cornwall coast where her family has always lived. She misses him terribly, and she longs to hear his spellbinding tales about the Mer, who live in the underwater kingdom of Ingo. Perhaps that is why she imagines herself being pulled like a magnet toward the sea. But when her brother, Conor, starts disappearing for hours on end, Sapphy starts to believe she might not be the only one who hears the call of the ocean.

This is by far my favourite mermaid series I’ve read so far and definitely the one I most highly recommend! It’s diverse, has well-developed characters, an interesting setting, conflicts, and quests. I don’t often reread books, but I must admit to rereading these books more than once! I love the first four books (the second and fourth are my absolute favourite, so no second-book-syndrome for this series), but I felt like the fifth book was a little redundant; we don’t need it and it doesn’t really add anything to the rest of the series. But if you take anything away from this recommendation, let it be: AMAZING PLATONIC RELATIONSHIP!

The SirenThe Siren by Kiera Cass

Standalone novel


Kahlen is a Siren, bound to serve the Ocean by luring humans to watery graves with her voice, which is deadly to any human who hears it. Akinli is human—a kind, handsome boy who’s everything Kahlen ever dreamed of. Falling in love puts them both in danger . . . but Kahlen can’t bear to stay away. Will she risk everything to follow her heart?

This is a great choice if you’re just looking for a standalone. I love all of Kiera Cass’s books and this is no exception. There is definitely the romance aspect that she is so famous for, but this book also looks at familial relationships. Even though this is only a standalone, the characters are super developed and this epic story is perfectly wrapped up in less than 350 pages.

Daughters of the Sea by Kathryn Lasky

Companion trilogy: Hannah, May, and Lucy

Synopsis of the first book:

Hannah is not like other girls in the turn-of-the-century Boston orphanage where she grew up. Instead of seasickness, she gets land sickness. She leaves a ring of salt in the tub when she bathes, and sometimes she sees a faint tracing of scales on her feet. It’s freakish, horrifying . . . and deeply thrilling.

Hannah feels a change coming. But she is not the only one who senses it. A young painter recognizes something in Hannah–a connection with the sea that recalls a secret from his own past. A choice lies ahead, and Hannah must discover if she is a creature of the land–or of the sea.

This adorable trilogy is probably aimed more at younger YA readers as they have a more middle-grade feel about them. Each book is about a different sister discovering who they are and where they really come from. Though they are companion novels, I still think it’s best to read them in order as there might be little spoilers.

Waterfire Saga by Jennifer Donnelly

4 book saga: Deep Blue, Rogue Wave, Dark Tide, and Sea Spell

Synopsis of the first book:

Serafina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation – and burden – that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother’s hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin’s arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina’s darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.

Let me just say, I LOVE these covers! (I also love the fact that they actually look like the characters in the book). I already owned the first two books, but when the lovely people at Hachette Australia provided me with a finished review copy of the third book in the series, I decided to pick them up for Mermaid May. These books are so action-packed and have a girl-power attitude to them. I was so hooked on these books that I actually read them in less than a week! I can’t wait for the fourth and final, Sea Spell, book which is set to be released in June of this year. If you want to know more of my thoughts, I have a full SPOILER FREE review of book three, Waterfire Saga: Dark Tide on my reviews page!

The Clockwork Siren by Katie Hayoz

Novella Trilogy: Immersed, Submerged, and Surfaced

Synopsis for the first novella:

What if love turned you into a monster?

Forget petticoats and demure female behavior. Melusine Doré prefers armored corsets and knives and slays evil creatures for a living. The grim and gruesome don’t frighten her; she’ll take on a cyclops or a dragon and not even break a sweat. But when her rival, the charismatic Levi Cannon, comes to town, all her buried fears begin to surface. Melusine realizes she is in danger of something much more horrifying than facing blood-thirsty beasts – she’s in danger of falling in love. Because love alone has the power to reveal a secret terrible enough to completely shatter her world.

I received an ebook copy of the first book to review and you can check out that SPOILER FREE review on my reviews page! Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to pick up the second and third novellas yet (which is a terrible on my part because I loved the first book and they’re so short!). What is so unique about these mermaid books is that they are also Steampunk! This is such an awesome combination and I wish there were more books like this.


The Syrena Legacy by Anna Banks

Trilogy: Of Poseidon, Of Triton, and Of Neptune

Synopsis of the first book:

Galen is the prince of the Syrena, sent to land to find a girl he’s heard can communicate with fish. Emma is on vacation at the beach. When she runs into Galen—literally, ouch!—both teens sense a connection. But it will take several encounters, including a deadly one with a shark, for Galen to be convinced of Emma’s gifts. Now, if he can only convince Emma that she holds the key to his kingdom…

Another fun, light trilogy to read! These books are highly entertaining and perfectly balance teenage angst with saving the (Syrena) world. Unlike most people, I like the relationships in these books, probably because I have the ability to contextualise, have an open mind about other cultures (even if they are fictional) and can realise that these types of relationships are not the ‘norm’ or should be aspired to simply because they are written in a book—RANT OVER. Anyway, these books are super entertaining so long as you don’t take them too seriously.


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