A Merman’s Kiss
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Annabell Cadiz
The old legend says that a merman’s kiss will make a girl pretty and bring her luck. One poor working girl is desperate enough to try it. She is warned that she must do everything exactly as she is told… but never warned about the effect it might have on the merman.
As far as novella’s go, I often do not always enjoy reading them because not many are able to create a short story with depth and dimension. The Merman’s Kiss is a fantastic concept but the delivery needs work.
Leatra and Ellie are two sisters who work as maids within Lady Mirabelle’s. They are both still single and dreaming of the day they will finally be asked to dance by a handsome man. Ellie is trusted by Lady Mirabelle and one evening the Lady tells her of a legend, it is said that if a girl were to be kissed by a merman she will attain beauty. But Lady Mirabelle warns Ellie to do exactly as she has instructed, ask for the merman’s kiss then pay him. Leatra is determined to change her social status by finding a merman to kiss. Ellie is far too timid but goes with Leatra to keep an eye on her. Leatra finds a merman named Delmarius who agrees to give her a kiss but Leatra soon finds out there are far more consequences behind the kiss she has long wanted.
The concept for the story is a beautiful and refreshing idea. There was romance and suspense surrounding the idea of a merman’s kiss granting such beauty and through that, status. But the characters were far too flat to live up to the concept. Lady Mirabelle and Delmarius are the only well-enough developed characters but even with them, the reader does not gain as much access or connection as a reader would hope to. I did love the revelation closer to the end by Lady Mirabelle. Delmarius is so mysterious, yet at the same time, he is kind and patient. Leatra is extremely selfish, self-centered and whiny. I am sure the author chose to do that on purpose meaning to balance Ellie’s character who is overtly timid. The problem is Ellie’s character is barely developed to act as a good balance.
The ending of the story, although very sweet, was far too abrupt. There are several big revelations that come to life in such a short span of time (some of which are not explained) then, just as suddenly, the story ends with a somewhat bittersweet ending for two of the main characters while the other two main characters disappear. There was no time to really connect with the characters or be swept away by the story. The novella felt more like a story you are told very quickly by a friend on the phone than a story you can get down and fully lost in.
The author would benefit turning the The Merman’s Kiss into a full-length novel and editing the writing. Mind you, I did enjoy the read. As little as is revealed of Ellie, I felt a twinge of connection with her. I also enjoyed Lady Mirabelle’s character and Delamrius but I would want more of their backstory.
I would recommend The Merman’s Kiss; it’s a simple and sweet read to anyone looking for a quick escape for about an hour. I have become a fan of Laura Lond. I am curious as to how the author will grow as a writer and what her future works entail.