Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Short Story
Themes: Merfolk, Restricted Freedom
Queer Level: Gay Main Characters
I’m going to start by saying that it’s not often a story has me cringing or wringing my toes.
The authors were very brave to write and publish something like this. They know how to make a reader uncomfortable without turning them off of the world completely. It was like watching a train wreck, all the awful things happening in the background, within the setting itself; not at all because of the writing style. The style was fabulous. Including such a sexual interest between two imaginary creatures, too… was quite well done. Mermaids/mermen are represented in fantasy; but approaching the sexual aspects of them is always a little… fishy (please excuse the pun). Yet I feel like the authors came up with an appropriate explanation. Then there was Rhys, too, and his wandering hands; which was probably the most difficulty I had with the story because design-wise, you don’t see many characters built quite like him. Even so, I wouldn’t call it a problem. It added a literally overwhelming “creepy” to the manhandling, because, really, how do you escape from someone with that many hands?
There were little linguistic choices that added to the feeling of the story, too. Llawan’s inability to fully speak the language, while understanding the basics of it, brought some realism to this fantastical tale.
The only reason I’m leaving this story with a 4/5 rating is because of the abrupt ending. I’d love to see where poor little Llawan winds up. The world appears to be highly developed in its unique kind of quirkiness, definitely.