Merman by K.Z. Snow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Mongrels and purebreds. Is this my family talking about mixed race children again? A lover of water, I have to read anything with mermaids and mermen. Even though MERMAN is the second in the Mongrel series, it's fine to read as a standalone.
Clancy is a vampire who is a saviour to some and a bane to others. The vampires in this world are interesting. They can only feed off of a purebred human or animal. Humans who have some animal blood in them are not edible to the vampires.
This world is a bit cluttered in concepts. There are vampires and it is in a slightly steampunk-esque world. In addition, there are humans who are not fully human, called Mongrels. It's not exactly clear how the Mongrels came to be and why they were even branded. How does one tell a person is a Mongrel other than the branding?
Still, the focus of the story is Clancy and his love interest. A human whom he once fed upon is now a merman. How did a human mutate like this? The mystery of this brings a past lover back into Clancy's life - Simon. Simon is working on a secret machine to help find some creature in the depths of the water. This pulls Clancy in opposing directions. Does he help Simon or the sexy merman showing him the beautiful underwater world? What is the truth and what is an illusion?
Clancy is a vampire with a conscience. He's the male whom many of the male characters in this story desire. While the story involves love, Clancy still comes across a bit cold blooded. It's not that he doesn't reciprocate the love; it's more that there isn't a strong connection between him and his lover. They come across more as actors in a play, going through the motions rather than showing deep love. There is no doubt in their friendship; it just doesn't play out to be more than friends with benefits. My recommendation is to do without the romance element and focus on the world building with more steampunk and paranormal activity.
Ms. Snow is a new to me author. Her concepts are interesting. It would be nice to learn more about this world she created. If she could build it up a bit more and add more steampunk, it would give the story more vibrancy which will pull in more readers. Steampunk is a hot genre which is slowly gaining more readers. This m/m romance is recommended to vampire and mermaid lovers.
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