Of Ocean and Ash
by A.R. Draeger
Series: Falling In Deep, #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Cover Designer: Quirky-Bird
Release Date: June 9, 2015
Cast into the sea at birth, human-born Ia found her adoptive family among the merfolk. While her underwater upbringing was peaceful, Ia’s blood-heritage and the strict societal rules of the merpeople lead her to wonder of the world above the waves.
When a storm lands Ia ashore, she discovers her body has transformed into the human she would have been. Taken in as property by a callous plantation owner, Ia works alongside the slaves until she can make her way back to the water. There is nothing Ia wants more than to go home, that is, until she meets a handsome, troubled man named Matthias, who has a touch that can be as kind as his tongue is harsh.
Torn between two very different lives, Ia must choose – stay in his world and risk her life for a love untested, or return to the familiar arms of the underwater world that raised her and risk losing what may be the greatest love she will ever know.
Will Ia’s choice lead to happiness or her destruction?
Goodreads rating: 5 stars
I was given a copy of this book for my honest review, I was not paid for my review or my thoughts. These are my own.
I have to admit, I have been excited and nervous to review a book of someone I know, someone I communicate with. Granted, we are not best friends, we do not hang out on weekends or go have coffee and talk about recent trips and adventures, we do talk. Her and my mom talk. However, even though I know her, my rating still stands at 5 stars because I am here to rate her book and not her as a person (and she is pretty damn cool in my opinion 😉 ).
First, the writing is amazing and very fluid, the story has moved a long very quickly. Every aspect of this story flows together in one smooth motion, like spreading rich, creamy peanut butter on a piece of freshly baked bread. You become enamoured with Ia from the very beginning. You want her to succeed at becoming a Caller, but at the same time, you don’t want her to succeed because you want her to have the freedom to escape the likes of Ro. It is a historical romance piece, set during 1736 in the Caribbean. I believe the amount of research needed had to be immense to get the amount of detail for the different types of servitude (slavery, indentured etc). Reminds me of the picture Amber actually posted on her page, but I have seen other writers on my news feed posting lately:
I like history, I like how it is explained in the context of the story, how it is explained to Ia, who does not understand or know the differences, because it shows that a lot of research was done to get it correct. I do not read a lot of historical romance often, and I like the paranormal and historical romance combination to create this piece.
My least favorite character is Ro. I would not want to be forced into Ia’s position where I would either have be Ro’s bride or have Ro force himself upon me and there be nothing anyone could do about it due to being a Lesser. The scene that Ia had witnessed at the beginning where Ro raped another Lesser was sad, and when Ro discovered that she did in fact see, he didn’t care and informed Ia that one way or another, she would be his.
One qualm I do have with the story, some terms I had to just kind of figure out. The mer-society Ia is a part of is interesting, and though some terms I could figure out on my own, such as Lesser, it would be nice for a small dictionary somewhere (maybe there is and I just didn’t know) where other terms would be. I gathered that a Caller would be similar to a Siren, maybe, because of my work and how much of it I have been doing on little food and sleep the past few days, I didn’t connect the dots right off on my own, but some of the roles in the mer-society, would be nice to be listed out.
I have been trying to decide my feelings on Mathias. He warns Ia of the dangers of Lord Malcom and other Overseers, but something inside me kept telling me to be mindful of him. Him being in a position of power is just as capable of hurting Ia. I feel too often, his moods are bipolar. I do like that he does care, and I can appreciate the risks he puts himself in by some of his actions. In the same respect, Ia does not fully comprehend the exact risk because she is not of land. He did grow on me, but even by the end, I still have mixed feelings with him. Men. Should have listened!
I wanted to cut Lord Malcolm. He was well written. If you want to hate a bad guy, he is written to be hated! As a reader, you wanted to kick him, cut him, punch him and come to Ia’s rescue every chance you get! (I won’t go into more because I do not want to give spoilers, but brace yourself, poor girl).
I have to admit, as I was reading, I often kept thinking of the Little Mermaid. Maybe, this is because it was my first mermaid story I read, but Ia reminded me of Ariel so often!! The first time she saw her legs after she was washed up on the shore after the storm, when she first saw a spoon to use for her soup before chores, and pretty much any other time she had any experience with a human object. I found myself hoping the entire story she would return to the ocean, even if there were aspects she did not like in being a mermaid. I know that is selfish of me. Ia was born crippled, and tossed into the ocean at birth by her father who would rather her die than try to raise her in this world as a cripple. When she was washed up on the shore, she lost her fins and gained her legs back, but they were crippled like she was at birth. Ia had to learn how to be human when she has never been human other than the few minutes when she came into existence.
In true form to my book reviews, I didn’t want to give away any spoilers, read the book. It is sooooo goood!!!! And it gets even better, like OMG amazing once it hits the climax!!! DO IT!
A.R. (Amber) Draeger resides in rural Texas with her husband, Josh, and son, Logan. When not writing or reading, she is watching reality TV shows or tromping through the nearby woods.