PJV Quickie: I’ve always loved mermaids. When I was little, I used to sit in my bathtub or swim around my pool and pretend that I was one. They’ve always held a place in my heart. I read Fish Out Of Water by Ros Baxter last year, and was glad to finally find a mermaid novel that I enjoyed. The sequel, Beached, was a great follow up with plenty of action, suspense, and a princess finding out what she’s really made of.
Beached introduces us to a new heroine. True, we met Lecanora in Fish Out Of Water, but it was interesting to get to know her better. She is much different from Rania, her half-sister and main character in the prior novel. Unlike Rania, Lecanora lived in Aegira her whole life, only learning about life on land from afar. She is also heir to the throne; while the two women share a biological mother, Lunia, Lecanora was actually raised by the ruler of Aegira, Queen Imd. She was much more reserved and soft-spoken than her sister, believing that there was always an alternative to violence. She seemed so weak at first, and I wasn’t sure how she was going to assist in bringing down the evil sorcerer, Manos. Being faced with many difficult situations helped her grow and figure out who she was. She wasn’t just a princess, and she wasn’t a gun-toting badass like her sister. She learned what skills she possessed and that she was more powerful than she realized. Usually I like a lot of butt-kicking, but I respected how Lecanora didn’t lose who she was in the process, even though she went through some truly awful things.
I liked the blossoming romance between Lecanora and Doug. It struck me as a little weird that she was lusting after someone her sister had dated, but it all gets sorted out later in the book. It was sweet, because Lecanora had no experience with love or relationships, so she wasn’t sure what to do with her feelings at first. Not only was she exploring the land for the first time, she was also dealing with emotions that were very foreign to her. Doug never pushed her; in fact, he seemed to be so smitten with her that he wasn’t sure what to do either.
I absolutely refuse to ruin or spoil anything major about this book, but I do have to say this: there is a death that hit me really hard. I should have probably seen it coming, yet it hit me out of left field. I even teared up, especially when the other characters were reminiscing about the dearly departed person. I was pretty bummed out about that, and even held out hope for a few moments after it happened that they could be brought back to life somehow. Sadly, it was not to be.
There was really only one thing that I disliked about this book, and it was a person: Rania. Not so much her as a person; she was still a tough, strong-willed woman and I liked that about her. It was the way she spoke to Lecanora that drove me crazy. Any time she addressed her sister it was either, “Babe…” or “Princess…”. By about halfway I was ready to strangle her. The only other person (fictional) I know that says “Babe” that much is Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series. It’s annoying in that series and it was annoying here. Every once in a while would have been fine, but it was virtually every time Rania opened her mouth. All in all, though, this is a pretty minor irritation.
Author Ros Baxter did a great job with Beached. It was just as entertaining as Fish Out Of Water, and I liked being able to see the world from Lecanora’s perspective. It was nice being reunited with all of the characters I enjoyed from book 1 and it also added a few new, interesting individuals to the mix.
Recommendations: If you’ve ever wished you were a mermaid, or even just love a great fantasy novel, you’ll love the world of Aegira.