Thursday, May 16, 2013

**REVIEW** Promises by Amber Garr

Mermaids & Selkies... Yes Please!!  Last time I read a novel that
actively involved both (Tangled Tides) I fell in LOVE.  

Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love.

When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé would make a wonderful husband except that she’s been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined.

A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan’s life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those who she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life that she had so adamantly tried to escape.

Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.

Release Date:  December 7, 2011
Review Copy: Paperback, 251 pages

  Such a beautiful, yet tragic read.  With so many novels duty over powers love to start and after numerous struggles love starts to win the war.  With Promises I found the opposite.  Though the guilt over the duty was there, but it was always love that was winning.  Duty was always there though and never remained below the surface for long.  The part that broke my heart was that despite Eviana knew what her heart want, who her heart wanted but was it really the right choice?  Though sometimes the love is worth the risk, you have to ask yourself: is the pain worth it?

  The entire story just flowed.  This was 251 pages of constant movement, that I was pulled into.  There were ups and downs but not once did I feel like there was something missing.  My heart raced, sank and sang as I went on the turbulent journey with everyone.    The way that the Mermaid and Selkie cultures were created and represented was unique and brought a certain element of individuality to everything, making it more engaging than I had expected.  There may also be a little bit of misplaced emotion on my side for reasons I shall keep to myself for the moment.  

  Eviana was wonderfully developed throughout the novel.  I was personally pleased with the fact that yes she did feel attraction to more than one guy but her heart remained steady and true to one.  Though I wasn't completely in with all of her decisions, she made them for her and not for anyone else and she had a fight in her like no other!  When she made her choice my heart did sink a little but it wasn't like she did it on a whim, she had known what she wanted since she was younger but it just wasn't what everyone (her Mermaid clan) had expected of her.  Near the end there was a change that didn't settle well with this character but after all she had gone through it was understandable but it caused her to change much more than anything else.

  Starting this from what I had previously read and heard there was to be a love triangle.  These are the one thing that everyone now seems to have a love/hate relationship with and I am okay with them as long as they are done well (not an easy thing to do).  Promises however didn't seem to have a true triangle.  Eviana was in love with one boy and though there was temptation from the other she kept her eye on the prize.  There was a sense of loss when the choice was made but I think it was more the grand total of loss than the one boy in general.  Don't get me wrong they at times seemed both in play because one seemed to always make it so simple but nothing is ever simple.

You know when you pick a novel up and finish it only to try to keep on going because you had no idea that you were done?  That was how I felt with Promises, 251 pages just flew right past me and I couldn't believe it was done.  Some things were predictable but there were others that weren't, which made for a more  compelling read.  Amber's writing style is also a huge bonus and I loved the consistency of it!  What a great start to a series and all I can say was that I became completely caught up in this one.

I'd always tried to keep my mind away from him when it involved my hormones.  But sitting here, staring p at him in such a private moment, I suddenly had butterflies in my stomach.  And they were the kind that I've only had for Brendan before.

I turned my body so that I could look at him.  He was so confident and he'd come up with a plan like he promised.  I truly loved him and I knew that as long as he was around, my life would be good.

I squeezed my eyes shut and wished for happiness. I know that was a pretty vague wish, like asking for world peace, but I just wanted everyone in my life to be happy and content. Especially those I left behind.

He was the first person to ever call me strong.  Strong-willed, strong-minded, sure.  But not strong in a powerful and useful way.  For an instant, I let my mind absorb that compliment to its fullest. If only my mother and father knew that.

The trees flew by and soon gave way to manicured lawns and residential houses.  I still didn't know exactly where we were, but I really didn't care right now.  I couldn't feel anything.  Didn't want to.


  1. Thank you for taking the time to read and review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :)

  2. I hadn't heard of this before, but I like the description and the cover, and your review pretty much seals the deal for me - thank you!

  3. Great review! I haven't heard of this book, but I love it all ready. I will have to put it on my TBR list. I love the cover too. <3

  4. AH! I've heard of this book and this author! The cover is so pretty - I think I bought it from Amazon a while ago because of the cover. I'm glad the novel just flew by! Sounds like a good read :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  5. This one doesn't seem like just a fun, and flippy ride. It sounds like an emotional story, with hardships, and loss and fear and betrayal. I like that it seems different from the norm. An arranged marriage? Heck no! I love my mom and dad, and they know me really well but I don't know if I could let them choose my husband. I have a great one anyway, and I picked him all by my lonesome. And they adore him. Anyway, this sounds like a good story. Another mermaid taIl I may just be willing to give a try!

  6. This sounds awesome. I love mermaid books and this sounds like it would be a top contender! Thanks for the awesome review!

    ~Andrea @ Beauty but a Funny Girl

  7. From how quickly the 251 pages flew by from you, I'm glad to hear that this is part of an entire series! I hope the time between books flies faster than the time spent reading them!


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