I just finished reading Coral & Bone by Tiffany Daune, which was sent to me for review by Jester Ink Press. This is a book about mermaids, sirens, realms and a bunch of other things that I initially believed wouldn’t work well together. I went into this book not knowing anything about it and without any expectations, other than marvelling over the gorgeousness of the cover, and I am really glad that I did. Coral & Bone was definitely a book that I would not have picked up had I known more about it, considering the whole mermaid/siren genre really isn’t my thing. However, I ended up enjoying this book much more than I thought I would. It was definitely a page-turner and I was hooked from the beginning. This is still spoiler-free, but I’m just giving those of you who haven’t read it a little insight into the context of the book.
It opens up with a girl named Halen, sketching a boy she has been repeatedly drawing, a boy she hasn’t even met. If that isn’t mysterious enough, she’s also hearing voices in her head and trying not to let her fire powers burn down her classroom. That was what immediately captivated me. The story goes on, and it was quite a fast-paced read, though it was very slow towards the middle. I was really enjoying it for the first approx. 150 pages, but after that, I just started to really not like it. It wasn’t up until around chapter 38, which is quite a while later and towards the end (with all the action), that I really got back into it. I think this book should have been a bit more consistent, and I probably would have liked it a lot more if it was.
Occasionally, this book tended to take a few strange turns, and by strange, I mean strange. That is generally why I don’t like mermaid and siren books, because this is typically what happens. But overall, for that type of book, I feel like it was done very well. But there are definitely two things in my opinion that I would change:
First of all, I just felt like the characters and the world were completely lacking in description. Though I did enjoy hearing about the realms and the people, I would have enjoyed it a hell of a lot more if I could clearly picture it. I could barely picture the characters (with the exception of Tage) and I found that SUPER irritating. You can’t read a book properly if you can’t picture the world.
Secondly, the romance in this book was TERRIBLE. I’m sorry, but I just had to come out and say it. It’s pretty insta-lovey between the main character and her love interest, as well as Tage and her own love interest. The entire book was epicly unpredictable, but the romance? Completely predictable and I hated it. Sorry. I just found the romance quite predictable, cheesy and just overall unrealistic.
But besides that, I really quite enjoyed this book for the most part. Sure, the romance and the world-building could use a little bit of work, but like I said before, I really enjoyed the unpredictable-ness of this story. Just when I thought I knew exactly what was going to happen, this book would throw a plot-twist at me and that just greatly increased my rating for this story. Overall, it is a book that I recommend you try, but I cannot guarantee that you will enjoy it.