Liquid Silver Books, $4.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-687-6
Fantasy Romance, 2010
Dee Carney’s Deeper than the Ocean is a reverse version of The Little Mermaid story in a way – our poor hero Danyl can’t control the transformation of his merman tail into legs at the most inopportune moments. He certainly doesn’t want to be a part of our world, as you can probably guess. His lack of control causes him to be the butt of jokes among comely mermaids, and his lack of good looks doesn’t help improve matters. So when this short story opens, poor Danyl is pouting because he still can’t find a mate.
Oh, and it seems like his people have found ample evidence to pin his father for killing Danyl’s mother. That’s a bit abrupt, I know, but the author drops that abruptly on me too.
Meanwhile, our heroine Di is single-handedly manning her ship Sea Anemone as she looks for some kind of coin. It took her three years, but now that she is this close to discovering it, she naturally commits some blunders any halfway-decent diver will know not to do, forcing guess-who to come to her rescue. Well, she may be a twit who should have died to uphold the integrity of the natural selection principle, but I guess at least she finally gets to end her dry spell and shag a fish man. That’s something to celebrate, surely!
Oh, I soon learn that Danyl’s father is some villain married to a Phoenix, the Nix as she is called has some prophecies involving this nasty father coming to a bad end, and Danyl is the product of an affair between Ancelin the Bad Man and his mermaid mother. And then… and then…
That’s the problem with this story. The author springs twists and turns on me abruptly and even out of the blue at times, so much so that I begin to wonder whether I am missing something here. But this story is supposed to be the first entry in a series called The Phoenix Prophecy, so I do have the right to expect some coherency and smooth transition into the events taking place in this story.
Perhaps this is a case of a story being too short to accommodate its ambitious plot, but whatever this is, I finish it scratching my head. Let’s hope the second entry is more coherent, or, at the very least, long enough to include sufficient information on the setting.