I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Scales by Pauline Creeden
on May 26, 2015
Source: the author
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Verona is a bottom feeder. She is the one mer in her clan who is considered the ugliest and least intelligent. Growing up with the constant bullying and abuse wasn’t the worst of what her kind had in store for her. At seventeen years old, she must now endure “The Reckoning.”
The scales will measure her worth to her clan. Will she endure thirty days as a land-walker to gather information and knowledge to appease her clan and return a valued member? Will she wait three years, until she is twenty, and find a mer of her kind to accept her and marry her? Or will she suffer exile for the rest of her life?
I can’t say that I’ve ever been the biggest mermaid fan (although I do admit to knowing all the lyrics to Under the Sea) but I think I may be converted! This is the first book from the Falling in Deep Collection that I’ve read, and it certainly won’t be the last! Several of my favorite authors have paired up in this one, making it my most anticipated anthology in forever!
In the end, my greatest regret was that this story wasn’t anywhere near long enough. Novellas rarely are, but in this case, the story will be continued in a full length novel, Salt. Scales really is just the tip of this story, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest of it!
The story starts off with Verona being exiled from their community for being a bottomfeeder, the lowest member of their group. Her options are limited, but she will be killed if she stays. Her dilemma reminded me of something Albert Einstein said: “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Verona isn’t struggling because she isn’t smart. She’s struggling because she was told she isn’t smart. This is something that I think every reader will be able to relate to, and I think following her journey will feel very empowering.
TO KEEP FROM SCREAMING, I bite hard on my lip. The copper mixture of blood and saltwater mingles on my tongue. Mer claws rake against my back. The barnacles on the post to which I’m tied stab me in the chest. Pain sets my body on fire. Everything burns. I squeeze my eyes shut tight and keep my silence.
Each word cuts as deep in my flesh as the physical wounds my clan inflicts. It can’t last long. I can endure this. As soon as the sharks catch scent of my blood they will come, and the Mer will scatter.
The world spins around me like a whirlpool. My breaths come quick and shallow, my heart pounds faster in my ears. Each second is an eternity, until I realize fresh wounds are not adding to the burning in my skin.
The elder’s sharp tongue whispers in my ear. “Now you will be measured.”
My wrists fall free of the post as he cuts the ties.
Exile. My Reckoning has begun.