Review: Athlanmara by J. M. Burrows

Athlanmara by J. M. BurrowsAthlanmara: Seaborn Series 1
J. M. Burrows
Published on September 1, 2018

Amazon | Goodreads

About Athlanmara
The beautiful Florida Keys is the setting for love, adventure and a family secret that will affect every creature on earth.

When timid misfit Brooke is rescued from drowning by a handsome merman, Adrian, her eyes are opened to a world she didn’t know existed.

Adrian can’t stay away from the human girl he rescued, even though he faces certain death if their relationship is discovered. He is torn between his desire for love and his desire to save his people.

The two teens join forces to save both races as illegal pollution threatens to destroy Adrian’s people and the Athlanmara are planning to fight back against the human threat. Brooke and Adrian’s forbidden relationship will change both worlds, but not without a cost.

My Review
I’m kind of a sucker for stories about mermaids or mer-people, so I was pretty intrigued when I heard about this book. The way it’s written is a bit unusual as it shows a lot of direct thoughts of different characters, but they’re not in italics. I found it a little confusing at first. The story mostly follows the point of view of Adrian and Brooke, but other characters have scenes or moments from their perspectives, too.

The Athlanmara (mer-people… maybe just mermen?) had an interesting culture and the author included some language and history, which were cool and fit with the story pretty well. I wasn’t really clear on whether the genders live separately all the time or part of the time or how that worked. I enjoyed some of the goofy moments between Adrian and his best friend Maksim and some of the inevitable faux pas that happened when they tried to pass for human.

I really liked the way the plot explored pollution and its effect on marine life and thought it was a great message. I also thought the Athlanmara were a neat take on mermaids even if I didn’t fully understand all the elements of the culture.

Athlanmara on AmazonRecommended for Ages 12 up.

Cultural Elements
Brooke is white, and her best friend is Latina. Other characters are white.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Most often the characters say things like, “oh my gosh,” or “dang it,” or “shoot.” There’s one instance of a crude word for female anatomy.

Romance/Sexual Content
When the boys transform from Athlanmara (mer-people) to human, they appear naked. Brooke feels embarrassed by this and unsafe especially before she knows them well. Kissing between boy and girl. One scene shows a girl and boy lying in the sand together making out.

Spiritual Content
The Athlanmara have magical artifacts which have certain powers. Adrian is hoping to find one which has the ability to heal so he can save a family member.

Violent Content
A man threatens people with a gun. More than one scene shows giant crabs brutally killing people.

Drug Content

Athlanmara on Goodreads

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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