Breakwater by Catherine Jones Payne

Catherine Jones Payne- 1;a Breakwater

A red tide is rising.

Jade, a seventeen-year-old mermaid in the underwater city of Thessalonike, finds her world upended when her fiance murders a naiad.

As tensions surge between the mer and the naiads, Jade must navigate murky waters, negotiating her responsibilities as the daughter of one of the king’s most trusted advisers and her budding friendship with a naiad.

But as she tries to fight the tide of anger in a city that lives for scandal, she discovers that danger lurks in every canal. If she fails to mend the divisions between their worlds, the up-welling of hate will threaten to rip apart everything she loves.


Genre: YA Fantasy
Title: Breakwater
Series: Broken Tides #1
Author: Catherine Jones Payne
Publisher: Fathom Ink Press

Source: NetGalley
Pages: 2636 KB
Date: 5.30.17
Rating: 4.8/5

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Dear Reader,

I wanted to die when I saw that this wasn’t even out yet for public entertainment. How am I supposed to wait for the second book to come out when the first one hasn’t even graced Amazon’s One-Click?

Bitching aside, I really enjoyed this. Not a perfect 10 because I do wonder where Jade’s head was at times. I’ll try not to spoil it because it’s an ARC, but long story short: I docked a few .0 points off because of the two or three instances that had me stopping the story to seriously consider if ‘so or so’ would actually do that. Otherwise, this is a seriously interesting read you need to get your hands on come May 30th.

Jade’s a teenage girl whose mother is high-rank. Her mother, Cleo, has sheltered her two kids all their lives, even more so when she lost her husband to a problem that she’s revolved her entire career around. There were times when I wanted to choke Jade and her (at times) unrealistic ideals about what’s right and/or should be done, but Payne wrote it in such a convincing way that it was all warranted. Normally I can’t stand girls that risk their morality or cop out, but Jade doesn’t do it. At times it looks and seems like it, but it never goes through, and it’s because of that kind of character growth, where you see her make mistakes and change them, that I think you’ll really appreciate where this is going.

And Jade isn’t even the only reason this story was amazing. Aside from the character development (though I suspect it’ll be a slow one, considering her age and how the pace is going at the moment), Payne has created a world where usually, it’s singing crabs and grumpy kings. This author has literally spun a beautiful underwater kingdom and turned it into a world we all only know too well. Segregation. Racism. Terror. Paranoia. The naiads are rightfully feared for their superior differences, and instead of treating them like the refugees they are, the kingdom and its people treat them like animals, like burdens they tolerated until it was more of a hassle than benefit to keep them within their walls. Seeing all of this ugliness taint such a beautiful world of mermaids, personally, was a fucking mind-blowing thing. You get the tensions here and there in some books, but Payne honestly took it to home base with her writing.

I won’t sugarcoat. The beginning sounds like a legit Young Adult novel and the young, un-apologetically stuck up attitude the girls give off, plus the pretty writing, makes the whole thing look like it’ll be one of those stories you picked up. But the moment Payne introduced the murder and dirty politics? Holy fucking shit is all I have to say. Yeah, you still get the angst of teens and what a sheltered young girl would do in dire situations, but I thought it was very convincing of how she reacted to everything, and the story itself was just absolutely intense. If you don’t like young MCs, at least read it for the crazy politics that go down in this. Maybe it’ll be obvious, maybe it won’t, but my God… why the hell aren’t you reading it, yet?

Happy Reading,

A Little Darling

PS- I so do love book discussions so if you have a comment about this book or what I thought of it, totally hit me up below. I’ve got more than a few things to say about Payne’s Broken Tides debut.
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