Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review for WAKING THE MERROW by Heather Rigney

Let me just get this right out there from the get-go.

This is without a doubt the coolest debut novel I've ever read.

Heather Rigney, who the hell are you? And where did you come from?

WAKING THE MERROW is a cross-genre, horrifying twist on the mermaid legend. Rigney has seamlessly woven a story that combines horror, comedy, colonial history, fantasy world-building, flawless writing, and the most unappealing yet strangely mesmerizing "heroine" I've ever read. Evie is a short, fat, self-loathing alcoholic who manages to get the reader, against her will, rooting for her in this fascinating tale.

This story jumps back in forth from current times to colonial times in Rhode Island, and mixes intriguing bits of maritime history with the familial history of the Irish Cantillon family. Not only is Rigney a fine writer, but she is also an excellent storyteller. The pacing and time-jumping are perfectly executed, and I raced along with the story to find out what would happen to Evie and her family.

Warning: This is not your mother's cutesy mermaid with the sparkling tiara and clam-shell bra. 

Not even close.

I love a good horror tale, and this certainly delivers. Rigney calls this novel "dark fantasy" and I agree. It's fantasy. And it's dark. And the juxtaposition of mundane real-life details with horrifying merrow behavior works spectacularly well.

There was a wee lull in the story during the tribunal near the end, but other than that, it was close to perfect. And the ending promises more in this series.

Forgive the pun: this baby blew me right out of the freezing cold Rhode Island waters, and I can't freakin' wait to dive back in with the next book.

If you are looking for something unique, creative, well-written and satisfying, I highly recommend WAKING THE MERROW. In a sea of cookie cutter releases, this book stands out as one-of-a-kind, which is quite a feat for a debut author.

Highly recommend! Grade: A


Check out Heather's cool website!


WAKING THE MERROW is a horrifying, addictive, and intriguing twist on the mermaid legend, and takes the reader on a bone-chilling ride through colonial and current times in Rhode Island. This is a fabulous debut novel by Heather Rigney.

Read it if you dare.