Returning by A.L. Knorr

Returning: A Water Novella (Elemental Origins, #0.5)Returning: A Water Novella by A.L. Knorr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mira Belshaw is a mermaid, a siren. She’s been at sea for a while now, though she doesn’t know how long. But now, her siren blood is singing for her to have a baby, to do this, she has to go back on land, become human, find a fitting mate and hopefully have a child with even stronger abilities than herself. That’s only an option though if she doesn’t use her Siren voice to win him over and make him hers. But when the man she finds who makes her blood sing is currently seeing someone, her ability to keep a hold on her siren ways becomes harder and harder. And after finding a rare coin at the bottom of the ocean, she has other things to worry about when the person who bought it is after more. Why is being a human so complicated?

I actually enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would to be honest. I was drawn in by the prospect of reading a story revolving around a mermaid, I was keen to find out which lore and myths Knorr would incorporate into her story and I thoroughly enjoyed what I got. One thing that I absolutely LOVED about the world that Knorr has created is the rules surrounding mermaids. If there is too much salt in the water, they become almost primal, animalistic to the point of losing logic, where freshwater makes their minds clearer and more ‘human’. I absolutely loved this, I love that there is potential danger and downsides to the alluring life of a mermaid. It makes the story that much more believable.

I also loved how at different points in the story, depending on which form or “brain” Mira was thinking with more, her narration voice was different. As a mermaid I had the feeling of very floaty, calm, serenity, where when she first became human I could feel how confused, foggy and unsure she was as she tried to navigate the human world the best she could in her current state. Then as a clear headed human, she came across calculating, shy and more sure of herself and what she was doing. For such a short story, I truly applaud Knorr at being able to inject such different tones into one character’s being, an absolute master stroke.

The story was very fast paced and I felt myself needing to know what happened next. I enjoyed all the characters that we met, and I especially enjoyed the kindness displayed by the motel manager. I don’t know why, but he’s just stuck in my mind for some reason. I would definitely put this as an urban fantasy story and I think the world development and introduction was done splendidly.

This was a fantastic introduction to Mira and her world, and I cannot WAIT to continue on with it!!

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