I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

40612896. SY475  - Review: Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. ByrnOur Bloody Pearl by D.N. Byrn
Published by Avos Publishing on July 26th 2018
Pages: 229
Format: Paperback
Source: Author
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four stars - Review: Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Byrn

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.

That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.

Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?

Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.

I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.  All thoughts are my own. 

The world building in Our Bloody Pearl was transcendent and vibrant, the characterisation was strong and overall this was an entertaining read. 

The sea calls to me; in the tow of the tide and the salt in the breeze.  But it calls to me loudest the moment the storm hits

Perle hates humans.  Why wouldn’t she?  Dear god, she’s a mermaid (known as a siren) and her beauty and rawness has been captured by a complete dickwad of a pirate, Kiran.  She is ruthless, a savage and will stop at nothing to capture more sirens and sell them off for a tidy profit.  She has the means; she has developed a blocker that stops the sirens song from sending him into a watery grave.  Nothing could possibly stop her now.  She has captured the devastatingly beautiful Perle and she is now her prize and she will do anything she wishes with her.  Perle’s life as a captured siren is cruel, but she never loses hope that she will get her chance to gut Kiran and end her captivation.  Sirens can’t last long out of the water, just like humans can’t last long in the water.  Opposites attract.  The description of Perle struggling to project her song, searching for a saviour, looking for any way to end this torment is heartbreakingly enigmatic. 

Perle’s saviour doesn’t come in the form of another siren but from a rather unlikely hero, Dejean.  He is the perfect hero.  Constantly trying to do the right thing.  Always thinking about others and putting himself at risk to do the right thing.  He’s the hero we didn’t know we needed.  Shit does down and he takes the ship and so it would appear so is Perle.  The interactions between these two would warm even the blackest heart.  Perle doesn’t trust him.  She doesn’t trust any human.  (To be fair I’m not exactly a human lover either).  She certainly wouldn’t trust one to set her free.  She’s so conflicted.  Dejean shows her respect and friendship but Perle knows there must be an ulterior motive.  Doesn’t there?  Aren’t they all the same?  Can she truly trust this pirate?  Is he going to show her kindness only to break her down further?  What’s she got to lose?

Trust is a funny thing; half logic, half nonsense

Whilst Dejean, Perle and his very small crew escape.  Perle and Dejean come up with a method of communication.  They sign between each other and its fucking awesome.  I haven’t come across sign language in any book I have read so far.  It’s amazing representation.  I’ve had to use sign language in the past to communicate with my son, so it did really make my heart happy.  There’s smarminess, there’s wit and there is a genuine connection developing between them.  The attraction is evident, and it goes deeper than they could have imagined. 

The scenes where Dejean understands Perle’s needs for fresh meat are some of the best scenes in the book.  She needs meat and he thinks its perfectly acceptable to give her old meat is hilarious.  How dare Dejean not be aware everything she eats needs to be fresh!

The relationship between them develops and the connection they share becomes more evident.  Perle now has accepted them into her pod (a pod is basically a family of sirens that have accepted each other for the long run.  A pod is usually forever unless something happens to the other sirens).  Perle has vowed to protect them no matter what happens.  She’s theirs and they are hers, indefinitely. 

They run into a storm and both Dejean’s life and Perle’s is in danger.  He has a massive tear in his shoulder and her tail has giant gash in it.  Things are not looking good for the pair.  Can they patch each other up and continue to recuperate and avoid the ever-present elephant in the room, Kiran?  Will they run into her, and will the conflict end, one way or another?  Only two things could possibly get in the middle of the pod and that’s either Kiran or more sirens. 

Our Bloody Pearl is a swashbuckling adventure of epic proportions.  A book I didn’t want to end.  Steampunk, pirates and Sirens, a trio that makes a perfect read.   

four stars - Review: Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Byrn