Monday, September 19, 2011

Fins vs. Legs: A Review of Awakening by Kitty Thomas

A Sleeping Mermaid by Josephine Wall

I decided to give Awakening by Kitty Thomas a try after seeing it reviewed positively by several helpful bloggers. This is a very short story, but it's nicely written and heavy on the erotic elements. It's about a mermaid, Nerina who's taken captive by a human man, Kyros. Legend has it that if a man can arouse a mermaid sufficiently, she will transform for him--growing legs in place of her tail. Kyros is convinced that the legend is true and determined to make Nerina transform for him so that he can keep her as his own.

Positive Comments:

I'm fond of mermaids and other fantasy sea creatures. The use of them in this story is simple, but compelling. Thomas manages to describe a little bit about mermaid culture and way of life, and we get a small glimpse into how important those things are to our heroine. They also serve as a sharp contrast to the new life and way of thinking she encounters after she's captured.

I liked the idea of using arousal as a method for transformation. As far as erotic plot devices go, I thought this one was quite successful--it's unique and makes for beautiful imagery.

The author at least starts to explore the master/slave relationship and skims the surface behind the psychology of that on both sides. It certainly isn't a complete exploration, but it's as much as I can expect in such a short story.

Negative Comments:

This is definitely erotica--pretty, interesting erotica--but it isn't romantic. By this I mean, the connection between Nerina and Kyros never strays outside of owner/possession territory. Kyros is possessive of Nerina and happy to have her--as one might be with a really nice car. Nerina is dependent on Kyros to survive, and she happens to not hate his erotic attentions. The book doesn't have the page space to deal with anything deeper, and that's a shame.

In both the relationship and the mythology, this felt like the prologue to a really good book. I hate to put "too short" as a criticism--that seems unfair. Instead I'll say that it was a bit too ambitious for it's length. A lot more could be done with this world and these characters.


This is a well written and very interesting tale. If you like erotica and don't mind the master/slave theme, I'd suggest this book. 4 stars


  1. I've read a few reviews of this book but can't seem to get past the whole master/slave thing. Although, I'd like to see how the author developed Nerina enough to have her get past the so called mermaid aversion to physical contact!

  2. Lan, the whole physical contact thing was pretty well done. After awhile she starts to associate things like hugging with safety and happiness. I only wished that we had gotten to see her have contact with her family after all of the changes...but again, it's a short story.

  3. Hm it seems like an interesting read. The cover is absolutely gorgeous! I'm going to pass this review along to Kaitlin because she may be interested in reading it as well. :)

  4. Jenny, I know--this was that rare and happy case when the cover is about as nice as the book.


Thoughtful comments are appreciated! I always respond to them, and I usually return the favor! Happy reading!

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