I’m not going to lie—I decided that I wanted to read Coral & Bone for two reasons: mermaids and the super cool cover art. Yes, I know you should never judge a book by its cover. But that doesn’t stop me, does it?
This book far exceeded my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised with the story, plot, worldbuilding, and characters. I am an avid fantasy lover, but I’ve never actually read a book about mermaids. Let me tell you: the whole book is not centered around mermaids. It’s much, much more than that.
From the start, I was intrigued. Fifteen-year-old Halen is very mysterious (it later turns out that she’s really just clueless) and is experiencing frequent blackouts and strange phenomena. She lost her dad when was young, she has a jerk cousin, and a weird godfather. I was sucked into the storyline almost immediately.
There was an exciting blend of paranormal creatures, from mermaids to shapeshifters to sirens. There are three different worlds in the book—Etlis, Earth, and Elosia. Daune does a fabulous job of building these worlds and describing the scenery in a way that makes it easy to picture.
The romance aspect is there, but not in a nauseating way. I often get upset when MCs are fourteen or fifteen and all they care about are boys, but this is not the case with Coral & Bone. Nope, Halen understands that she has an important task at hand (IE, saving worlds from an evil siren) and she actually focuses on it.
I gave Coral & Bone 4/5 stars. The first half of the book is is simultaneously slow but rushed, but the second half completely nails it (albeit also rushed). This book seriously could have been broken into two, but I think it works. Overall, it’s a fun, easy paranormal YA read.
Full disclosure: I was given a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review by Net Galley.