Mermaid by Kate O’Connor

Mermaid by Kate O’Connor
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Length: Short Story (56 pages)
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

How far would you go for freedom?

When genetically engineered sea drone Coral saved two drowning humans, she didn’t expect to end up questioning the foundations of her world… but humans don’t seem as different as she’s always been told. With nothing ahead of her but mindless days of harvesting seaweed for World Food Co., she has to know why humans are free to choose and drones aren’t.

Coral’s only hope of transforming her future lies in taking on a battle her people gave up a century ago. However, each step nearer to drone freedom brings her closer to falling in love with Rob, the man she saved and heir to the company she is fighting to change.

Struggling to unravel politics and passion, Coral begins to realize that she stands to lose more than just a chance at being human. Both her life and Rob’s may just balance on whether or not they can create a world where drones can be free.

Sometimes dreams come true in ways one never could have imagined. Would you make the same choices again if you knew ahead of time how everything would end?

There’s no doubt in my mind that Coral would follow the exact same path if she had known about her destiny in advance. Her curiosity about the humans she accidentally meets one day is all-encompassing, and the risks she took to save them only made me like Coral more. She never wavers from her conviction that the world is a beautiful place even when ugly things occur in it, and her determination to press on in any set of circumstances is admirable.

My only unanswered question about the plot involves what really happens to the body of a drone when she dies. As it is described the process doesn’t make sense. It would have been less confusing for for me if there had either been a more detailed explanation of what happens to their bodies or if the matter had been dropped. While I completely understand the author’s reasons for including this description in the story would have been just as compelling had this detail been left out.

Ultimately this was a cosmetic problem in an otherwise engrossing tale. I never wanted the story to end, and I was sorry to say goodbye to such memorable people. There was a surprising amount of character development in this piece of this length, and if this is any indication of Ms. O’Connor’s writing habits I can’t wait to read more from her.

Mermaid is hauntingly beautiful. I heartily recommend this book to anyone who has ever stared out into the sea and daydreamed about the secrets it might contain.

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