Awakening - Kitty Thomas My review contains spoilers and they're are mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...

Awakening by KT was NOTHING like Comfort Food. It was more of a fantasy short story with very mild BDSM. I liked it because the story was interesting, with a mermaid as a heroine. Loved KT’s writing as usual but it wasn’t enough to rate the story higher for me. I felt there were times, things didn’t add up, especially where Nerina was concerned.

It’s a story that is set in Meropis and its island of Anostos. Nerina tells us that Anostos is a place merfolks don’t venture much. It’s a mysterious place with a hazy reddish environment. The mornings or the evenings can’t be differentiated in Anostos. The story is told from Nerina’s POV. I found the storytelling narratives of her background as a mermaid and what it’s like to be a mermaid/merman comparing to the humans fascinating, and at times, quite funny too. It felt like she was introducing us to the mythic world of the Oceanus and the merfolks. They aren’t a sexual lot, so nudity isn’t a problem to them. But they heard about human sexuality, even glimpsed on the islands a few times. The merfolk are equally fascinated and disgusted by this ‘undignified’ way of reproduction.

One day, against her better judgment, Nerina ventures too close to Anostos and is caught by the fishermen. Then I got to learn that the fin of the mermaids is a delicacy and I was like, whaaaaaaaaaaa? *gag* I mean they’re half-human looking beings and these people eat the part that doesn’t look human? That was just too gross for me; you could probably see me turning a deep shade of green whenever this was mentioned in the story. So, Nerina is scared as the fishermen are enthusiastic to get her to their master, Kyros. Soon, the master makes an appearance but (I felt) is taken by Nerina. He had a fantasy of his own, and saw a way to make it happen and so, he asks the fishermen to take her to his rooms.

Nerina heaves sigh of almost relief. At least, they won’t kill her… for now. But she can also kind of guess what this human has in his mind. Later at night, Kyros tells her that it was his birthday. He tells her about his fascination over the mermaids and to transform one to his liking... to a human being. Apparently, there is a myth about mermaids being transformed into humans if they mingle with them too long and their bodies wish for it; at least something like that.

Nerina begs him to let her go, but Kyros has no intentions of letting her go. She is confused at first but a few days later, things begin to change- in her, around her. Kyros’s touch and all makes her twitch inside (that was funny); an itch she can’t scratch. But, no matter, Kyros is patient and kind to her, even though a bit bossy. And he asked her to call him Master, which she can’t but obey...

As Nerina learns to wade her way through the human world, it felt like she knows too much about the human world; electricity, bed, mirror etc. The list can go on and I kept thinking how did she identify these things spending all her life in the sea?

The later part of the story tells us about Nerina’s fears as she really becomes a human; about how she would deal with her new-found legs, that she’d never see her family again and her feelings for Kyros which was deepening at every turn. But the thing was I never really knew what he felt for her. Yes, he was possessive and proves it more than once. Yes, he wanted to have her, and he did but nothing else.

Kyros doesn’t show her the heavier side of his darkest fantasies until the very end, so we don’t have any heavy stuff. It ends with such a notion that Nerina will live to please him and that Kyros will be ever the patient Master but he has every intentions of showing her the world of D/s. 3.5 stars.

Funny Quote:

“It was said that mermaids had hypnotic magic that lured sailors to their deaths, but in reality, we sometimes liked to sun ourselves on rocks that were safe because of how hard it would be for a human to reach us. It wasn’t our fault the men liked to look and often wrecked their boats and died.”