(isn't that a beautiful cover?)
I love Thomas's work, plain and simple. Thomas really writes such stunning novellas, and this one is no exception. Awakening is told from the first person point-of-view of a mermaid named Nerina. Nerina, an essentially curious mermaid, swims too close to the shore of the island on which the humans live and gets caught in their nets. After avoiding becoming supper, she instead becomes a pet as Master Kyros refuses to throw her back to the sea. Instead, he becomes intent on changing her from mermaid to human – which myth says can only be done if the mermaid experiences real desire for a human. Nerina doesn’t believe the myth, but Kyros does and she has to stay until he gives her up. Can she truly enjoy Kyros’s touch and become human or will Kyros kill her when he discovers she’ll never be able to give him what he desires?
Again, Thomas gets right inside the head of her characters, delving as much into the psychological as the physical part of desire. The psychological change, the change in Nerina’s attitude towards humans, desire, and Kyros, is really the most intriguing portion of the book (though Kyros is, of course, masterful in his ability to bring about physical desire in Nerina as well). The contrast between hardness and kindness, between forced and wanted, are blurred in this piece. Fans of Thomas’s more hard-core BDSM works won’t find this one as stimulating as far as BDSM elements go, though Thomas still writes a non-consensual sex and kidnapping piece. There is little other plot to this novella, which is good. Thomas focuses all her verbiage and power into Nerina’s transformation and what that means for her life – and the dynamics of her relationship with Kyros. I loved how Nerina still retained her mermaid mind throughout the story and her submersion into human culture.
I’d like to touch upon one more thing Thomas did fabulously – world building. The mythology, the mermaid culture, and Kyros’s castle were all built with incredible class and detail. I could see the hallways and rooms, understand the myths and their tellers, and got a pretty good handle on the fabulous mermaid culture that Thomas builds (far different than the Disney-princess version, I assure you). It was just one more phenomenally written part of Awakening that I really enjoyed. Well-researched, well-developed, and well-written, this is another Thomas must-have for any fan.
He swam toward me like a shark, his eyes filled with purpose. I was faster, so I kept eluding him. Finally he stopped swimming, realizing the futility of the chase. “Nerina, if you don’t come to me right now, I’ll order the pool drained. Then we’ll see who is the fastest.”
Salty. Primal. It was like the sea. Somewhere deep in my mind, I knew he could be my new ocean.
“Sexy”ness rating: Sexy
Overall Rating: A-
Bottom Line: If you like Thomas’s work, which includes unclear or completely non-consensual sex, kidnapping, etc (not for the faint of heart) you’ll love this new one from her. Awakening is another fantastic stunner, and I loved the mythical edge to this story.
Pages: 21,500 words
Published: August 25, 2011
Genre: Dark Erotica