January 31, 2008

Swimming Without A Net, by MaryJanice Davidson

Swimming Without A Net, by MaryJanice Davidson.

That reddish-cheeked popping sound you are undoubtedly hearing is my Hard Nosed Only Reviews Horror persona quietly rolling over and dying. Yep, Swimming Without A Net is bit-lit: paranormal romance, in other words. Which I read on occasion. I read all sorts of things and won’t ignore it as a genre just because so much of it is fluffy bullshit, because some works within are genuinely very good.

This? It’s the sequel to Sleeping With The Fishes, and continues the story of Fred the cranky fish-feeder at the New England Aquarium, who also happens to be a mermaid and is very reluctantly being drawn into the ‘mermaid way of life’ by means of a summons to a convocation by the, er, King of the Mermaids as to whether they’re going to finally reveal themselves to us ground-dwellers.

Between this wafer of a plot is sandwiched a certain amount of romance, sex, would-be romance, generally Fred-related crankiness, some unusual and quite funny mermaid-versus-humans misunderstandings and an utterly hilarious continued sequence wherein the King of the Mermaids (should that be merpeople? hmmm) begins learning human vernacular by watching Al Swearengen talk… colourfully… in the HBO Deadwood series.

And at the end it completely didn’t do what I expected which, in something as frothy as this, was very welcome.

Enjoyable without being deep (no, that wasn’t a mermaid pun: I wouldn’t inflict ’em on you, and that’s offishial), it’s perfect light reading, and very quick. Probably needs the first one read for completeness’ sake but it’s not essential.

(Now where’s the next zombie book?)


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