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Review: Promises (Syrenka Trilogy #1) by Amber Garr

Review: Promises (Syrenka Trilogy #1) by Amber Garr

by GTMeghanMay 11, 2012

TLDR Recap:

Eviana is a  mermaid who is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and leading her Clan at the very young age of seventeen. The kicker? She already has a boyfriend who she’s been with since childhood, and it’s not the fella she’s been ‘promised’ to. So what does she do? Well, she takes matters into her own hands and resolves to run away with the Selkie equivalent of Romeo Montague. Unfortunately, trouble is afoot  and Eviana is faced with a difficult decision to make. Promises is a GraveTells Recommended Read!

  • Title: Promises
  • Series: Syrenka Trilogy #1
  • Author: Amber Garr
  • Prominent Characters: Eviana, Kain, Brendan
  • Genre(s): Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
  • Recommended Reader Age: 14+
  • Sexual Content Level: Light. Hugging, kissing. Sex is loosely hinted.

*** This review has very slight plot spoilers that should not lessen your enjoyment of the book ***


Seventeen year old Eviana isn’t like most girls her age — She’s a Mermaid. Unlike most mermaids we read about in contemporary YA literature, she is also a Shifter much like a Were… except a mermaid. The first half of the book could be considered contemporary fiction. It’s Eviana’s basic day to day interaction with her family and friends, and trying to figure out the person that she really is. The second half, is full of fantasy and wonder. I’ve never read something quite like it before. Promises was not cheesy, and it was not about surfing wanna-be-mermaids, and most of all, it was blissfully absent of evil teen-speak. This novel isn’t about a girl who may or may not turn into a mermaid on her seventeenth birthday, it’s about a teenage girl who is already a mermaid, and needs to come into her own in order to rule her Clan. She has issues and family problems that really do reflect every day life now–and some issues that really don’t!

Unfortunately, the book is sprinkled with grammatical errors here and there. I would strongly suggest an editor to the author for the next installment. I found the grammatical errors to be somewhat distracting, and felt that they took away from the story in their own small way.

I adored reading interactions between Eviana and her friends. While this book has a love triangle, it’s the best kind. Instead of watching the protagonist’s head spin while she frets which boy she likes more, Eviana knew who she was in love with and stuck with him throughout the entire book (even though Team Kain is the obvious choice :D), which made me applaud her even more.  I have a soft spot for Kain, her fiance; he’s good looking, funny, and he’s protective and caring…what more could she ask for? Enter Brendan, the mysterious boy who appeared from out of the water ten years ago. Eviana and Brendan’s connection is definitely otherworldly, and the spark between them is electrifying. I went from wanting her to stay with Kain, who is perfect (dare I say it?) husband material, to wanting her to run away with Brendan, who is gorgeous and forbidden.

In short, even with its small disappointments, I enjoyed Promises, and am definitely going to be reading the next volume. I hope Garr really goes into more detail the next time around, because I want to experience everything about this brewing war between Clans as much as I can. This was a great beginning-of-summer read, and gave me the strangest urge to go swimming. Definitely a great read, so give it a try! It’s available now.

Memorable Quotes:

Can’t fault a man who’ll sing you to sleep, no matter how terrible his song selection.

“Now sit back and enjoy my wonderful voice.” He cleared his throat and began to sing Baby Beluga. I had to cut him off.
“Really? This is the song you choose?” He ignored me.

If you liked Promises…

I really enjoyed the debutante-ish aspect of Promises, and found that it reminded me a lot of polite society in the South. If this is something that intrigues you, look no further than The Magnolia League by Katie Crouch. As for more books about the magnificent creatures that grace the pages of Promises, I suggest checking out Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs.

Final Thoughts:

Promises was a great beginning to what I believe will be an astonishing trilogy. The world constructed by Amber Garr has endless possibilities and believe me, I will remain a groupie no matter where this world leads.

Rating: Promises


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  • May 12, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Thank you so much Meghan for your detailed review! You have a great site. I appreciate you being a part of my tour. 🙂

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