This week I read Tiana Warner’s Ice Massacre, one of the goriest and most gripping YA novels I’ve ever read.
Basically, there’s a war between humans and mermaids in the north Atlantic. It’s not really affecting the rest of the world (at least, nobody else is getting involved), but the people on the island of Eriana Kwai are being starved, due to the mermaids eating all the fish, which the island-dwellers need for food. In response, Eriana Kwai sends twenty young men every year to fight the mermaids (an event called The Massacre), and nine out of ten times they fail to return. This is mostly because men get easily hypnotized by the mermaids, who then use the opportunity provided by their stupor to rip them to shreds. Literally.
So, after however many years of doing this the island finally decides, “Hey, the guy thing isn’t working out. What if we sent girls?”
Meela, the main character, is one of girls on the first all-female crew sent to kill mermaids. But the thing about Meela is she not only dislikes killing in general, she also has a Romeo and Juliet style friendship going on with one of the mermaids. It gradually escalates to full-blown romance, leaving a major cliffhanger at the end of the story (dammit, Warner!).
I found Ice Massacre after stumbling upon a review by Danika, who praised not only Warner’s portrayal of war but also the fact that it’s about a queer, interracial romance. With terrifying, killer mermaids. How many teen books out there can claim that?
Warner does an incredible job of showing the tragedy of war and the way humans value different lives. How girls, so often abused and oppressed, are somehow considered more valuable than boys. How senseless violence destroys beautiful relationships and young minds. How you can aid your “enemy” while remaining loyal to your people.
It’s an excellent book, with a sequel. I highly recommend it!
Be sure to check out my interview with Tiana Warner.
You can get Ice Massacre for less than five bucks at Barnes & Noble here!
Otherwise, they've got it on Amazon for $14.95.
The first Dragons, Zombies and Aliens blog was started in 2015. Somewhere between college coursework, paying rent with door-to-door sales, and keeping up with my sorority sisters, I wrote reviews, rants and commentaries on books, TV shows, and movies. Now, this blog has moved, improved, and the sky's the limit!