Monday, January 23, 2017

The Kiss That Changed Me 2017 Book Review

   Finally, the long awaited review for The Kiss That Changed Me is here! For this review I’m going to attempt to write without any spoilers, which is pretty difficult for me because in order for me to fully enjoy the book and recommend it to others I always look at the details beginning middle to end. I always end up “spoiling” parts of the book which is apparently something that people don’t like.

   First off, this was an incredibly long book. I started reading this back in December thinking “I’ll be able to finish in time to put up a review for the end of December,” but I was wrong. I didn’t finish until two days ago. And I didn’t finish because I took my time reading… and I took my time reading because the book this time around is so, so, SO detailed. From the book’s summary, we know that there will be a great war of the merworlds and our protagonist must find and recruit members to fight off the enemies. For this, she must travel unto unknown territory, and by the end of the book, the lands she finds herself in are a little dreamy, but real enough as though you were travelling with her. Once again, Kristy Nicolle manages to immerse her readers into the mermaid realm, only this time you’re not only immersed, but you can “see” things in front of you as her words paint images into your mind’s eye. Seeing her world being built in that much detail for me was like being immersed into the world of Harry Potter. It’s THAT detailed. We also see Kristy’s growth as an author, which is something to appreciate, and how far she has come from her first book in the series The Kiss That Killed Me.

   Speaking of that book, remember in a previous review when I said I don’t read romance novels? Well, after reading this trilogy, I completely forgot that it was even a romance! I hadn’t noticed until the very end when Kristy brings it back altogether and reminds the readers “Hey remember, that this book is about the protagonist and her lover.” Even though it ended concluding the book was a cheesy romance, I did appreciate that the majority of the story was fantasy based, and that made it much more enjoyable.
:P Thanks, Kristy, thanks.

   One thing I did want to discuss was the one particular world that the protagonist lands in (Japan).
Throughout the book, she finds herself in different territories of merfolk, all of which have their own myths, histories, and beliefs. I just wanted to say that as an Asian person, I appreciate how much diversity was represented in this book, and representation is so very important to me. As a non-Japanese however, I cannot confirm whether or not the details of this world was accurate from costume to customs to geisha history. However, I can confirm that as a person of Vietnamese and Chinese descent, who has done a fair amount of research into the histories of her background and Japan’s cultural history, that the costume for the Empress, and the throne room of the Emperor, is slightly inaccurate as some of the style is borrowed from China. Even so, Kristy makes up for it by making sure there is Japanese being spoken in the novel, and that the language use was accurate, such as not switching back and forth from Japanese to English for no reason at all. I’m a stickler for consistent language use. The Japanese characters all speak English, broken or fluent otherwise, to only our protagonists, or if they speak to each other in English it’s so that the protagonists can understand and they can hear. Also, I took into consideration that in the Japanese education system it is required for students to take English classes, and that there are younger mer lings that exist in this chapter so of course they’d be able to at least speak because this is set in the modern world. Having said that, Kristy does a wonderful job of world building here and it shows that she did plenty of research beforehand. As for the other worlds encountered, I can’t gauge accuracy because I am neither Scottish, Italian, African, or Hawaiian. Anyone who is and can determine this, please do! (My most favourite worlds are Hawaii and Italy).

   Another thing I also want to discuss is the representation of LGBTQ mers. Again, representation is very important for me and I feel that Kristy does an amazing job here by normalising a gay relationship. Pardon my swear here, but holy shit thank you for normalising this!
If you’re a homophobe, this book isn’t for you. But no one cares about you, so :PBTHH!!:

   Final thing I want to mention; in the first book, the language was very repetitive and the plot was very predictable. However, I am proud to say that this book was neither repetitive, nor predictable. I can’t tell you with what happens during the war, but I can tell you there is tons of bloodshed that everyone needs to be prepared for, and it was well worth the wait. There’s even a lovely surprise at the end that Kristy has blessed us with.

So to summarise; plenty of representation, a lot of diversity, excellent language use, tons of research obviously put into this, and a detailed world of mermaids. All the more reason to pick up the novel as soon as you can, don’t you think?

I give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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