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Our Bloody Pearl (These Treacherous Tides #1)

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The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it? Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.


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The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear. That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs. Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it? Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.

30 review for Our Bloody Pearl (These Treacherous Tides #1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bradley

    MERMURDER. Well, to be more precise, a bloody, action-filled romance including the mermaid legend as Sirens, and lots of conflict between humans and factions of the sirens. More than anything, it's a character study and a gradual shifting of priorities and emotions and it's quite LGBT friendly. What's great about it is the body horror and the sign language, the slow building of trust, and eventually the heroism on both sides. Perle really comes into her own and this is NOT exactly a light rendition MERMURDER. Well, to be more precise, a bloody, action-filled romance including the mermaid legend as Sirens, and lots of conflict between humans and factions of the sirens. More than anything, it's a character study and a gradual shifting of priorities and emotions and it's quite LGBT friendly. What's great about it is the body horror and the sign language, the slow building of trust, and eventually the heroism on both sides. Perle really comes into her own and this is NOT exactly a light rendition of the Little Mermaid... more like it's the gritty dystopian version. Well worth the read. And it goes nicely with the growing trend of the mermaid genre! :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kira Martin

    If you’re looking to join a queer pirate gang, you’ve found it. 🌈💀⛵🌈 Our Bloody Pearl is like no other book I’ve read–in under 250 pages, there were discussions of gender and sexuality, as well as more LGBTQ+ represenation than I’ve ever seen. There were parts where this discussion became just barely clumsy, but in a sweet, innocent way you can only expect from a bloodthirsty siren and a dorky pirate captain. I’ve never seen a story where the main character didn’t identity as male or female, and If you’re looking to join a queer pirate gang, you’ve found it. 🌈💀⛵🌈 Our Bloody Pearl is like no other book I’ve read–in under 250 pages, there were discussions of gender and sexuality, as well as more LGBTQ+ represenation than I’ve ever seen. There were parts where this discussion became just barely clumsy, but in a sweet, innocent way you can only expect from a bloodthirsty siren and a dorky pirate captain. I’ve never seen a story where the main character didn’t identity as male or female, and honestly I’m so about it. I love how settled into Perle’s head the reader is–all the metaphors and analogies hold the magic of the ocean and the creatures in it. But even though the story is from Perle’s perspective, that’s not to say you don’t get into the heads of other awesome characters–like Dejean, the dorky pirate captian, who seems entirely too sweet for the ruthless work he’s cut out for. I especially loved the interactions between him and Perle and found myself attempting to mimicking their special brand of sign language. Exploring the world is fascinating–with steam punk ships that fly in the air and siren pods that roam the ocean with their hauntingly beautiful songs and vicious society, how could it not be? But at the root of it all rises an interesting question of what makes someone human. Overall, this book was a great read and I definitely need to take a trip to the beach ASAP. From the first chapter, Our Bloody Pearl settled into an easy rythym that sucked me in and held me in its grasp from start to finish, much like the siren songs this book describes. I recommend you check this book out and support a Writeblr author by leaving a review of how much you enjoyed it! Not just to be nice but because I’m selfish and need someone to talk about this book. Please. Please read this so I can gush to someone.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jillian Maria

    It's been a long, long time since I've been this excited for a book. I was lucky enough to read an earlier draft of this, and let me tell you, it kept me absolutely GLUED to the page the whole way through. The world of sirens and steam-powered ships is completely immersive, and I stayed up late on multiple occasions, promising myself that I'd just read "one more page." (It was never just one page.) The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, and I mean that literally — I don't want to give too m It's been a long, long time since I've been this excited for a book. I was lucky enough to read an earlier draft of this, and let me tell you, it kept me absolutely GLUED to the page the whole way through. The world of sirens and steam-powered ships is completely immersive, and I stayed up late on multiple occasions, promising myself that I'd just read "one more page." (It was never just one page.) The plot keeps you on the edge of your seat, and I mean that literally — I don't want to give too much away, but there were several sections of this book where I physically tensed all of my muscles, waiting to see how the plot would resolve itself. But the heart of this book, in my opinion, are its characters. I am not the type to root for blood-thirsty sirens and murderous pirates, but dammit, Bryn somehow managed to get me on board (pun not intended) within the first chapter. Pearl manages to be sympathetic and a fun narrator to root for without betraying or downplaying their tendency to, er, eat people, and Dejean is adorkable and lovable despite being a pirate captain, complete with the ruthlessness that entails. And the side-characters are just as good — I could ramble on about all of them like they're old friends, but my favorite has to be Murielle, Dejean's spunky mechanic of a sister. Again, I don't want to give away too much, but I sincerely hope other people love that giant nerd as much as I do. Because I love her a lot. I could go on for pages, honestly, but here's what it comes down to: I love this book, I'm recommending it to all of my friends, and now I'm recommending it to you. BUY OUR BLOODY PEARL. You won't regret it!!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Abi (The Knights Who Say Book)

    (4.5 stars) *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* I just love so much about this book. First of all, I’m always looking for more nonbinary characters. And second of all, Perle is a delight. They’re a scrappy, snarky, carnivorous siren and I love them to death. The author pays attention to worldbuilding details like how Perle would see new people — specifically because they’re a siren from a nonbinary culture, and that’s not ignored. I love when other sirens show up in t (4.5 stars) *I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review* I just love so much about this book. First of all, I’m always looking for more nonbinary characters. And second of all, Perle is a delight. They’re a scrappy, snarky, carnivorous siren and I love them to death. The author pays attention to worldbuilding details like how Perle would see new people — specifically because they’re a siren from a nonbinary culture, and that’s not ignored. I love when other sirens show up in the story because their culture and interactions are so interesting. The worldbuilding is a little confusing to me in other ways, because it’s definitely some kind of steampunk fantasy but every once in a while I’d realize there was even more modern technology involved than I’d thought. You don’t see much of the wider world, because the setting consists of either ships at sea or one island. I’m glad there’s going to be more books in this series because I would love to explore beyond this. The romance is so sweet and good and it’s ALL THAT mutual healing and found family, but also lots of teasing and snark and the dialogue is so good and funny and clever. I just die for Perle making fun of Dejean’s toes and Dejean pulling Perle’s fin/hair. They’re wonderful. Read the book, guys.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    I had the absolute privilege of reading Our Bloody Pearl early, and I loved every minute of it. If you're looking for a book that will leave you with a warm, happy feeling, this is an excellent choice. It focuses on themes of love and family across a soft steampunk background. The setting gives you just enough fantasy to take you away, but not so much that you're overwhelmed with worldbuilding. I loved all the ocean imagery, and while reading, I almost felt like I was on the beach. But the best p I had the absolute privilege of reading Our Bloody Pearl early, and I loved every minute of it. If you're looking for a book that will leave you with a warm, happy feeling, this is an excellent choice. It focuses on themes of love and family across a soft steampunk background. The setting gives you just enough fantasy to take you away, but not so much that you're overwhelmed with worldbuilding. I loved all the ocean imagery, and while reading, I almost felt like I was on the beach. But the best part is the characters. I loved Perle as a narrator. Absolutely loved. They're relatable and funny, and rooted for them from chapter one. And the pirate captain, Dejean, is like the human embodiment of a hug. Every side character is just as vibrant, and the straightforward plot gave me more time to enjoy interactions between the characters. This book was a joy to read. I promise, you're in for a treat.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. DN Bryn's "Our Bloody Pearl" is one of the most engaging first person books I've read in a long time. They crafted a story that developed the inner monologue of the main character, while still keeping the exterior world detailed and interesting. "OBP" takes place in another world where technology, pirates, and sirens form a world built around the ocean. Perle - the main character - opens the book as a captive, they'd been captured by Captain Kian, a pirate who manufactured a blocker to siren sin DN Bryn's "Our Bloody Pearl" is one of the most engaging first person books I've read in a long time. They crafted a story that developed the inner monologue of the main character, while still keeping the exterior world detailed and interesting. "OBP" takes place in another world where technology, pirates, and sirens form a world built around the ocean. Perle - the main character - opens the book as a captive, they'd been captured by Captain Kian, a pirate who manufactured a blocker to siren singing. The rest of the book follows Perle as they engage with humans, learn more about the world beyond the ocean, and form bonds that will leave Perle questioning themself. One aspect of using Perle as the main character that really lends itself to the story is that, while we are learning about the world, it does not feel contrived. Perle's questions and assumptions about the human world make sense, rather than feel needless. DN Bryn not only wrote an engaging book, but they created a world where diversity is as common as breathing. At one point in the story, two characters openly, and without awkwardness, discuss their sexuality, their gender, and the way gender and sexuality work in their societies. Outside of fanfiction, I don't think I've ever read a book that handled a conversation so well. Two queer characters getting to discuss their queerness without awkwardness. It was amazing, especially as an asexual person, to see two main characters speak about their own asexuality. So, thank you DN Bryn for that. Outside of asexuality though, there are women loving women, people of color as main characters, nonbinary characters, and a couple other folks who I'm sure I'm missing in this list. And while these aspects to us readers are important, never is the point of a character their queerness or their being a person of color. On a darker note, there is also abuse in this book. Mostly characters dealing with the aftermath of being abused, but towards the climax, an abuser does resurface. There are conversations between characters about the abuse and night terrors. Physical injuries are also permanent injuries in this book. Magical cures do not exist in this story, but recovery and aids are available. It was fantastic to see characters have to deal with the changes and come out on top as they adjusted to them. With high seas adventures, peril that creates just enough tension to keep you on the edge of your seat, and the most marvelous, slow burn asexual romance I knew I needed, DN Bryn wrote a compelling first book. "Our Bloody Pearl" will make you cry, laugh, smile, and melt down to your bones if you enjoy romance, pirates, monsters, and action. As a final note, I was given a free copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Audrey B.

    I had the absolute joy of reading an earlier draft of this book, and I guarantee, you won't read something like Our Bloody Pearl twice. The premise is original and delightful, the story simple yet effective- the characters and their dynamics will hook you in. If you enjoy pirates/sirens/fantasy/soft steampunk/found family stories, you'll definitely have the best time with this. Every single character is a delight, not to mention the fascinating take on sirens! The book will leave you with all th I had the absolute joy of reading an earlier draft of this book, and I guarantee, you won't read something like Our Bloody Pearl twice. The premise is original and delightful, the story simple yet effective- the characters and their dynamics will hook you in. If you enjoy pirates/sirens/fantasy/soft steampunk/found family stories, you'll definitely have the best time with this. Every single character is a delight, not to mention the fascinating take on sirens! The book will leave you with all the warm feelings (but it will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat during the read.) This is a lovely book in so many ways, and you won't regret giving it a try :)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lorna (lornaslibrary)

    Our Bloody Pearl is a very short, fast-paced book, that makes good use of all 200 of it's pages. Every second of it propels the story forward with action and character development, so that there's never a dull moment. I'm not gonna lie, I'm loving how many books about sirens there are out there these days, and I love how every interpretation I've read so far has twisted the sirens into a new shape. Our Bloody Pearl is no different. I loved how the sirens' appearances are mostly left up to the rea Our Bloody Pearl is a very short, fast-paced book, that makes good use of all 200 of it's pages. Every second of it propels the story forward with action and character development, so that there's never a dull moment. I'm not gonna lie, I'm loving how many books about sirens there are out there these days, and I love how every interpretation I've read so far has twisted the sirens into a new shape. Our Bloody Pearl is no different. I loved how the sirens' appearances are mostly left up to the reader's imagination but it's still made pretty clear that they don't simply resemble humans with fish tails. I also loved the way sirens communicated with each other and how they name each other. There's a lot of representation in the book too. There are characters of colour, disabled characters, nonbinary characters, asexual characters, and a f/f relationship. It does fall into the common trap of the nonbinary characters being non-human, but Dejean does respectfully explain that some humans are nonbinary too so it's not portrayed as something completely de-humanising. I also really liked how he tried to explain the concept of being transgender to Perle when asking which pronouns he should use to refer to them. I loved all of the characters so much. Perle's gradual transition from believing all humans are their enemy to accepting that there has been faults on both sides and wanting to work to repair some of the damage to end the violence between sirens and humans was fascinating to read. Their relationship with Dejean develops slowly (an impressive feat considering the shortness of the book, insta-love writers take note), but it was fun to watch them starting to trust each other and learning to communicate despite Dejean not understanding the siren language. Dejean himself I thought we could maybe have seen more of. It's understandable considering the story is told from Perle's point of view, it's mostly centered around Perle's struggles, and Dejean seems to be a very closed off person, only giving out small pieces of information about himself and his past, but he doesn't seem to have as much character growth and I would love to learn more about him in potential future books, especially considering how readily he was willing to trust and help a siren. I adored Murielle from the second she was introduced. She actually had me laughing out loud from her very first line ('There's a fish person in the tub!') and I swear I would protect her with my life. Although Simone had much less page time given that she was away for a large part of the story, I enjoyed her character too. I love how Simone and Murielle have very opposing personalities and yet it's easy to see how much they love each other. I'd love to see more of their relationship too. If you're looking for a quick, fun, but no less intense read about sirens and pirates I would definitely recommend Our Bloody Pearl.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katelynn

    I was lucky enough to read Our Bloody Pearl in the last round of critiques, so that means it hasn't changed too much since I read it. From the moment I started, until the end I couldn't put the book down, and would often sneak my phone out to continue reading at work, it's just that good. Bryn has created a unique and fascinating narrative voice through Perle. They're a blood thirsty siren who's been held captive and no longer has use of their tail, and their story is one of revenge, adaptation, I was lucky enough to read Our Bloody Pearl in the last round of critiques, so that means it hasn't changed too much since I read it. From the moment I started, until the end I couldn't put the book down, and would often sneak my phone out to continue reading at work, it's just that good. Bryn has created a unique and fascinating narrative voice through Perle. They're a blood thirsty siren who's been held captive and no longer has use of their tail, and their story is one of revenge, adaptation, healing, and forgiveness. Bryn doesn't shy away from the predatory aspects of Perle's nature, but still manages to keep them sympathetic. That, along with loveable Dejean, the pirate captain that rescues Perle, his first mate Simone, and her energetic partner Murielle create a wonderful cast of diverse characters with more representation than any book I've previously read. I lean strongly towards fantasy books, but I loved the soft steam punk edge OBP had, and never felt too out of my depth when reading the descriptions, and I loved the vivid ocean settings that were described. The descriptions are fantastic and I have clear pictures in my mind of so many of the settings which I found refreshing. Same with the characters. The book played more like a movie in my head, and that's rare for me. Over all I strongly recommend giving Our Bloody Pearl a shot. It's a quick read, but one I'm sure you'll come back to over and over again. If you love sirens, ocean settings, well crafted stories, and diverse multidimensional characters this book is for you. I can't wait to read more books from Bryn and I'm eagerly awaiting more from this world in particular.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sirisha

    Loved it!!! Loved it!!!!!!!! Loved it!!!!!!!! Perle is amazing and I loved them from page one!!!!! I was a bit uhhh??? in some parts but the brilliance of writing washed all of that away! A wonderful read and it is pretty small so perfect for a journey read too!!! The representation is good and there is genuine discussion of disability, gender and sexuality among the characters that reads naturally and doesn't deviate from the story!!! My only slight minus is that the worldbuilding needs a bit more d Loved it!!! Loved it!!!!!!!! Loved it!!!!!!!! Perle is amazing and I loved them from page one!!!!! I was a bit uhhh??? in some parts but the brilliance of writing washed all of that away! A wonderful read and it is pretty small so perfect for a journey read too!!! The representation is good and there is genuine discussion of disability, gender and sexuality among the characters that reads naturally and doesn't deviate from the story!!! My only slight minus is that the worldbuilding needs a bit more detail but the worldbuilding present is absolutely enough to enjoy the story and since it is a siren's pov the lack of knowledge of human world adds to the character development!!! Major cw for blood, physical abuse and drowning. Minor cw for sexual assault. In conclusion, sirens!!! lesbians!!! pirates!!! Found family!!! and Amazing Writing!!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Szilvia Varga

    I had the honor of reading Our Bloody Pearl in it's early phases, when it was still just a fry, not quite ready to swim yet, but was on its way to developing fins to conquer the ocean and the world. Since then, this book has grown and become a truly marvellous story, with some of the most colourful characters and a simple, yet heart-warming plot with a soft-steampunk flair and enough fantasy to make you dive in, but does not drown you. I know that from the beginning, I was enthralled by the worl I had the honor of reading Our Bloody Pearl in it's early phases, when it was still just a fry, not quite ready to swim yet, but was on its way to developing fins to conquer the ocean and the world. Since then, this book has grown and become a truly marvellous story, with some of the most colourful characters and a simple, yet heart-warming plot with a soft-steampunk flair and enough fantasy to make you dive in, but does not drown you. I know that from the beginning, I was enthralled by the world painted and narrated by the main character, Perle, and their story of love and family and facing one's demons, even when you would rather swim away. The story reflects on some of the heavier troubles we may face in life, as told through a siren and a pirate captain, reminding us to never give up on ourselves and have a little faith in others; there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Whether you just want something light to read for fun or if you need a story to help pull you up from the depths, I 100% recommend this book. Also, pirates and sirens. Need I say more?

  12. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth McMarrow

    I had the privilege of helping beta this book, and I was on the edge of my seat every second I was reading it. The characters are so likable and well rounded that it's impossible to have a favorite. If you read any books this year, read this one. It's the perfect story for those who love action, romance, and of course, sirens.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    To start with, I got a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Before this I hadn't changed a word with the author, so this is no a nice, polite review for a friend - I just got really lucky! And because this is the internet, I get to be as brutal as I can with next to no consequences, so don't worry about me trying to spare the author's feelings. Thankfully, it didn't come to that. This is a good book and I highly recommend it. This is a perfect book for a bad day: it's short, can be r To start with, I got a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. Before this I hadn't changed a word with the author, so this is no a nice, polite review for a friend - I just got really lucky! And because this is the internet, I get to be as brutal as I can with next to no consequences, so don't worry about me trying to spare the author's feelings. Thankfully, it didn't come to that. This is a good book and I highly recommend it. This is a perfect book for a bad day: it's short, can be read in one day, sweet and fun, and guaranteed to make your day a whole lot better. To be honest, I've never been a fan of sirens or pirates. Everyone else seems to love them, but to me... meh. I still don't think I'm a siren-fan, just a Bryn-fan. Her take on sirens is thankfully quite far away from the beautiful seductress' from every vaguely Greek-ish siren story. Sirens in OBP are never precisely described, and a lot of is left to the readers' imagination. They eat organs and flesh, live in pods and swim around the ocean. This small amount information is due to the 1st person POV, which was one of my absolute favourite things in this book. The POV character is Perle, a siren, who is very much not human but still oddly relatable - by page ten I was mentally screaming "Just stuck your hand in that fresh corpse and give her a goddamn liver, you moron!", because of course I was. Bryn does an excellent job in balancing this: Perle's thoughts make it clear that she is of different species, but she's not too alien to relate to and root for. Sirens still have the basic human emotions and feelings - joy, sorrow, pain, et cetera - to make things easier for us readers, but they are often portrayed in such different ways and contexts to make them just a little bit off to stand out. Perle doesn't quite understand the human world and usually thinks little of it, and so the world itself is left quite vague and mysterious to us. I understood only from the back-cover and Bryn's blog posts that this is a steampunk-inspired world, but from the text itself it didn't get through, and I don't necessarily thing that's a bad thing. Perle, a siren who belongs to the ocean, doesn't care and doesn't need to know about how humans on land move around and what machines they use to help their lives. Perle only describes things she finds interesting or are relevant to the moment: how some people look, what kind of transport or room she's so she can plan her escape back to her home. I think only four place names were mentioned: two ships, and Dejean mentions two islands. Perle just doesn' care, and that's amazing. Of course I love good world-building just as much as anyone, and a good fantasy map makes me go crazy, but in OBP those things wouldn't make any sense - why would Perle know the names of a dozen fictional kingdoms on land? While occasionally this lack of information was a bit infuriating, as the readers only found out that the ships can fly but our curiosity isn't properly answered, in the end I really appreciated this choice and especially Bryn's faithful consistency in this. This is a short book, with a very simple plot and a small cast of characters - I don't think more than 10 characters were named, though I didn't count. The main cast consists of four people, all with their individual personalities and voices. Someone might say "Well, of course if there's only four characters it's easy to differentiate between them, it's only four distinct people!", but... oh boy, it doesn't work that way. I know I'm not the only one who has read way too many books where it's near impossible to point out even one difference between the main cast, or even just the protagonist and the sidekick. Appearance-wise? Sure, easy peasy. Personality-wise? Ummm... no. They're just... there. Existing. While it is always very easy to do that with the main cast of the OBP, I do think that the characters - besides Perle - are a bit bland. I never got a good sense of their motivations and aspirations. There was no conflict between the main four characters: they just immediately got along and became a family (or a pod, in the world of OBP) and that was it. There was no conflict and it was a bit difficult to believe, especially as only Dejean was able to communicate with Perle with sign language in the book. I love nice and kind people, but I just didn't entirely buy it how nice and kind Dejean, Simone and Murielle were. I would've loved to see more conflict between the cast, especially as these are two completely different species and cultures. Another thing that I wasn't really keen in terms of the main cast actually has to to with the amazing Perle themself. They're a great character, and absolutely loved reading their thoughts and snarky comments. However, Perle wasn't really an active protagonist. For example in the end, when Perle (view spoiler)[is captured by Kian, they make a very cool inner statement that they're not going to wait to be rescued again, and instead they're going to save themselves. Next paragraph? Dejean has climbed the entire ship to save Perle, even when he's injured, and is knocking on the window. (hide spoiler)] The villain was unfortunately weak. I personally love a good villain, perhaps a bit too much, so I was dissapointed with Kian. She's horrible, and that's all there is to her. Everyone in the book talks about how evil she is, even though she only appears in a handful of pages, doing her evil deeds. Of course we see Perle's reaction every time Kian is mentioned, but otherwise she never feels like a true threat. I couldn't really believe her as a villain as we didn't really get to see all her evilness in prime, and this is something that we see way too often in fantasy: just talking about a villain doesn't make the readers hate them. We have to see them in action, and see them as three-dimensional characters with more personality than Pure Evilness. There is a brief mention of Kian's mandatory tragic backstory, which explains some of her actions, but it is really quite brief. The antagonist in OBP is much more of a plot-tool to make things happen than a well-developed character: she's the reason why Perle and Dejean meet, an aspect which they bond over, and a way to bring a little excitement to this otherwise super-fluffy and sweet book. Of course in a short book like this there even isn't enough pages to come up with a complex plot and a 50-page interlude to bring light to the antagonist's motivations, but I still felt like Kian could've been developed more as a character and a villain. Then onto my favourite character - or, well, he was super cool at least and completely underused - Theirn! Theirn is Kian's... first-mate, I think? I'm really bad at this whole naval lingo, especially in English. He's a minor character, with only a few lines, but in my opinion perhaps the most complex character right after Perle and the one I'm looking forward to most in the next part. (view spoiler)[Theirn works for Kian and suffers her abuse obediently and loyally. However, Perle also personally knows that he is capable of compassion and kindness, and I loved how in the end he decides to save his own hide to help a siren he previously helped to torture for his beloved captain. I hope that in the next part we will learn more about him and his motivation: why he always stood by his captain even though he didn't agree with her; why he became a pirate in the first place; why he could dedicate his life to help Kian hunt and kill sirens while his interactions with Perle and Abyss that he personally had nothing against sirens, even seemed fascinated by them. I just can't wait to see more of him! (hide spoiler)] OBP also has a very utopian nature to it - and I mean this in the good old-fashioned way, when people thought about the future as bright, hopeful and something to aspire to, not the unreachable dream -kinda way. As pretty much everyone who has read this great book mentions, OBP features a number of POC and LGBTQ+ characters - and they are pretty much blink-and-you-miss-it, but in the best way. In Bryn's world there is no need for different constricting boxes of sexuality, ethnicity et cetera - people are much more than that one thing, and that's how it should be. Quite often there is the infamous Token Black -character whose entire personality is about being black - cause apparently that's a thing? Same goes for LGBTQ+ characters; there's nothing more to them than for the creator to show that "hey, I support minorities too!" And yes, of course I'm an advocate for more diversity, but characters always should have more personality, history, motivations, goals, et cetera, than one part of their identity. Bryn does an excellent job at this. It took my half a book to even realize that Perle is exclusively referred with they-pronoun - it was just so natural and beautifully done, just like all references to sexuality, gender, ethnicity et cetera in this book. Massive kudos for that - hopefully our own world will someday be like Bryn's vision. (view spoiler)[On the same note, I also loved the sublety in handling miscommunications between cultures and languages. It is very relevant to our own world, a point which was no doubt intentional, and I loved how none of the messages in this book were punched right into your noses. OBP simply contrasted and compared our real-life issues to her world, and it was very well and subtly done. (hide spoiler)] To sum up this over-long review: this is a really sweet, beautifully written feel-good book with lots of great quotes which I highlighted on my Kindle but my technological skills aren't high enough to import here, with quite a few bloody deaths and severed organs, but all in all this read just made me really happy. The plot was really simple, but OBP is definitely about it's fantastic and diverse main characters and the really cool world which still has lot to explore.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Amber Loney

    I had the pleasure of beta reading this book and I'm so excited to see that it will be published later this month! Our Bloody Pearl is a wonderfully cozy read with distinct and unique characters. I loved the pov and strong voice of Perle, a disabled siren. It was so interesting to read a book from the pov of someone who isn't human and see how they perceive the world. This is one of those books that you read and you feel all warm and fuzzy after reading it. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for I had the pleasure of beta reading this book and I'm so excited to see that it will be published later this month! Our Bloody Pearl is a wonderfully cozy read with distinct and unique characters. I loved the pov and strong voice of Perle, a disabled siren. It was so interesting to read a book from the pov of someone who isn't human and see how they perceive the world. This is one of those books that you read and you feel all warm and fuzzy after reading it. I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and unique read that gives you some hope.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Figooza990

    Disclaimer: I was a beta-reader for this book, and therefore read a non-finalized version. However, the story did not go through any major changes during edits after my read that would change my impression of it. I really enjoyed Our Bloody Pearl- this book has some heavy themes behind it and it delivers with finesse and wonderful detail. The characters are all engaging and feel fully fleshed out and organic. I highly suggest this book to any and all lovers of mermaids and sirens, the steam punk Disclaimer: I was a beta-reader for this book, and therefore read a non-finalized version. However, the story did not go through any major changes during edits after my read that would change my impression of it. I really enjoyed Our Bloody Pearl- this book has some heavy themes behind it and it delivers with finesse and wonderful detail. The characters are all engaging and feel fully fleshed out and organic. I highly suggest this book to any and all lovers of mermaids and sirens, the steam punk aesthetic, and uplifting stories of healing.

  16. 5 out of 5

    ren

    *clutches chest* i love this book so much

  17. 5 out of 5

    Caroline

    This was such a wonderful book! I loved the characters: the main human ones are real cutiepies, Perle is a jewel, both strong and funny, and you have a great antagonist with Kian. Besides that, I was amazed with how real the sirens looked as a fantastic species. Also, great representation for LGBTQ+ and disabled people: it felt very natural (not forced, just so you could say that there was a LGBTQ+ or disabled character in the story) and was woven very well into the narrative. Definitively recomm This was such a wonderful book! I loved the characters: the main human ones are real cutiepies, Perle is a jewel, both strong and funny, and you have a great antagonist with Kian. Besides that, I was amazed with how real the sirens looked as a fantastic species. Also, great representation for LGBTQ+ and disabled people: it felt very natural (not forced, just so you could say that there was a LGBTQ+ or disabled character in the story) and was woven very well into the narrative. Definitively recommend it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Elyssa Perkins

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There was some good: An amazing premise, especially the descriptions of the sirens and the technology (except for the medical tech). My favorite idea was that the siren song was such a feeling celebration of the ocean that humans would feel the same need to become part of it. That brought up my own feelings about the ocean, having grown up on a barrier island, and how much more whole I feel when I know the ocean is a moment away. Unfortunately there was a lot of bad: None of the characters had a There was some good: An amazing premise, especially the descriptions of the sirens and the technology (except for the medical tech). My favorite idea was that the siren song was such a feeling celebration of the ocean that humans would feel the same need to become part of it. That brought up my own feelings about the ocean, having grown up on a barrier island, and how much more whole I feel when I know the ocean is a moment away. Unfortunately there was a lot of bad: None of the characters had a personality. They came with exactly two quirks each, usually in the form of hobbies, and if they’d had the same speech patterns as each other you wouldn’t have been able to tell who was talking unless it was Perle. Trying to worry for them when things got hard was like trying to worry about a cardboard cut out. Speaking of when things got hard... they never actually seemed to get hard. A scary person came through the door in a cloak midway through a conversation! The suspense lasts only half a sentence before it’s Muriel. Dejean gets hurt! Except the medical technology is almost a cure-all and you never wonder once if he’ll die. The few conflicts there actually were were rarely internal, except for Perle vs Storm which I did enjoy, and they were almost all solved about a page later if not less. There was no suspense or build whatsoever. There were also a lot of factual inconsistencies such as Perle being close enough to Dejean’s ship to see the blood on men’s faces except she’s below deck near a porthole so if she was really that close she’d be looking at the side of the other ship. The factual issue that that REALLY drove me crazy though was that her tail was under a weight for many months and somehow sustained permanent nerve damage but no circulatory damage or tissue death. If her main plot point is going to be the paralysis of her tail shouldn’t that be at least the one thing you research? I personally think so. On a less important note I couldn’t tell from the language and simplicity vs the plot if the book was meant to be middle grade or YA. It may have been meant for middle grade in which case I would tone down my concerns above and be very glad a middle grade book was showing so much needed diversity. But all together, in the end, dragging my feet through this book was only possible because it was the only reading I’d brought to the beach that day.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cora Snow

    5/5. A copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Positive: I love this book. That's the long and short of it: I love and adore this book. This book is about love, found family, disability, and healing from trauma. To me (a disabled person), it is especially about disability. Perle's disability is visible, but the way the author writes about it applies to invisible disabilities as well, and I cried a few times as Perle learned to cope and live with their disa 5/5. A copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review. Positive: I love this book. That's the long and short of it: I love and adore this book. This book is about love, found family, disability, and healing from trauma. To me (a disabled person), it is especially about disability. Perle's disability is visible, but the way the author writes about it applies to invisible disabilities as well, and I cried a few times as Perle learned to cope and live with their disability. Perle themself was such an amazing character, and Dejean was incredible-- all the characters were really 3D and great. But Perle. Perle is a siren, a predator, who, as the story progresses, overcomes their nature to be better than base instinct. Some people might be turned off by Perle at the start, with their bloodthirsty ways, but please give them a chance. They grow and change and yet are still wholly themself and I love them so much. I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, found family, human/monster romances (MY FAVOURITE), or needs a good book about disability. Negative: It's too short! (Not a real criticism.) Okay but there was one thing that irked me: (view spoiler)[ it felt like the author was trying too hard to humanize Kian at the end. And by then, it is much, much too late. She is not at all a sympathetic villain, and as a reader, I kind of resent the intense effort made to make us understand her. We already understand her at that point: she's a fucked up abuser, and her 'tragic past' doesn't change how much I hate her. It only serves to annoy me. At the very least, Perle didn't forgive her, and that was a relief. (hide spoiler)]

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mira

    I started this today and I finished it today, if that gives people any idea of how much I adored reading this. Honestly, I couldn't put it down within reading the first page and I definitely couldn't as the story went on. The story has everything you could want: some romance, some action, some tear-jerkers and angst, pirates, and sirens. Oh, and LGBT representation from 50% (if not all of them) of the main cast! I highly recommend it for people who want a mostly fun and easy to sink into book! Y I started this today and I finished it today, if that gives people any idea of how much I adored reading this. Honestly, I couldn't put it down within reading the first page and I definitely couldn't as the story went on. The story has everything you could want: some romance, some action, some tear-jerkers and angst, pirates, and sirens. Oh, and LGBT representation from 50% (if not all of them) of the main cast! I highly recommend it for people who want a mostly fun and easy to sink into book! You'll fall in love with Perle and Dejean and their friendship/romance, just like I did. Join me, join the pod. (There's bits of gore for the tender-hearted, but none of it was too squicky and a siren has to eat somehow! The circle of life continues!) The rest of this review contains spoilers so read on at your own risk! I don't have enough words in my vocabulary to explain how much I love Perle and Dejean. Everything about them is just super cute in general, which sounds like such an oversimplification of their relationship. Like, they even come up with their own language just to communicate?? I cannot, I know they had to, but it was just so adorable to watch them try to communicate with each other throughout the book. Dejean goes out of his way to make Perle feel safe and happy, perfectly willingly to let them go free if that's what they wish, but offering them sanctuary and friendship as they recover from their ordeal. Then we have Perle, our bloody pearl indeed, whose iconic line "how can I eat this monster [of yours] if they are already dead? i can't eat bones" (tons of typos, I think) entirely describes who they are as a person. Bloodthirsty, but protective and caring and lovingly calls their friends idiots. These two idiots would kill for the other -- and they have, in Perle's case. I love them. I love them so much. These two idiots want to save the world and damn it I believe in them. I loved the storyline about Perle's tail and about Dejean's injury. I can't speak as someone who has any such disabilities to hinder them the way Dejean and Perle do now, but I loved seeing the realism and the hope from it. And the fact that while this was a plot in the story, it didn't make up the entire point of the story. There was more to them than Perle's broken tail and Dejean's immovable arm. I don't think I have any qualms about the story, short of not understanding some of the boating terms personally. I do have two questions though: 1) Why did Dejean keep Perle? Other than the goodness of his heart, it seemed like there was a reason that Dejean and Simone were on the ship that we were never told. I'm guessing it was for the siren blockers, to steal them or break them, but I feel like that was a point in the book that I either overlooked or it didn't get mentioned. 2) I honestly thought Red was the siren who was injured and Abyss the one who wanted to help them. How did Abyss end up left behind in this case? Or did I misread the situation? My final question has nothing to do with the book itself: Is this a standalone or a series? I'm not going to complain either way because its a fantastic standalone book, but I can see the potential for future stories. I would love to see more of Perle and Dejean, but I also think this was a lovely, happy ending for them. It's 1am where I am and I just had to type this all out before I went to bed so forgive me for typos or weird, incomprehensible sentences. Thank you to the author for giving my tumblr (mercythompson) a review copy, I'm so grateful to have been given the chance to read this wonderful book and I hope more people flock to it soon.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hermine de Cevins

    *The author gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review*. I really enjoyed this book, a cross between a steampunk novel and a pirate adventure. The main character, Perle, a siren who sees humans as gourmet meals, is forced to reconsider their hatred of mankind as a pirate and his crew rescue them from captivity (where Perle could expect to be sold and most likely die, away from the sea). Gravely injured, their tail impaired, they have to rely on Dejean, a compassionate but troubled pira *The author gave me a free copy in exchange for an honest review*. I really enjoyed this book, a cross between a steampunk novel and a pirate adventure. The main character, Perle, a siren who sees humans as gourmet meals, is forced to reconsider their hatred of mankind as a pirate and his crew rescue them from captivity (where Perle could expect to be sold and most likely die, away from the sea). Gravely injured, their tail impaired, they have to rely on Dejean, a compassionate but troubled pirate, to find a way to return to the sea. The story is beautifully written, lavish descriptions of the ocean woven in action-packed scenes. We discover this world through Perle's lenses, torn between distrusting humans and needing their help to fix their tail. Perle's POV is masterfully rendered, the author's attention to details impressive, for example in the use of sea metaphors when discovering human contraceptions unknown to sirens. Finally, it's particularly refreshing to meet a racially diverse, mostly-LGBT cast, as well as a version of sirens miles away from "attractive females lure men into the sea" (Perle's gender identity being quite unique, as sirens in this story can all bear children and give life, and thus have no understanding nor need for humans' notions of gender). I can not recommend this book enough, it's an impressive first novel.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rowan

    I got this book, read it in under a day, and then promptly went and read it again to avoid putting it down. Everything about this book sings (like a SIREN SONG). The author doesn't focus very much on the descriptions of the outer world, but does such a brilliant job with Perle's alien outlook that we don't need it. From their metaphors, wanting for the sea, and feelings toward those around them, I don't need any sort of body description or mention of their tail to understand that this is someone I got this book, read it in under a day, and then promptly went and read it again to avoid putting it down. Everything about this book sings (like a SIREN SONG). The author doesn't focus very much on the descriptions of the outer world, but does such a brilliant job with Perle's alien outlook that we don't need it. From their metaphors, wanting for the sea, and feelings toward those around them, I don't need any sort of body description or mention of their tail to understand that this is someone who is not human, and that takes some seriously good skill to come across instead of just writing a human with a tail. Brilliant. And Dejean! I love his kind of hesitant interactions with Perle, which are all brilliantly written. Murielle and Simone and Kian are all beautiful and I can understand Kian's reasonings, even if I wouldn't do it myself. The other sirens are all great as well, and I love the hand gestures and how Bryn doesn't just have Dejean or anyone learn how to speak Sirenese perfectly. It really adds a lot to the story. Overall, I really adore it. Sweet, but with the breathtakingly intense scenes near the end that just keep getting worse and worse things piled on top until I'm worried they're going to explode. The characters are unique and even those that didn't get the most screen time had defining features that made them seem very real. Although I know it probably won't happen, I'll still hope for a sequel of some sort.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cinnia

    4.5 stars TL;DR: This was a hella cute yet intense read that was nearly impossible to put down. Mind you, there is a fair bit of violence and blood since this is a book about pirates and sirens. Stuff I liked: - The characters, the characters, and the characters. Because damn, did I ever get quickly attached to these adorable cuties (within less than a day!). (Funny to call them cute, when all of them are fully capable of murder and feeding human livers to sirens, but they really are cute characte 4.5 stars TL;DR: This was a hella cute yet intense read that was nearly impossible to put down. Mind you, there is a fair bit of violence and blood since this is a book about pirates and sirens. Stuff I liked: - The characters, the characters, and the characters. Because damn, did I ever get quickly attached to these adorable cuties (within less than a day!). (Funny to call them cute, when all of them are fully capable of murder and feeding human livers to sirens, but they really are cute characters with a depth that is hinted at at first, then increasingly woven through the story over time.) - I liked that because readers only had Perle's POV for the book, we got to see things from a siren's perspective, including their different interpretations of morality and metaphor. I thought that was really well-done and the level of detail speaks to the amount of work that went into this book. - Language stuff! I'm a language/linguistics nerd-hobbyist so I just loved how Perle's perspective on siren language and song vs. human language and how they found a way to communicate with Dejean in spite of everything. - On that note, the way that siren culture was addressed in the story and how the humans learned from it and adopted elements of it, rather than the traditional mermaid/siren story where it's exclusively the other way around. - The disabled characters and queer characters were written very well, with a lot of thoughtfulness behind it, which I appreciated. Also, can I just say that (view spoiler)[the mobility aids that Mur designed for Perle were cool as heck? Who says disabled characters have no role in a story with magic because I will personally fight them. Maybe in future books Mur can think of a mobility aid for Dejean, too. (hide spoiler)] Stuff I was iffy about: - Not much to say on this one, except for a few typos and verb tense slippage that were kinda distracting enough to pull me out of reading for a moment, but I'm not sure every reader would notice them as much as a person like me who has had to edit long works of text in the past. - In retrospect, I do think the central relationship moved a little quickly (at least in terms of Perle changing their mind about humans after everything they went through), but considering everything that happened, I'm just iffy about it, not against it. (view spoiler)[Plus, it's still kinda in the baby stages at the end of the book and there's a certain gentleness about it that I think has a fair chance of developing more in future books. Also Dejean is kind, almost unbelievably kind, but I do appreciate characters who respond to the horrible things in the world with goodness instead of bitterness. (hide spoiler)] Also not a nitpick or anything, but I hope I have a chance to read future books because the more hints at the kinda-steampunkish worldbuilding, the more I wanted to know about it and how everything works!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Black Sea

    From a post on my blog: "This is my first book review in a while, so it might be a bit choppy. Our Bloody Pearl is about a siren who’s abused by humans that hate them (the feeling is mutual). Chained to a filthy tub in a ship’s hull, they don’t think they will ever be able to get back into real water again. Then a new human that their kind calls “Dejean” appears. He acts kind by giving them food and a name, which they don’t believe is real. The human pretends to be interested in them, but really From a post on my blog: "This is my first book review in a while, so it might be a bit choppy. Our Bloody Pearl is about a siren who’s abused by humans that hate them (the feeling is mutual). Chained to a filthy tub in a ship’s hull, they don’t think they will ever be able to get back into real water again. Then a new human that their kind calls “Dejean” appears. He acts kind by giving them food and a name, which they don’t believe is real. The human pretends to be interested in them, but really, time will tell whether it’s a facade or a genuine affection for the sea and everyone in it. OBP is an immersive 219-page adventure for fans of fantasy and the oceans. It has rough combat and secrecy, but also intimacy and affection between some of the characters, most revealed later on. I absolutely enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys modern(?) fantasy." This was an amazing read that I devoted about three hours without break to (I read fast when I'm into it). It was worth every minute, and I absolutely love it. The only issues aren't very big, because they have no real effect on the story, but there were two or three typos that broke my concentration- other than that, the time setting is a little unclear. Like I said, though, the book still works perfectly. 8/8 would recommend.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Hannah R

    READ IT AND SQUEE Seriously, I cannot stress enough how much fun this book was. If you're tired of an overabundance of tropes and cliches and sexism in fantasy books, you HAVE to give this one a go. Our hero Perle is an absolute gem (pun intended) and unlike then any other narrator I've ever encountered. As a siren, Perle has this hilariously unique perspective on their world which mostly involves dividing things into two categories: "things I can eat" and "things I can't eat". But when the dashi READ IT AND SQUEE Seriously, I cannot stress enough how much fun this book was. If you're tired of an overabundance of tropes and cliches and sexism in fantasy books, you HAVE to give this one a go. Our hero Perle is an absolute gem (pun intended) and unlike then any other narrator I've ever encountered. As a siren, Perle has this hilariously unique perspective on their world which mostly involves dividing things into two categories: "things I can eat" and "things I can't eat". But when the dashing, charming, and heart-warming pirate captain Dejean rescues them, they are forced to consider perhaps a third: "things I could eat but shouldn't". Without being too spoilerly, the journey follows Perle as they recover from grueling captivity and learn to navigate their world again with the help of a prosthetic fin. It's all about choosing hope, which is not the same as choosing to forget or ignore the past. It's about facing trauma and choosing a life that may not be the same as the one you had, but is still full of good things and people! Other characters Perle encounters--such as the first mate Simone, who is the true hero for single-handedly keeping everyone alive with common sense, and her fiance Murielle, feisty mechanic and gossip extraordinaire--are each so unique and wonderful. I fell in love right away, and I'm sure you will too. Oh, and there's also kick-ass airships and magic, a war between humans and sirens with vicious murderers on both sides of the line, and some extremely unconventional descriptions of a mattress. Honestly, if pirates and sirens and adventure and effortless diverse casts sound good to you, you have GOT to check this book out. I guarantee you've never read anything like it. Bryn has crafted a masterpiece, and I cannot wait for more books in this series to come out.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nyctea

    I would like to start by saying that I was given a free copy of this book to review by the author. However, this is not something that I will let get in the way of my review. This book was a nice, short and entertaining read in the midst of my purple prose and boring school reading assignments. It is the tale of a captured siren, Perle. They are kept under a pirate captain, Kian, who is at war with sirens, although the ship is soon taken over by another pirate, Dejean. Perle and Dejean form a s I would like to start by saying that I was given a free copy of this book to review by the author. However, this is not something that I will let get in the way of my review. This book was a nice, short and entertaining read in the midst of my purple prose and boring school reading assignments. It is the tale of a captured siren, Perle. They are kept under a pirate captain, Kian, who is at war with sirens, although the ship is soon taken over by another pirate, Dejean. Perle and Dejean form a strange sort of friendship. They begin to trust one another and plan to fight Kian together. It took a while for me to get into this story. Perle did not easily endear themself to me and throwing Dejean in so quickly made it harder for me to bond with Perle. It took about midway through for me to be cheering them on. When I first read them, they felt one-dimensional. This is not in the way the Ash Princess characters felt on dimensional where they all had the same voice. Perle often felt…one-sided. I felt like I was permitted to see only one side of their personality. There wasn’t much complexity to them or Mur or Dejean. The fight scenes (which there are quite a few) were often difficult to follow. The exception to this is Perle’s fight in the cove. Part of this comes from continuity. It felt like things frequently disappeared and reappeared in the middle of battles. Battles may be chaotic, but I’ve never felt so confused or turned around in Tae Kwon Do sparring. The floor is still there, the doorway is still in the front of the room by the pillars, and people don’t suddenly move ten feet without my notice. The scenes were chaotic without the feeling of chaos. I would have liked to have seen more of the sirens. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I felt like I had a good grip on what these sirens look like. Perhaps it’s my own ignorance, but I was imaging something similar to a mermaid. I guess them calling Perle a fish the whole time should have clued me in. The pacing of the story sometimes felt off. It was very even paced. There was no feel of fast or slow, just the ever flowing passage of time. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed this book. Summer is coming to a close here in the mountains and I’m not ready to let go of it. The story kept me hanging on. I have never been fond of the ocean, but felt myself longing for it with Perle. Along with that, it’s a pirate story. Being a kid when Pirates of the Caribbean came out, it’s been difficult for me to find any good pirate story. While Dejean is no Jack Sparrow, he is a pirate I’d like to see more of. The lens of Perle really got me to care for him. This story was fun and exactly what I needed to get away from my responsibilities. Our Bloody Pearl is not without flaws. At times if felt like an unfinished draft. But, it is Bryn’s debut novel and I have the utmost faith in their ability to grow. (In fact, I’m watching their progress on future novels on their Tumblr - @brynwrites) Overall, I would recommend this to steampunk fans, siren enthusiasts, pirate lovers, and anyone trying to cling to that last breath of summer.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Luteia

    Won a PDF copy in a giveaway a few days ago, read it in about an hour and a half with only one break to go receive an Amazon package. Absolutely brilliant. Perle is a good protagonist, you can tell they're not human and they don't think that way, but you can still relate to how they're thinking the way Dejean tries to. They're nonbinary in the way all nonhuman beings are, and the cultural differences still mesh well. They're also disabled and I really like the way it's handled. Speaking as an abl Won a PDF copy in a giveaway a few days ago, read it in about an hour and a half with only one break to go receive an Amazon package. Absolutely brilliant. Perle is a good protagonist, you can tell they're not human and they don't think that way, but you can still relate to how they're thinking the way Dejean tries to. They're nonbinary in the way all nonhuman beings are, and the cultural differences still mesh well. They're also disabled and I really like the way it's handled. Speaking as an abled person, the way that Perle's society as a siren shuns all disability, but that they learn that different does not mean wrong, is very, very good. I'd say that the perspective shown would do a lot for an abled reader who doesn't quite get the disability thing, and puts it into perspective a whole lot more. Murielle and Simone being lesbians? That is also terrific and I love it. Dejean being ace? Perfect. All sirens technically being physically genderfluid / intersex? Delightful. There is also the idea that Perle very much has some form of PTSD / C-PTSD, and so does Dejean. It's well handled both out of universe and in universe. The ending is absolutely perfect - the villains were given a choice to redemption, and the protagonists faced punishment for the actions that needed consequence. The morality is shown pretty nuanced and it's really, really refreshing to see after so much feel-good, consequence free violence. The plot is paced amazingly well between the slower and faster scenes, and I didn't find myself skipping anything. Usually, I dislike romance, but it was handled well and arguably, could very well not be a romance at all and moreso a queerplatonic relationship, should that end up being the case. It isn't explicitly stated either way if it is romantic, as it is heavily implied that at least one member in the main pairing is on the aromantic spectrum. It was a delight to see, definitely. I think Simone is my favourite character, but I'm definitely waiting for book #2 now. And I'll probably check and see if there's a hardcover copy I can get my hands on. +1 reader to the series, and I would most certainly recommend it if you like pirates with a bit of fantasy and don't mind some gore. edit: The sign language. I forgot the sign language. It's brilliant and handled incredibly well and seems definitely realistic. That is how you handle sign language in a book (because it doesn't exactly translate well on paper), and I love it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Cheyanne

    *A copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.* I want to start by saying that I usually don't care for a first person perspective. That having been said, reading this from literally any point of view other than directly from Perle's perspective would not have done justice to the small nuances that made Our Bloody Pearl so captivating. D.N. Bryn does an amazing job of including disability, mental health, and talks of gender and sexuality in a way that is both *A copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.* I want to start by saying that I usually don't care for a first person perspective. That having been said, reading this from literally any point of view other than directly from Perle's perspective would not have done justice to the small nuances that made Our Bloody Pearl so captivating. D.N. Bryn does an amazing job of including disability, mental health, and talks of gender and sexuality in a way that is both casual and impactful to the story. None of the conversations between characters feels forced, nor is the topic of sexuality (with an asexual character in the main cast, our non-binary protagonist, and a lovely lesbian couple) shown in the typical way of getting past something 'shameful'. Everything is normalized and it's incredibly refreshing as an LGBT+ reader to not only see representation, but for it to be normalized as well. In addition, the topic of disability is handled far above and beyond what I've come to expect from fantasy or science fiction. Namely, that technology or magic is not used to 'fix' disabilities or trauma, nor do those things go away to make things more convenient down the road. My only real complaint was occasionally not being sure about the world as a whole. What things that Perle doesn't understand (and often didn't care to know the true names of) and what things are truly different from our world were a bit difficult to place occasionally. The bits of world building we got in terms of the Sirens was phenomenal, but I do wish that the rest of the world had been explained a bit more fully. (That having been said, it didn't impact how quickly I tore through Our Bloody Pearl in my free time.) Overall though, it was everything I've wanted to read lately that has been missing from the books already on my shelf. Everything ended in a way that left me content, but I still want more. More of the world, more of the future.... I look forward to more from These Treacherous Tides and from D.N. Bryn in the future!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Okay, so I really just want to gush about how much I love this story and the characters, but that honestly wouldn't be enough to express how amazing it is. I'm going to try to explain it, but I am a little sleep deprived (from staying up to finish reading Our Bloody Pearl)... Right. So, I'll start with the bad (there isn't much). While it's nice to see characters taking time to recover from injuries, and learn to work with disabilities, it was also the slowest part of the novel. I felt there could Okay, so I really just want to gush about how much I love this story and the characters, but that honestly wouldn't be enough to express how amazing it is. I'm going to try to explain it, but I am a little sleep deprived (from staying up to finish reading Our Bloody Pearl)... Right. So, I'll start with the bad (there isn't much). While it's nice to see characters taking time to recover from injuries, and learn to work with disabilities, it was also the slowest part of the novel. I felt there could have been more interaction between the characters (rather than skimming over conversations), and/or the character development could have been more explored. Some of the steampunk technology seemed to be skimmed over, with just a basic hand-waving style explanation given. I think this bothers me simply because I'm a huge world building nerd. Additionally, there were a couple things later in the story that I felt were broadcast a little too heavily earlier on. That said, this book was a genuine pleasure to read. Every character, from the main antagonist, to random sirens only seen once or twice, felt as if they had a complete and realistic background. Obviously, these histories aren't always explored, but they way the characters talk and behave just made them feel incredibly real. Also, I adore the whole pod. I liked seeing a variety if different characters. Different ethnicities, mental health issues, physical disabilities, sexual orientation, and even a brief discussion about gender. (Loved Perle's response that they didn't understand 'he' and 'she' any better than their nonbinary/ non-generedness made sense to Dejean). It was also interesting to see a wonderful example of how fantasy novels can engage with issues around disability and racism, without resorting to magic cure-alls. I also really enjoyed how both sides of the problem were shown as having legitimate reasons for their aggression, without one side being vilified over another (beyond the main antagonist's part in things, obviously) All in all, an amazing story! (Disclaimer: I received a free ebook in exchange for an honest review)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Raksha M.

    What an adventure this book was! It’s fun, heartwarming, well crafted story with a fascinating world and amazing characters, I honestly got lost somewhere in there - the good kind of lost! The sirens are so nicely thought out, I enjoyed Perle’s description of their kind so much, and the gradual change they were going through. I sympathized, I cheered them on and it was an amazing journey. Also, the steampunk ships? I’m. In. Love. Honestly I’d never think that steampunk + sirens would work so well What an adventure this book was! It’s fun, heartwarming, well crafted story with a fascinating world and amazing characters, I honestly got lost somewhere in there - the good kind of lost! The sirens are so nicely thought out, I enjoyed Perle’s description of their kind so much, and the gradual change they were going through. I sympathized, I cheered them on and it was an amazing journey. Also, the steampunk ships? I’m. In. Love. Honestly I’d never think that steampunk + sirens would work so well, but it does! But what the story would be without the characters? And I tell you, they’re probably my favourite part of this book. Perle’s fierce and wild, but also goes through so much development, I ended up loving them so much. Dejean is a sweetheart, honestly, we must protect him at all costs. And Murielle also. And Ab- oh, that may be a spoiler... Simone is so relatable, she may be my fave, though all the characters are so well written I love every each one of them. Even Kian. Or maybe not “love” exactly in her case, but I understand now, and she’s really, really well written. Her manipulation got my skin crawling and I wanted to hiss at her like Perle, but also now I understand and I’m happy with how Perle acted after some things were revealed. I’m also so proud of this amazing siren, it makes me giddy. I said it once and I’ll say it once more - what an adventure! I wasn’t expecting so much action, but I was positively surprised, mostly because it wasn’t in any way rushed, it was well paced and we still got plenty of quiet moments, where we could just sit with the characters, see their relationships, their growth over the course of the story, and I weren’t bored even for a second. It took a bit before I got completely sucked up by the story, but it was so worth it. I was looking for a book to captivate me like this for so long and I stumbled upon this amazing work and it was all I needed. There's adventure, there's action (with some violence and blood, because sirens, of course), there are amazing characters with great chemistry and it's all topped with some heartwarming romance. I wholeheartedly recommend!

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