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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. 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.

  2. 5 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!!

  3. 4 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.

  4. 4 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 :)

  5. 4 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.

  6. 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?

  7. 5 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 4 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!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shannon Rohrer

    *I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.* This was an incredibly enjoyable read, providing a healthy mix of lightheartedness and the gravitas needed while dealing with harder, darker themes. The story is told through the first-person perspective of a captured siren (Perle), who through their imprisonment, has sustained a life-altering injury from which they cannot heal. I felt the theme was handled exceptionally well, and despite the initial despair of something of *I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.* This was an incredibly enjoyable read, providing a healthy mix of lightheartedness and the gravitas needed while dealing with harder, darker themes. The story is told through the first-person perspective of a captured siren (Perle), who through their imprisonment, has sustained a life-altering injury from which they cannot heal. I felt the theme was handled exceptionally well, and despite the initial despair of something of that magnitude happening, it also provided much hope and optimism; showing that even with the loss of mobility, one can still live a full and fulfilling life. Another theme I think it touched on very well was abuse, in how Perle both reacted during the abuse, and how they continued to be haunted by it throughout the story. What really sold the story for me wasn't Perle's suffering, but rather how, with the kindness and compassion of humans, they were able to slowly heal--especially as the abuse had come at the hands of humans (one in particular) to begin with. Moreover, the story also showed both sides, in how the hunting and fighting between humans and sirens is not one-sided, and that it often stemmed from misunderstandings between the two species. I quickly came to like Perle, as they felt like a very organic, realistic character despite being a mythical creature. And I particularly loved the progression of their relationship with Dejean, the pirate captain whom saved them, and with Murielle (Dejean's adoptive sister) and Simone (his second) in turn. The story was beautiful, showing that despite their initial lack of understanding of one another, Dejean and Perle were able to form a method of communication with one another--and with time, compassion, and trust, a bond. This was done gradually, neither dragging nor rushing, allowing for a natural progression. The details, both environmental and those of the characters, were well done, neither giving too much nor too little, and granting a fairly clear picture of who each character was, their personality, and their surroundings. Beautiful story, excellently executed, and brimming with a cast of diverse, interesting characters, I'd definitely recommend Our Bloody Pearl to others, and look forward to reading the sequel in the foreseeable future.

  12. 4 out of 5

    A. Sundeen

    Okay, this book was CRAZY good. If I had the time, I swear I would’ve zipped through it in a day or two! There are so many aspects that I personally don’t think we get enough of in traditional fantasy writing; this book was an interesting take on everything we as readers have seen before and an amazing introduction into everything we haven’t. Firstly, the world-building. It’s easy to see that OBP takes place in a world unlike our own, and I love the levels of development. Steampunk in general is Okay, this book was CRAZY good. If I had the time, I swear I would’ve zipped through it in a day or two! There are so many aspects that I personally don’t think we get enough of in traditional fantasy writing; this book was an interesting take on everything we as readers have seen before and an amazing introduction into everything we haven’t. Firstly, the world-building. It’s easy to see that OBP takes place in a world unlike our own, and I love the levels of development. Steampunk in general is one of my favorite world genres, and it’s definitely included in this book – while many fantasy books have a way of almost over-writing the world-building to the point that it’s stifling, OBP is different. The world is mentioned in the details and in the places that it’s relevant rather than in four pages of composition, which I LOVE. It added to the overall authenticity of the writing, giving the feeling that Perle has existed in this general world for her whole life rather than treating everything like a new experience. The dynamic between Perle and Dejean is one of the best that I’ve ever read. This is especially because their relationship doesn’t turn into a romance; it’s an extremely close friendship but it’s also clear that the two love each other as if it is. Each of the characters had their own unique personality and dynamic with each other, to the point that I could see myself meeting each of them as REAL PEOPLE. Perle’s arc of development was extremely well-written, also; the shift was gradual as it would be in real life, and her change in perspective cane naturally. So if the book on its own wasn’t enough for questioning readers, the characters and character development should absolutely be a factor to consider. All in all, Our Bloody Pearl is more than worth the read. You’ll have the characterization and world-building, and how the plot progresses. 100/5 stars!

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 4 out of 5

    AC

    This book... it is a breath of fresh, salty sea air, that pulls you in for what you just KNOW is going to be a fantastic adventure from the first page. I managed to read this in just two sittings, which is really rare for me as a slow reader, but I have to say that I couldn't put it down. This is my first time really getting to grips with pirate fantasy but the quality of the writing and characterisation has really sold me on reading more in the future (and more of D.N. Bryn's future work, too!) This book... it is a breath of fresh, salty sea air, that pulls you in for what you just KNOW is going to be a fantastic adventure from the first page. I managed to read this in just two sittings, which is really rare for me as a slow reader, but I have to say that I couldn't put it down. This is my first time really getting to grips with pirate fantasy but the quality of the writing and characterisation has really sold me on reading more in the future (and more of D.N. Bryn's future work, too!) Our Bloody Pearl is the book for you if you're looking for a high-seas, swashbuckling adventure. I'm full of ocean similes now but it really does move like the tide; the narrative carries you along and is fast-paced without outstaying its welcome... but at the same time I think it's the human element that I really like about this story. I don't want to give too much away, but the connections between the characters are sensitively and subtly written in a really nice balance that I appreciated a lot. I find myself thinking about what other mishaps they must be getting into, now that the book is done. Even though the plot for me is strong, it's the characters that sell it. I hope that a lot of people give this book a chance - it has been the perfect read for me to kick off my summer holiday!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Elena Johansen

    I was provided a free copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. A queer pirate + siren love story that manages to cover a lot of ground for disabled representation, too. I loved the steampunk vibe, the determined iteration of Murielle in making aids for Perle, Perle's own struggles to adapt to their new situation, and Dejean's quiet affection and understanding. Hell, I'm a little in love with Dejean myself at this point, which is one mark of a good romance. What I'm not as in love with I was provided a free copy by the author in exchange for an honest review. A queer pirate + siren love story that manages to cover a lot of ground for disabled representation, too. I loved the steampunk vibe, the determined iteration of Murielle in making aids for Perle, Perle's own struggles to adapt to their new situation, and Dejean's quiet affection and understanding. Hell, I'm a little in love with Dejean myself at this point, which is one mark of a good romance. What I'm not as in love with is the pace. In terms of speed, this has clearly been ruthlessly edited, right down to the bone, to ensure the story never stalls; but writing even the quiet moments with the same style, one of high intensity focused on and around Perle as the narrator, means I felt like I never got to take a moment to breathe, to rest. At times, I also found the action sequences choppy and hard to follow. My last (minor) complaint is that Kian didn't mean much as a villain to me, because we start the story with Perle's rescue and only hear about her cruelty secondhand. I think the pace of the story might be to blame here too, because Perle seems to feel overwhelming dread at every thought of her, yet there's never any time to explore that before another action sequence steals the focus away. Still, it's an impressive debut novel with a lot of great things going for it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I was stoked for this book, and I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint! OBP has some important things to say, particularly about disability and past trauma. I appreciated the viewpoint that no, love in any form won't solve your problems- but having a good support network is important on the journey to recovery. The book balances dark elements with warm fuzziness exceedingly well (even if it did get a little cheesy at times) and the characters carry the story well enough that an overly com I was stoked for this book, and I'm happy to report that it didn't disappoint! OBP has some important things to say, particularly about disability and past trauma. I appreciated the viewpoint that no, love in any form won't solve your problems- but having a good support network is important on the journey to recovery. The book balances dark elements with warm fuzziness exceedingly well (even if it did get a little cheesy at times) and the characters carry the story well enough that an overly complex plot wasn't needed. Getting to see human life through a siren's eyes provides a unique narration style. The main character, Perle, communicates partially in sign language, and I loved the nuance it brings to the dialogue. The ocean is a character in itself; the sea aesthetic is wonderfully immersive. And man, are y'all in for a treat when you meet Murielle (she's earned her place as one of my favorite characters of all time!) The best part, though, is the climax and the ending. Without giving anything away, it hits all the right notes and left me feeling fulfilled in a way stories can rarely accomplish.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Seebaru

    Steampunk, sirens, pirates, a diverse cast and a convenient balance of angst and fluff. If I had to describe this book by just using few words, I'd use these, but they only represent a small percentage of the effect this book had on me. This story is gorgeous. It sucked me in from the start-- I read the preview of the first chapter first, and then I had to buy it right away and finish reading, even though it was almost midnight and I had to rest. It took me one day to finish reading, because the Steampunk, sirens, pirates, a diverse cast and a convenient balance of angst and fluff. If I had to describe this book by just using few words, I'd use these, but they only represent a small percentage of the effect this book had on me. This story is gorgeous. It sucked me in from the start-- I read the preview of the first chapter first, and then I had to buy it right away and finish reading, even though it was almost midnight and I had to rest. It took me one day to finish reading, because the words and the events flew by so smoothly I couldn't put it down. The story is not the most elaborate fantasy plot I've ever seen, but it works fine to me: it's refreshing to see a novel that can put the reader on edge and make them squirm at what might (or might not) come next. I fell in love with Perle, and Dejean, and Simone and Murielle almost as much, because the characterization is just so perfect and well shown. I recommend this book to everyone, because it's THAT good.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    For a debut novel, OBP has a hell of a style. The protagonist's voice is great and pronounced, their development slick as ice despite the book's short runtime (an incredible feat, because there's a lot that happens in this book.) Generally? It's a good book. It's soft and warm enough that it's worth a reread, but tense enough when it has to be that rereading it doesn't feel like walking through mud. I cannot for the life of me recommend this book highly enough. It's genuinely good. It's a unique For a debut novel, OBP has a hell of a style. The protagonist's voice is great and pronounced, their development slick as ice despite the book's short runtime (an incredible feat, because there's a lot that happens in this book.) Generally? It's a good book. It's soft and warm enough that it's worth a reread, but tense enough when it has to be that rereading it doesn't feel like walking through mud. I cannot for the life of me recommend this book highly enough. It's genuinely good. It's a unique book that takes decidedly non-unique tropes and turns them on their heads. Sirens are not beautiful women designed to appeal to a man's eye, but creatures suited for ocean life as a carnivore and a sapient being. The novel never dismisses this fact either. It builds off of it, and much of the conflict in the book falls back onto this brilliant piece of worldbuilding. My advice? Order it. Read it in a week, three days, one. Whatever suits you. I don't think you'll regret it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    M

    What can I say about this book? It blew me away. I have never read something like this before -- or even tried to. In just a few pages, I was hooked! I love being in Perle's head; they were so....magical? So different and utterly new. "The sea betrayed me. My sea, the one place I knew I would be home. I've been rejected." Ahhhhh, this is so heartbreaking. Their hurt and worries and their desperate want for the sea, was so damn heartbreaking. This is why I love books, why I love writers. This pull What can I say about this book? It blew me away. I have never read something like this before -- or even tried to. In just a few pages, I was hooked! I love being in Perle's head; they were so....magical? So different and utterly new. "The sea betrayed me. My sea, the one place I knew I would be home. I've been rejected." Ahhhhh, this is so heartbreaking. Their hurt and worries and their desperate want for the sea, was so damn heartbreaking. This is why I love books, why I love writers. This pulled at my heart. I devoured this book; read it in, um, three days? It was that amazing! If you're looking for a good read, I highly recommend this one! I'm so glad I got the chance to read it! :)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Rose

    I read this book in one go, it was so enthralling. In a time when "mermaid" books can too often fall into cliches, this book was totally inventive with it's world of sirens, steampunk, and sexualities (also genders, but that didn't quite fit with the alliteration). The world building is easily slipped into dialogue and descriptions, and I came to understand the world and it's workings without much difficulty. The characters themselves are so (for lack of a better word) human; they act like real I read this book in one go, it was so enthralling. In a time when "mermaid" books can too often fall into cliches, this book was totally inventive with it's world of sirens, steampunk, and sexualities (also genders, but that didn't quite fit with the alliteration). The world building is easily slipped into dialogue and descriptions, and I came to understand the world and it's workings without much difficulty. The characters themselves are so (for lack of a better word) human; they act like real people, making real decisions, having real impulses. Every beat of this book was incredibly natural, and the emotions and jokes blended perfectly. 'Our Bloody Pearl' made me cry and laugh many times, and I recommend this beautiful love story to anyone looking for a little adventure.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Greg

    I absolutely loved this book. the prose and writing style is so detailed it really sucks you in. the way the main character describes things brings such unique imagery to the story, and helps gives the reader further insight on characters. i loved the characters too, they all genuinely seem to get along and the main romance is adorable. the whole book has this intimate feel to it, i couldn't help but feel like i was wrapped in a warm sea-salt scented hug. its not my typical type f book, wich mak I absolutely loved this book. the prose and writing style is so detailed it really sucks you in. the way the main character describes things brings such unique imagery to the story, and helps gives the reader further insight on characters. i loved the characters too, they all genuinely seem to get along and the main romance is adorable. the whole book has this intimate feel to it, i couldn't help but feel like i was wrapped in a warm sea-salt scented hug. its not my typical type f book, wich makes it all the more better because its calm and emotional and he read feels every bit of it. 10/10 would recommend

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mihret Yirgeta

    Amazing!!! I loved this book! Great cast of diverse and interesting characters, fantastic story-line, Great villain! I like the way it depicted disability and an asexual character. I love Perle and their snarky tone. Their incredibly different perspective was interesting and, at times, hilarious. Dejean is sweet and kind and his devotion to helping Perle made him very precious to me. Simone and Murielle were also great! Murielle's personality made Perle feel at ease, and Simone counterbalances h Amazing!!! I loved this book! Great cast of diverse and interesting characters, fantastic story-line, Great villain! I like the way it depicted disability and an asexual character. I love Perle and their snarky tone. Their incredibly different perspective was interesting and, at times, hilarious. Dejean is sweet and kind and his devotion to helping Perle made him very precious to me. Simone and Murielle were also great! Murielle's personality made Perle feel at ease, and Simone counterbalances her fiancee's personality with her no-nonsense attitude. All in all, awesome book and everybody should read it!!!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Taylor

    Devoured this book the morning after I got it in the mail. I fell in love with the characters instantly, especially Perle. It was a fantastic read which left me wanting for nothing. The stakes were real and near to the characters, and the writing swept me in. I loved how real the sirens felt as a species, with their bodies and social construct working much more cohesively to their environment than the typical fairy tale creature does. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I will be screaming Devoured this book the morning after I got it in the mail. I fell in love with the characters instantly, especially Perle. It was a fantastic read which left me wanting for nothing. The stakes were real and near to the characters, and the writing swept me in. I loved how real the sirens felt as a species, with their bodies and social construct working much more cohesively to their environment than the typical fairy tale creature does. I cannot recommend this book enough, and I will be screaming about it to all of my friends for the foreseeable future.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Meagan Dickensheets

    A fantastically amazing book! As soon as I started, I didn’t want to stop! I was completely hooked, dying to find out what happened next, and rooting for Perle and Dejean the entire time. The characters were endearing and lovingly fleshed out, they really felt like real people to me. I adore fantasy novels, especially when pirates and merfolk are involved, and this one quickly claimed it’s spot as my new favorite. I can tell that I’ll be rereading Our Bloody Pearl time and time again! And I absolu A fantastically amazing book! As soon as I started, I didn’t want to stop! I was completely hooked, dying to find out what happened next, and rooting for Perle and Dejean the entire time. The characters were endearing and lovingly fleshed out, they really felt like real people to me. I adore fantasy novels, especially when pirates and merfolk are involved, and this one quickly claimed it’s spot as my new favorite. I can tell that I’ll be rereading Our Bloody Pearl time and time again! And I absolutely cannot wait until the next book in the series is out!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Skylar

    I read Our Bloody Pearl in the course of one afternoon after I was fortunate enough to have been gifted a digital copy by the author. The language was incredibly descriptive, yet not overly flowery, and I loved the story and could tell that a lot of work had gone into the worldbuilding, especially regarding the relationship between sirens and humans. Having already recommended it to my friends, I'm writing this review so that maybe someone else can find this tale of recovery and found family and I read Our Bloody Pearl in the course of one afternoon after I was fortunate enough to have been gifted a digital copy by the author. The language was incredibly descriptive, yet not overly flowery, and I loved the story and could tell that a lot of work had gone into the worldbuilding, especially regarding the relationship between sirens and humans. Having already recommended it to my friends, I'm writing this review so that maybe someone else can find this tale of recovery and found family and enjoy it as much as I have.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Orion

    I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while and I am delighted!! It’s a wonderful, heartwarming (though also, at times, heart-wrenching) story about found family and love and growth. I spent a good portion of the book grinning so hard it hurt (when I wasn’t crying), and I am absolutely enamored with Perle and Dejean. If you’re looking for a light but emotional read with engaging characters and expertly-woven worldbuilding, I wholeheartedly recommend Our Bloody Pearl! (Also, Perle’s confusi I’ve been looking forward to this book for a while and I am delighted!! It’s a wonderful, heartwarming (though also, at times, heart-wrenching) story about found family and love and growth. I spent a good portion of the book grinning so hard it hurt (when I wasn’t crying), and I am absolutely enamored with Perle and Dejean. If you’re looking for a light but emotional read with engaging characters and expertly-woven worldbuilding, I wholeheartedly recommend Our Bloody Pearl! (Also, Perle’s confusion about human gender is a whole-ass mood.)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alixander Thompson

    If you're fond of the "bathtub mermaid" trope, then OBP will blow you away (or sweep you away, if you're up for some sea-faring puns). Although very simple as a story, it is in no way lacking, and provides a fresh and diverse cast of characters to really get your teeth into. I read this while it was still in the beta-reading stages, but no major changes have been made since, and I definitely can't wait to read it again as a physical copy in my hands!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kiara

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Sirens, sign language, a diverse cast, and a loving relationship between two creatures healing from abuse? What’s not to like? All the characters are fantastic and the writing is beautiful. It was really refreshing to read about a relationship that’s not driven by romantic or sexual attachment where that’s all the characters can think about. (My favorite scene is probably Murielle’s introduction when she’s fighting with Perle 10/10.)

  30. 4 out of 5

    Harmonee

    The ocean, sirens, colors and budding friendship. I haven't read a book like this before. Bryn perfectly meshes lack of gender, queer folk, and ocean life so eloquently. Having the sirens not specify to gender was brilliant and makes perfect sense considering. But it absolutely broke my heart that Perle's tail may never function again seeing how often I envision myself swimming through the ocean with a tail of my own. I can't wait for what Bryn whips up next for the upcoming books.

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