Monstrous Beauty (review)

Monstrous Beauty by Elizabeth Fama


Synopsis: (Goodreads)

Fierce, seductive mermaid Syrenka falls in love with Ezra, a young naturalist. When she abandons her life underwater for a chance at happiness on land, she is unaware that this decision comes with horrific and deadly consequences.

Almost one hundred forty years later, seventeen-year-old Hester meets a mysterious stranger named Ezra and feels overwhelmingly, inexplicably drawn to him. For generations, love has resulted in death for the women in her family. Is it an undiagnosed genetic defect . . . or a curse? With Ezra’s help, Hester investigates her family’s strange, sad history. The answers she seeks are waiting in the graveyard, the crypt, and at the bottom of the ocean—but powerful forces will do anything to keep her from uncovering her connection to Syrenka and to the tragedy of so long ago.



I was looking for a good mermaid book when I stumbled upon this one. There’s a lot that I like about this book and also things that I didn’t. For one thing, the prologue was almost completely unnecessary and the flow between the present narration and the past wasn’t fluidly done. The “past” setting wasn’t written convincingly and the descriptions were vague in some parts. The first hundred pages dragged and there was nothing truly special with the characters at all. They were dull and forgettable.

What I liked about this book was that it blended what legends say about mermaids and a very realistic picture of what it might look like being a sea dweller. They were like sirens with their beauty but they have in their arsenal fangs, claw-like nails and fins as sharp as blades. They were beautiful but deadly. The magical element of the curse was also done better than I expected but again, truly boring characters marred them.

Hester is one confused teenager who has a sort of crush with her bestfriend but when she meets the mysterious Ezra she suddenly wants to research about her family’s ongoing curse. Speaking of Ezra… He’s one huge hopeless romantic. Cant describe him more than that because there truly was nothing else to describe him. His sort of romance with Syrenka was instalove and then with Hester it was an “eh?” moment for me. And don’t get me started with the whole she-can-touch-the-ghosts scenario.

This book might have had some potential but it failed miserably. The story was okay enough but the utterly unexciting characters brought this one down.


Rating: 2 out of 5 

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