We all have our deal-breakers in relationships. You would think an impulse to eat human organs would be a pretty universal one, but then, you’ve never dated a mermaid. Avily Jerome’s Swimmer, part of the Fairly Dark Tales series, tells a fairy tale with shades of horror, not unlike many of the old stories before a gentler age retold them. This novel shades its mermaids with the legends of sirens. Ancient myths are seamlessly joined with our contemporary world—not only with its trappings, but also with its viewpoint. But although the hero, Noah, is often amoral and sometimes unlikable, his arc is still a convincing moral seduction. These currents may seem strong enough to keep readers away, but those who dive in will find Swimmer an absorbing, dark-edged fairy tale.
Best for: Fans of horror and modern fairy tales.
Discern: Multiple characters die violent deaths, grisly scenes involve blood and human remains, attempted murder, uncommitted sexual relationships, sexual allusions and one make-out session described in detail, strong language.