Today, I’m so excited, because it’s finally my stop on the book blog tour for Our Bloody Pearl by D. N. Bryn, a sea-faring fantasy adventure featuring a non-binary, disabled protagonist that took 4th place in the BBNYA 2021 awards.
BBNYA is a yearly competition where Book Bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website www.bbnya.com or twitter @bbnya_official.
The sign-ups will soon be open for the 2022 BBNYA competition, be it for authors to enter their books, or for bloggers wanting to be part of the new panel, so keep your eyes peeled!!
Our Bloody Pearl
by D. N. Bryn
These Treacherous Tides #0
Kindle Edition, 206 pages
Date Published: 26th July 2018
Published by Bryn Books
Fantasy | Steampunk | Pirates | Romance
Trigger warnings: mild gore due to carnivorous sirens and sensations of drowning.
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.
This adult fantasy novel featuring an nonbinary disabled protagonist is a voyage of laughter and danger where friendships and love abound and sirens are sure to steal—or eat—your heart.
I received this book to read and review as part of the 2021 BBNYA competition and the BBNYA tours organized by the TWR Tour team. All opinions are my own, unbiased and honest.
This was one of those books that caught my eye immediately, and not just because of that stunning cover. I’ve been in such a pirate-y mood lately, and the premise sounded utterly fantastic, so how could I resist the opportunity? And I’m happy to say, it did not disappoint!
Our Bloody Pearl tells the story of Perle, a siren imprisoned by the dreaded pirate captain Kian and subjected to starvation and abuse within the bowls of her ship. Until one day they are rescued by another group of pirates, and taken to a new home where they can begin to heal and recover. But Perle’s scars run deep and it will take time until they’re strong enough to return to their beloved ocean – meaning they’ll have to tolerate the humans they once loathed – and begin to build relationships they never thought possible.
It’s a relatively short story at 206 pages, and feels like an introduction into the world of These Treacherous Tides with it’s steam-powered pirate ships and siren filled waters. Despite that, it still manages to feel like a full fleshed out story, packed to the gills with tension, danger, and the perfect touch of romance and a found family trope that I can never resist.
The characters are all fantastic – with some wonderful care put into making a diverse cast, and LGBTQ+ representation that includes a non-binary main character – but my absolute favourite is Perle. They made for a fascinating protagonist in the way they related to the unfamiliar human world to their beloved ocean. The author does an incredible job of making Perle relatable while still creating a unique perspective. And it helps that Perle has a biting sense of humor (sometimes literally so) and wit that I absolutely adored.
It’s Perle’s healing journey that really gives this book it’s heart. There are a few mentions of abuse and trauma in the story – although nothing is ever described in detail – but the main focus throughout is finding ways to heal, and the changes the characters are forced to adapt to as a result. This could have very easily been brushed aside for more romance or action elements, but watching Perle as they learn to adapt and embrace who they are now, rather than just trying to return to how things were before, is a key part of what makes this such an incredible journey.
Alongside their physical recovery, Perle’s relationship with humans grow and change as well, from distrusting and suspicious to genuine friendship and love. At the start, Perle absolutely loathes humans and would rather rip out their organs than stay in their company for any length of time, but by the end they are willing to risk their life for the safety of their friends, and I loved everything about it.
Maybe the short length of the book makes this development feel a tiny bit rushed, but the bonds are no less believable and feel heartbreakingly sincere – honestly I’m probably just saying this because I wish the whole thing never had to end!
Four and a half flames for Our Bloody Pearl, a stunning, sea-faring adventure with incredible representation, and a story that will devour your heart faster than any siren. My babbling praise could probably fill an ocean, and I still wouldn’t be done talking about how great this book was.
And yes I am incredible lame for making all of those sea based jokes, but that’s just how truly awesome this book is. Definitely one I recommend every one check out as soon as possible.
About the Author
D.N. Bryn began writing short stories in middle school and has yet to stop. They received their bachelors degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD, and enjoy a day job involving respiratory disease research. They bring their love for animals, science, and mythology into all their writing, and are passionate about creating inclusive worlds where a diverse array of characters can go on grand adventures without being hindered by social misconceptions based on their appearance, sexuality, or gender.
You can find them on Goodreads!
Another huge thank you to @ The Write Reads, the folks at BBNYA Tours and the author for providing me with an eARC of this book and the chance be a part of this amazing tour.
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Thank you so much!
Great review! This is on my TBR and I’m really looking forward to reading it.
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Thank you 💕 And yay! I really hope you enjoy it ☺️
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