The little mermaid is the smallest of her sisters, although not the youngest. She wants to prove to her sisters that she can protect and care for herself. While out on her own, the little mermaid is captured and saved by “tall-crabs”, springing her interest in becoming one of them.
Why this book?: I had heard it was a Little Mermaid retelling with an aroace main character. I’ve been looking for more ace-spec rep, and it came highly recommended by Sinead @ Huntress of Diverse Books.
I didn’t realize this at first, but Sea Foam and Silence is a novella told in verse, from a very limited point of view. I at first had difficulties adapting to this, but the style quickly charmed me, and made this an easy read. This style of verse was very unique, and, even though you don’t know much about the lead character, you become very close to her through her experiences and the way she describes her emotions.
Often, the little mermaid was confused or lost, and, since she’s a mermaid, she described basic tools in confusing terms. “Tall-crabs” were humans, “moving lands” are boats, etc. While that style was unique, it was confusing to me as a reader to follow along with. I kept going from confused to entertained to curious to confused again. Between these bouts of confusion, I was met with an extremely interesting and unique world, that I wanted to know more about.
Sea Foam and Silence starts slow, relying on your curiosity rather than action. While I thought the entire novella was interesting, I wasn’t pulled into the story until the little mermaid was on her own. When she was, though, there was an odd time skip, from when she was transformed to a few weeks before she was supposed to turn into sea foam. Not only did I find this a weird point to include a time skip, but I also felt as if I was missing something important while I read on. The reader doesn’t get to experience the development of the little mermaid and the prince’s friendship, leaving this confusing hole where this development should have been. At this point, though, the aro/ace representation really started to shine through. It became obvious that the little mermaid and the prince would never fall “in love”, despite their close friendship. I really enjoyed this part, because for once a romance wasn’t being shoved on me.
The ending confused me a lot. I really appreciated the message it sent, but afterwards it took quite a while to wrap up. The ending was stretched out way past what the reader was lead to believe was the ending, so when I was expecting an ending, instead I got introduced to a new character. While I really enjoyed the eventual ending that finally came about, I was bored during it.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
Sea Foam and Silence was a really interesting and unique take on The Little Mermaid, one that I ultimately enjoyed. I really appreciated the aro/ace rep, because it was made obvious without ever stating the words “aromantic” or “asexual”. Despite this, I found myself bored in some parts, and confused during others. It was a very limited point of view, which was interesting, but it was hard reading from a character that already had a limited view on the world.
Would I Recommend?
Considering aro/ace rep is fairly uncommon, yes! I still really enjoyed this story, despite being confused often and bored in other place. I know there are definitely people out there who would enjoy this immensely, and others where this rep would mean the world to.
Published: June 9th, 2016
Publisher: Dovelet Books
Page Count: 241
Genre: Fantasy/Poetry/Fairy Tale
Synopsis: via Goodreads
Be careful what you wish for…
She warned of the pain. She did.
But no warning can prepare you.
How could I have known
What it is like on the dry sand?
We just watched.
It’s hard, not being able to ask
Questions, though I have learned some speech
With my hands. ˆ_ˆ
I miss my sisters.
I have made friends here.
I have laughed with them,
Learned with them, played with them.
I love them.
She said I would die if he loves someone else.
Will I die? At the beginning I wanted to. It hurts
So much. Life isn’t easy, will never be easy, but…
I don’t want to become sea foam.