The tenth book in the Dirk & Steele series, published December 2010.
She could never forget the boy with the ice blue eyes . . .
She was only twelve when she saw the silver boy on the beach, but Jenny has never stopped dreaming about him. Now she is grown, a marine biologist charting her own course in the family business - a corporation that covertly crosses the boundaries of science into realms of the unknown . . . and the incredible.
And now he has found her again, her boy grown into a man: Perrin, powerful and masculine, and so much more than human, leaving Jenny weak with desire and aching for his touch.
But with their reunion comes danger. For Perrin and Jenny - and all living creatures - their only hope for preventing the unthinkable lies in a mysterious empire far beneath the sea . . . and in the power of their dreams.
When she was twelve years old, one early morning Jenny found a wounded boy on the beach. Only, he wasn’t human, he had a tail. A merboy. She wanted to help him, but then an adult came from the sea and took the boy violently back with him. She could do nothing to stop the cruelty. The next morning, when she almost believed she had dreamed it all, she found a silver scub on the beach, knowing then that it was all true.
For the next years, she kept dreaming about that boy, finding peace in her dreams, as her real life shattered about her. She began working for the family firm, A Priori, searching for mysteries all over the world, trying to find that boy again.
The boy Perrin also kept dreaming about the girl, while he was being trained for a very difficult job he didn’t want. He would bond with a kra’a, and feed his dreams to a sea monster to keep it sleeping. Because if it would ever wake up, it would destroy the world. There were a few of those monsters asleep, each with its own guardian, a Krackeni male or female. But when his teacher found out he was dreaming of a human girl, even bonded with her, he was punished for it, exiled from the sea to die on land. For 8 years, he survived, barely. And then he just felt the sea monster awaken. He knew he had to go back, to warn the people of what was happening deep down. What he could never have known, was that he would find that girl again. He would risk the whole world to keep her safe from harm. But she was already in danger. From her own family, who formed the Consortium and from someone she thought was a friend.
And when his family found out that Perrin had broken his exile they came after them too.
There is so much in this story, I don’t want to spoil it all. It is certainly original, filled with action and danger, and darkness. Shapeshifters, merpeople, a seawitch and seamonsters. What it does not have, is fun, humor, witty bantering. It is a very somber book.
Two very lonely and damaged people who find each other. They don’t really talk much, they think a lot about their pasts, what they have done, and that the other cannot possibly accept all that. Both Jenny and Perrin are great, they suffered a lot, and will still do what has to be done, to survive.
Jenny is physically weak in the story, due to what happened to her. But psychically, she is strong, and when she finally finds the courage to trust Perrin, to show him her past, the bond between them grows even stronger.
This is certainly not a light or easy read, but the story still is a good one. There are secondary roles for Rik and Eddy, and Roland appears too. One very nice love scene.
I do wonder myself why I keep reading this series, when I prefer lighter books, with lots of humor and strong personalities. There just is something in Marjorie M. Liu’s writing style that keeps me reading on. I used to think the series is going somewhere, there is going to be a climax, an answer, a confrontation between good and evil. I am not thinking that anymore. Every book is very much a standalone now. No looking back at the other books, though some previous characters are mentioned in it.
All in all, it is a good book, but I cannot say I enjoyed it. It is compelling you to just read on.