We've all heard the mermaid myth: sultry sirens subduing sailors into a salty seabound sepulchre, if you'll pardon my alliteration. Ms. Scrieva uses a Darwinian approach to the lore that is refreshing and scientific. Her treatment of the mermaid mythos does not concern itself with an origin story as much as present the current day plight of the undersea kingdoms they inhabit. It follows the voyage of self-discovery of one rugged, experienced, Alaskan crab fishing boat captain who internalizes the death of a crewmate, an act which drives him to seek comfort in the arms of an exotic dancer. This association reveals to him a whole different side of reality, plunging him into the middle of an undersea war. The writing style is both rich and lofty, while maintaining a speed of action that moves the reader along at the speed of life. Having read the sequel, this first tome sets the stage for what is to be a sweeping saga. The characters struggle with the question of what it means to be human; neither providing simple answers, nor ceasing to open new questions. Personally, I cannot wait for the third volume. I'm not saying this will be the new Harry Potter, but only because it is not meant for children's eyes.