Friday, 22 February 2013

Mermaid Film: Arwah Kuntilanak Duyung (2011)

Mermaid Film: Arwah Kuntilanak Duyung (2011)
Indonesian mermaid comedy horror.

Trailer here. Will post more once I've seen it. Looks fun.

Book Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs (2011)

Book Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs (2011)

Tempest Rising is the first book in a teen paranormal romance trilogy. Tempest has a tough choice to make on her 17th birthday she can become a mermaid and head to the sea like her mother who abandoned the family 6 years previously for the ocean's call or she can stay human. Bitter against her mother, with a loving father, 2 brothers and a hot boyfriend she's certain she'll choose to remain on land, until a hot selkie prince turns up and tells her she's the undersea messiah - thing's aren't nearly as cut and dried as they seem.

At first I thought this was very "beautiful creatures" but with mermaids - we have a heroine who can control the elements who has to choose to be good or evil on her birthday and has an evil witch after her, but this plays out slightly differently.

The characters are OK, but I'm not totally won over by them. I found Tempest quite annoying at times - it was so obvious she's the soul mate of the selkie prince and yet she strings poor human, Mark along. I guess it's to show the two choices that she has to make, but I just found her bitchy but without the bite of say Frederica from Mary Janice Davison books. I also wasn't convinced by the actions of her mother - her letters seem far too cool and collected for someone that's been forced to abandon their family. Kona the selkie prince is a bit too perfect a hero - Tempest cruelly breaks up with him and he still pursues her without any anger or aggression.

What I did like was the scenes undersea and the fact that a mermaid has to earn her tail and manifests unique tattoos.

The best thing however is the use of Tiamat mythology. I'm a massive folklore fan and I was really excited that this fused the Babylonian/Assyrian primordial dragon with the sea witch for the series big bad.

Not my favourite mermaid series, but hums along merrily enough. I will certainly be picking up the subsequent books.


On a purely aesthetic note I was very disappointed with the UK cover (see top) - no tail at all. BOOOOOOOOOOOO Hisssssssssss. The US and Hardback cover is stunning in comparison:

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Mermaid song: Mermaid by Train (2012)

Mermaid Song: Train - Mermaid (2012)

Heard this on Radio 2 this morning - Thanks Ken Bruce! I just wish there was an official video. In the mean time this Pirate of the Carribean 4 fan vid is pretty good.  Had to share!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Book Review: Merrow by Louise Cooper (2005)

Book Review: Merrow by Louise Cooper (2005)

Three teenagers; Robyn, Jay and Kieran fail to save a girl from drowning on the Cornish Coast. Kieran starts seeing her everywhere even though he knows she's dead. He believes he is being haunted and becomes increasingly distant and angry towards his girlfriend and best mate. Robyn thinks that the girl might be the Merrow of Cornish legend.

This is a wonderful coming of age YA novel that perfectly captures the elusive nature of the merrow. We never find out one way or the other, nor by the end do we really care, she is a cypher there to help explore the emotions and relationships of the three main characters.

Mermaid enthusiasts are going to be disappointed, this is no H20 or Aquamarine with a fish tailed protagonist, but a far darker story with a somewhat open, bitter ending. I was absolutely hooked by the mystery and thought the punchy writing kept a cracking pace.

Verdict 6.5/10

Mermaid Art

Two original pieces of art  by my friend Max Bowman who claims there are not nearly enough images of mermen out there. Well I can't argue that one.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Albrecht Dürer: The Sea Monster

The Sea Monster by Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528)
An engraving showing a woman being abducted by a sea monster.
Showing until April 14th 2013 

The Northern Renaissance: Dürer to Holbein

The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace