Saturday 11 June 2016

REVIEW: Breathing Water by S. R. Atkinson

Series: Siren Anthology #1
Pages: 406
Format: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: May 28th 2015
Buy The Book: Amazon UK - Amazon

Returning to the ocean could mean returning home, returning to the unlikely friends and family who filled Santi's childhood, and returning to the magic little girls only dream of. But it could also mean returning to the devastation and death she witnessed six years ago. Now at eighteen, with the mysteries of the ocean a distant memory, Santi must overcome her fears to find out what became of her beloved friend Rogan, his family, and an entire world of mythical creatures. But will she find the ocean as welcoming as when she was a child?

My Thoughts:
In case you hadn’t guessed by the cover, this book is about mermaids, or as they’re known in this world, Serras. Santiago is a human, known as a Crural to Serras, who learned how to breathe underwater from her childhood best friend, Rogan, who is a Serra. Since then, Santi split her time between land and water, with Serras accepting her as part of their community. But when Sirens attack the Serras in a brutal fight, Santi has to return to the surface for her own safety. Six years later, at the age of eighteen, Santi finally decides it’s time to return to the water and find her friend, but she is captured before she has the chance to reunite with him.

Breathing Water starts off following Santi in third person, and then suddenly switches to first person to tell the story of a character named Nephira. From then on we split our time between these two characters, and I have to say that it was Nephira that sucked me into this story. For some reason, I didn’t connect with Santi and there wasn’t much about her that really stood out to me, but Nephira’s story had me completely hooked.

Nephira was taken by Crurals and kept in captivity by a Tullus, a Roman King. Her chapters are her accounts of what happened whilst she was trapped and the consequences of her time spent on the surface. Learning about her experience was heart-breaking and the storytelling throughout these chapters were the best parts of this book for me. 

I enjoyed finding out about Santi’s past and her memories with Rogan, but I felt like I didn’t really know much about who Santi was as a person. I don’t know why I didn’t connect with her side of the story as much as I did Nephira, but since this is the first in a series, I’m hoping I’ll get to know and appreciate Santi more in the next book. 

The world-building in this story was fascinating and I loved learning the mythology about the Serras and the Sirens. It was convincing and believable, and every aspect of it was well thought out. There were definitely a few twists regarding the Sirens that I hadn’t expected! I felt like there was a lot to learn too quickly at times, but things were explained clearly so I wasn’t left confused. However, I did find some of the chapters to be a little too long. I’m a reader who has a preference for short, sharp chapters though, so that’s probably just me being fussy! 

This is an interesting start to this series and I’m definitely looking forward to discovering more about the Serras and their history. There’s a lot of potential for great mythology in a series like this and I hope to learn more of it! I definitely want to get to know Santi and Rogan more. As main characters, I want to be rooting for them, which I didn’t find myself doing much of throughout this book. But I’m keen to see where this story goes. 

Royal Rating:



  1. wow - I really like books with mermaids and I've not come across either this book or author before. Sounds intriguing, thanks for sharing :)

  2. Meh. This sounds so meh. But that cover, though.


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