Release Day Review: A Ship Of Bones & Teeth by Karina Halle

A STANDALONE gothic dark fantasy pirate romance re-telling of The Little Mermaid from the New York Times Bestselling Author of River of Shadows and Blood Orange.

Princess Maren is a woman with a secret.
When she was just 16-years old, she sold her soul to the sea witch Edonia, giving up a life underwater in exchange for the love of Prince Aerik on land. But after a decade of abuse and misery inflicted by the cruel prince, Maren wants nothing more than to leave him and her royal role behind and find Edonia to reverse the spell.

An opportunity for escape presents itself when the prince and princess are traveling overseas and are taken hostage by a band of notorious pirates, led by the fearsome Captain Ramsay "Bones" Battista. Maren has heard the sordid stories about the infamous pirate--not only is his ship supposedly haunted and crewed by the damned, but that no prisoners ever survive. Fortunately for Maren, she learns that the captain also has a score to settle with the sea witch. With any luck, Maren may be able to get her old life back, even if it's being held in the captain's wicked hands.

But Ramsay gets more than he bargained for when he learns who--and 
what--Maren is, and that her appetite for revenge, freedom, and bloodlust rivals his.

Meanwhile Maren finds herself falling for the pirate's dark nature, even as she discovers that Ramsay has a secret more deadly than her own.

When it comes to the high seas, not all monsters lurk beneath the surface.

Content Warning: Though this is a fantasy, it is also a dark romance with potential triggers. A full list can be found inside the book or on the pinned cover reveal post on IG (authorhalle)

**ARC provided in exchange for an honest review**

A Ship of Bones and Teeth is an amazing book that captivates readers with its dark and fairytale-like atmosphere. Karina skillfully weaves a tale that combines elements of romance, action, suspense, horror, and fantasy, creating a unique and original retelling of The Little Mermaid. From the very beginning, the prologue sets the mood, drawing readers into a world that is both enchanting and chilling.

“You’re a fever in my soul, for which there is no cure.”

The character development in the story is exceptional, particularly that of the heroine, Maren. She starts as a meek and scared princess but undergoes a remarkable transformation into a fierce, empowered, and ruthless syren. Her journey is captivating, and readers will find themselves rooting for her every step of the way.

“I make no false claims when it comes to you, luv, you belong to me body and soul, heart and spirit.”

The relationship between Maren and Ramsay, the male lead, is a highlight of the book. Their banter is fun and enjoyable, and their chemistry is palpable. It is refreshing to see their bond develop before delving into the physical aspects of their relationship. The author wisely avoids overpowering the plot with excessive sex scenes, allowing the characters and their personal growth to take center stage. Their love developed organically and I enjoyed seeing them together.

"I've never had an addiction before," he says hoarsely. "But I think you'll be mine."

The story is unpredictable until the very end, keeping readers on their toes. Karina's attention to detail is evident, creating a rich and immersive world that enhances the overall experience. The love, loyalty, and sacrifices between Maren and Ramsay are beautifully portrayed. The absence of unnecessary drama and the logical thinking of the protagonist contribute to a well-paced and satisfying plot.

“Stay with me,” he whispers. “Don’t go back to the deep. Stay with me at the surface. With the sun and the moon and the stars."

A Ship of Bones and Teeth is an exceptional book that takes readers on a thrilling and enchanting journey. Karina's storytelling skills shine through, delivering a complete and well-crafted tale. The character development, intricate plot, and unexpected twists make it a standout read. This book is a must-read for fans of dark fairytales, romance, and fantasy. It is one of my favorite books of the year and I hope Karina will decide to write more books in this world.

Meet Karina:

Karina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Love, in English, The Artists Trilogy, Dirty Angels and over 20 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Root Literary and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

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