Secrets of the Mermaid by Catherine Stine

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pages: 288

Series: The Keepers of Knowledge, Book 6

Genres: Paranormal Romance; Urban Fantasy; Supernatural; Mermaids

Publication date: March 15, 2021

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Indigo Rain is regretful of a dark past, leading to a vow to remain alone and focus on researching ancient merfolk tribes. When she unearths a seabed burial site that even she cannot identify, she shares this with a High Council merfolk historian… keeping one shocking secret to herself.

Bay Finley is the flirty Royal merfolk Keeper assigned to teach Indigo on Pyreshore, a glamoured city of supernaturals tasked with keeping their invaluable knowledge alive. Indigo thinks Bay is a haughty know-it-all, but also dangerously handsome. He’s engaged to Abigail Torrent, a Royal, unlike Indigo. But he’s begun spending a lot of time in the lab…

Indigo has three quests:
Uncover the mystery of the burial tablet, resist falling in love, and never, ever reveal her biggest secret, even to the Keepers.

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Another tortured cry rang out. It was a bass howl from a barrel chest, a thick, muscled neck. Bay. Some deep part of her knew it was him and that he was in grave trouble, in agonizing pain. She hurried to the stepladder without turning one last time

Chapter Six

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10 books, 10 authors, 10 keepers, 1 shared world!

Books can be read in any order!

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This story gave me everything I wanted from it and then a little bit more. Maybe it’s the anthropology major in me and maybe it’s just general human curiosity, but I absolutely adored getting to follow Indigo as she unearthed artifacts and looked into her peoples’ past. I adored her unearthing the mystery surrounding her tablet and the secret she’s keeping from everyone.

Following Indigo and Bay was a great way to give two different perspectives into the story as it unfolded. Both people of scientific mindsets, it was fascinating to see the way they tackled the mystery around their artifacts so differently. Yet one ends up believing what they see as fact while the other remains a skeptic way longer than I would have been.

While this is the sixth book in the series, each book is written by a different author about a different supernatural race within this world – vampires, mimics, witches, merfolk, gargoyles, sphinxes, werewolves, fae, and the other animal shifters. This makes it extremely easy to pick up any of the stories regardless of their “order” in the series. I’m thrilled to have picked up Secrets of the Mermaid – clearly, the story about the merfolk – as an introduction to the series as now I can’t wait to continue on with the world. What else will these supernatural creatures have in store?

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*Spoilers ahead*

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There it was again! A shifting of drapery and then an angular male face poking out. Bay’s! His big brown eyes had a look of disbelief in them and his full lips were opened in a satisfying gape. She frowned up at him like a punishing school marm. The drapery closed and his face disappeared behind it. Then, she saw movement in one of the first-floor windows. Again, his face appeared as he slowly drew back a curtain. This time, she gave him a blank look. He didn’t see her subsequent impish grin, because he closed the curtain too quickly.

Chapter Eleven

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Before I get into the meat of the story, I have one question: Wasn’t the point of introducing a second Keeper for each supernatural species supposed to make it so that there were two lines of succession, two lines of Keepers? I’m certainly not mad that Indigo and Bay got together – quite the contrary, I’m thrilled that they found each other. But I wonder how the merfolk line of succession is going to look once Bay and Indigo age and eventually die. Will one line go to Luna? How will they determine the second line? Indigo is barren, so it’s not like they can just have multiple kids and have those kids take on the role of Keeper….

As much as I love the open ended feel of this story, I can’t help but wonder where the world will go after that last page has been read. There’s so many opportunities, so many paths that the story could take. I’m certainly glad that this isn’t a standalone! Though I know that each of the other nine books will be dealing with the other supernatural species, I can’t wait to dive back into this world and see what it has to offer!

Looking at the plot of this story, I adored basically every twist and turn that there was. Sure it was frustrating that Bay was willfully ignoring what he saw with his own eyes, but people do that in real life, too. Sometimes it’s easier to reimagine traumatic events because it’s easier to handle your fabricated reality than the truth. I can appreciate that he was coming at things from a scientific mindset – I can relate, in fact – but it’s crazy how long he continues to deny what’s right in front of his eyes. If I was in his position, I’d like to think that I’d take it in stride like Indigo – accept that you’ve seen something otherworldly and not dismiss it as an active imagination.

Of course, Bay was also in denial about the whole thing. So I guess I can give him some slack there.

I feel bad for Indigo and her dark past. She seemed really eager to have children, even going so far as to kill a sailor and attempt to use his cooling body to fertilize her embryo. Heck, she even tried to give up Bay because she felt that he deserved the chance to have his own children and she wouldn’t be able to give that to him.

It’s fantastic that Queen Wen was comfortable with leaving her merbaby with Indigo. She trusted Indigo to be a loving and caring mother where Wen couldn’t be because she was dead. Her spirit might have stuck around in order to protect her unborn child, but every spirit has to move on at times. Plus a live mother is certainly better than a spirit mother who can only watch over you and not help you grow or navigate the world.

I also really liked the role that Akila played in Indigo’s story. She’s a badass sphynx and I can’t wait to read about her own personal story in Pyreshore. I know it’s got something to do with her ushabti – why else would it be mentioned in this story? – but I have no idea what else it could possibly contain. I like that her and Indigo became fast friends and that Akila helped Indigo out more than once.

She helped by warning Indigo about the aura on Indigo’s tablet. She helped by giving Indigo an outlet to let off steam when she was frustrated by Bay. She helped by being the conduit between Queen Wen and Indigo. She helped by just being a fantastic friend.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I absolutely adored my time in this world. I can’t wait to continue to read on and I can’t wait to read more by Stine.

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