Goodreads: Mera: Tidebreaker
Series: None yet
Source: City Book Review
Publication Date: April 2, 2019
From Danielle Paige, the New York Times best-selling author of Stealing Snow, comes a Mera and Aquaman origin story that explores Mera’s first steps on land as well as her first steps as a hero or a villain, forcing her to choose to follow her heart or her mission to kill.
Mera is teenage royalty, heir to the throne of Xebel, the other not-so-lost colony under the sea. But Mera is destined to wear a different crown, that of Atlantis. When the inhabitants of Xebel plot to overthrow their homeland of Atlantis, Mera is sent to kill the heir to the throne, Arthur Curry. As the unrest between their colonies grows, Mera and Arthur unexpectedly fall in love…will Arthur Curry be the king at Mera’s side in Atlantis, or will he die under her blade?
Mera by Danielle Paige is an astonishing story that explores themes of duty, love, heroism and freedom, all through the eyes of readers’ favorite undersea royalty.
Disclaimer: I had no knowledge of Mera as a DC character before reading this graphic novel. I also know very little about Aquaman.
This is a tough review for me to write because Mera: Tidebreaker has a lot going on. On the surface, the story is about the relationship between Xebel and Atlantis and the Xebellian’s anger at being under Atlantis’s rule. In reality, the story is really about Mera’s anger at her father’s plans for her future and her determination to find a way to rule on her own be taken seriously as a warrior. And then it turns into a romance with a love triangle. Ideally, I think the book would have been a bit longer to allow it to fully deal with all of this.
There were also places where the story line was confusing or the actions or motivations of the characters didn’t seem to make sense. This is actually the reason I chose to give the book three stars instead of four (three and a half?). I was engaged in the story and wanted to read more to find out what would happen next, but logic is a big deal for me in literature, and I’m not a huge fan of illogical things happen simply because they’re dramatic or exciting. (I don’t want to go into details because I want to avoid spoilers).
That said, I did enjoy reading about meeting this characters. Mera herself is a bit of a firecracker. In ways, I would also say she’s unpleasant, hasty and a bit absorbed in herself, but she does grow throughout the story. Arthur Curry (future Aquaman) is just very…nice, but he gets more of a personality as the narrative progresses. Ultimately, I think both of them might only really come into their own in a second volume, and that would be fun to watch.
The art, also, is lovely. It’s mostly muted blues, with Mera’s bright red hair as a contrast. Bryne also does an excellent job with facial expressions, and you can get a lot out what characters are feeling or thinking by looking at the illustrations.
This is a quick read, so if you like comics or Aquaman or just female superheroes or Atlantis stories, it’s worth checking out.