I have a confession to make; when I first requested Mera Tidebreaker by Danielle Paige and illustrated by Stephen Byrne I did so without fully reading the entire synopsis. It looked fun, interesting, and I was totally down to read it. And so I went in, knowing absolutely nothing about Aquaman and genuinely unaware of the fact that this was actually a retelling of his and Mera’s meeting. And so, for the first half of this wonderful graphic novel, I legitimately believed that it was a retelling of The Little Mermaid. And, in all fairness, an argument could totally be made for this idea and therefore I can’t help laughing. Now, I’ve never read the comics and I have not seen the film that came out recently, so my background knowledge of these characters is basically nill. But I did enjoy Mera Tidebreaker.
The artwork was wonderful while the story and characters were incredibly fun to read and experience. I loved the motivation behind Mera’s character and how, though she was willing to fight for her kingdom she also never failed to make the choice that she knew, in her heart, was right. When her father decides that the heir to the Atlantean throne must die to save their kingdom and sets the task on the young man to whom he has promised his daughter in exchange for making him the heir, Mera sets off to prove that she is worthy and capable of ruling their kingdom entirely on her own. But killing someone, especially someone innocent is a difficult task that goes against everything Mera and her people believe in and young Prince Arthur may be more innocent than she realizes.
The story of Mera and Arthur isn’t perfect. It was too quickly paced and at times I genuinely found myself questioning how Arthur fell in love with the young sea princess. Her feelings are a little more clear, despite the fact that they don’t actually spend a great amount of time together. And it is this piece, them not spending a large amount of time together, that makes me question how deep their feelings actually are. It comes very close to feeling like insta-love, which I am definitely not a fan of. But I can excuse that a little bit in a graphic novel.
All in all, Mera Tidebreaker was a very enjoyable read and I’m looking forward to any future graphic novels that follow if this ever becomes a series.
I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.