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Promises: Book One of The Syrenka Series [Paperback]

Amber Garr
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 7.05 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

8 April 2012 Syrenka
Sometimes following your heart can end up destroying the ones you love. When seventeen-year-old Eviana Dumahl is faced with the responsibility of an arranged marriage and clan leadership, she is forced to choose between the life required of a mermaid and one of a teenage girl simply infatuated with the wrong guy. Kain, her devoted fiancé, would make a wonderful husband except that she's been in love with Brendan, a shape-shifting selkie, ever since they were kids. Choosing to abandon her family, her clan, and her life with Kain will have dire consequences far beyond anything she could have imagined. A war is brewing amongst the clans and Eviana unwittingly becomes a pawn in the intricate schemes of a twisted mastermind. With Brendan's life on the line, she has no choice but to involve those she once considered friends. Amidst encountering senseless tragedies and immense loss, Eviana discovers that she is more valuable as a clan leader than anyone ever suspected. Her survival is not only dependent upon the loyalty of her friends, but also on her acceptance of a life she so adamantly tried to escape. Promises is the first book of The Syrenka Series trilogy following Eviana and her friends through the perils of growing up in a discrete world that inherently threatens human society.

Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (8 April 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468006797
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468006797
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15 x 22.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,050,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Amber Garr spends her days conducting scientific experiments and wondering if her next door neighbor is secretly a vampire. Born in Pennsylvania, she lives in Florida with her husband and their furry kids. Her childhood imaginary friend was a witch, Halloween is sacred, and she is certain that she has a supernatural sense of smell. She writes both adult and young adult urban fantasies and when not obsessing over the unknown, she can be found dancing, reading, or enjoying a good movie.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Promises promises... 11 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, although at times it felt rushed and there wasn't enough back story or world building for my liking. But the story was there and interesting it kept me reading and wanting to know what happens next.
Eviana had a difficult choice to make and for me she made the wrong one and I hope that changes in the next few books.
Gonna start the second book and see what happens I think it's gonna be better than the first
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5.0 out of 5 stars Attention grabbing series 20 Dec 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book reeled me in and I entered the world of merfolk. There is plenty of action from love and betrayal to the finding of powers. I thoroughly recommend this book and the whole series. The writing is superb and you want to be there yourself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Start to the Series. 9 Aug 2012
By Sarah
Format:Kindle Edition
(I received a digital copy of this book for free as part of the `Syrenka' Blog Tour!)
This is book 1 in the `Syrenka' series.
17-year-old Eviana is a mermaid. Not only is she a mermaid, but she is her clan leaders eldest child, which means that she will be the next clan leader. Mermaids are a dying species, which means that they must marry and breed appropriately. Eviana's parents have arranged a marriage for her, to Kain - the heir of the Matthew's clan, who as mermen go, is quite a catch.
Eviana and Kain have known about this arrangement since they were very young, but while Kain obviously has feelings for Eviana, Eviana has a boyfriend, a selkie (seal) called Brandon who her parents don't approve of (as mermaids and selki's can't breed together).
With Eviana's 18th birthday only a few weeks away, her marriage is fast approaching, and she knows that as much as she likes Kain, she belongs with Brandon, and they begin to make plans to run away together.
With tensions running high between Eviana and her parents, a Syrenka Cotillion to attend, and her wedding day looming, Eviana throws her entire life away to run away with Brandon, even when she knows that Kain would be a great husband and that they would be good together.
But when disaster strikes, and Brandon's life is on the line, Eviana finds that having no family and friends to turn to could mean that she loses the only thing that she ever truly wanted, and she must swallow her embarrassment and ask the people that she left behind for help.

I really enjoyed this book, from the very first page I was swept into Eviana's world, with both its magical beings, and teenage normalcy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  84 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Well written...Not likeable 27 Aug 2012
By Shannon Wong - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was consistently well-written throughout. I was entertained and interested the whole time, but I found every single one of the characters to be the most unlikable bunch I've ever read about. Except for Kain, everyone was either one-dimensional and shallow, or so idiotic and naive you have no clue how they even have a brain. Carinden and Daniel and Braniel (Oh woops...I meant Carissa and Brendan!) are all the exact SAME! They're nice and that's about all. There are no other descriptions. Ok, sure, you get a little backstory on Carissa and Brendan...But the way they are described and portrayed makes them feel the same. And literally the most despicable person ever. She loves a boy, and drops all of her responsibilities, family, and people she cares about in an instant. That would be fine if Kain wasn't the only likeable person in this book. It makes her seem extremely stupid, and honestly, I hated her. I kept waiting for her to change, make unselfish decisions...but I cannot say that she did.

Overall, Amber is a good writer...but I wouldn't read this.
I have no idea why there are so many good reviews.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start to a Fun and Thrilling Series 7 Aug 2012
By Stephanie Ward - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
'Promises' is a fun and thrilling first book of the Syrenka trilogy that brings mythological sea creatures to life. It focuses on Eviana, our heroine, as well as her boyfriend Brendan and her friends. After running from her duties to her merfolk clan, Eviana is faced with serious circumstances and must figure out what is happening between the clans and how to stop the war that is threatening to erupt. What Eviana discovers will change her life forever.

I found this to be a fast-paced, fun adventure with great fantasy characters. I haven't read many mermaid fiction before, and I found it interesting how the author presented the mermaid culture and their history. I also loved how she incorporated other mythological sea creatures into the narrative - like water sprites, selkies, and naiads. They brought a unique and refreshing feel to the mermaid genre in young adult fiction.

The story was somewhat predictable but had good twists that I didn't see coming. I felt connected to Eviana and easily identified with her early in the story. The ending was a good fit for a first book in a series - it doesn't leave the ending too closed and it doesn't leave too many questions unanswered either. All in all, 'Promises' is a great start to a fun and interesting series. Fans of paranormal YA fiction and mermaid lore will love this series.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Merfolk story with a twist 24 Sep 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Originally published in Night Owl Reads

Disclaimer: I won a copy of this book from a contest. I was not paid to read and review this book. All opinions are my own and was never influenced by anything or anyone.

I was still in a merfolk phase when I started reading Promises. I disregarded my reading list and opened this one because I was curious, and I felt like I had to read it ASAP.

I'll just get to the point. More often than not, I find myself disliking Eviana and her decisions. But if it weren't for those decisions, then we wouldn't have this story. She is the future leader of their clan and wants nothing to do with it; She just wants to be with her boyfriend, Brendan, who happens to be a selkie.

Eviana was arranged to be married to Kain, the future leader of the Matthews' clan. I liked Kain from the start, there was something about him that appealed to me, not that I disliked Brendan, but I liked Kain more. I felt bad for him because he loved Eviana but she never saw him like that. Yes, she liked him but only saw him as a brother or cousin.

My favorite part was the leadership camp thing, especially Kain's proposal to Eviana. I think that showed how much he really loved her to put her happiness before his own, and still keeping the clan partnership intact. What Eviana did next totally pissed me off, but like what I mentioned earlier, there wouldn't be a story if she didn't do the things she did.

Eviana was living her dream for a few months before the incident happens, and she has no choice but to seek help from the people she once hurt. That's where the adventure begins.

It's a different merfolk world from the others I've read, it's a bit magical too. These are land-dwelling mermaids that can't exactly breathe underwater. There are also other mythical creatures mentioned that I am interested in learning more about. It's also quite an adventure that promises more in the coming series.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Promises 19 Mar 2012
By xfryx - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
While this book wasn't a stellar, hit it out of the park read for me, it still kept me entertained. With the influx of mermaid books on the market lately, this is actually the first one I've read, so I've no comparison.
Most of the plot is determined by Evania's actions. Her choices fuel and ignite other portions of the story, keeping them at a high boil. The actions, while selfish and unbecoming, help her grow up considerably by the end of the book. Sure, all I wanted was to be able to reach into the book and give her a good smack, but sometimes it's just good enough knowing that the rest of her world did.
The end package wrapped up in a little too neat of a bow for me, but there is enough happening to give me excitement for the sequel.
I'd give it 3.5 stars. Just a bit above average. A decent YA romance with consequences and fantastical beasts that I won't soon forget.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars New author - great book! 10 Dec 2011
By E. Langer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Promises is the 1st book in a new series call The Syrenka Series by Amber Garr. It's a true coming of age story for young Eviana. The twist? She's a mermaid. This novel immediately sucked me into the world of mermaids, selkies, and other mythical creatures. The characters are very real and you immediately become involved in their lives. Plenty of twists and turns to keep you reading.

I would classify this in the same genre as Amanda Hocking or C.C. Hunter. While it is Young Adult, I would recommend at least over 13 for some sexual references.

Overall it was an excellent read and I look forward to finding out what happens next!
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