A red tide is rising. 

When Jade, the daughter of one of the king’s most trusted advisors, discovers her fiancé holding the body of a dead naiad, social tensions run high and secrets are laid bare.

After a few years of speculation, the mermaid craze in the publishing industry is starting to kick off. One by one, books about mermaids appear on bookshelves and online, vying to become what Twilight was to vampires.

With her debut novel, Breakwater, Payne sets herself apart from others in the mermaid genre by giving us a story that deals with sociopolitical subjects all the while keeping the reader immersed in an exciting world that they will have a hard time leaving after they finish the book.

Payne’s world building is intriguing though not entirely expansive, and that it okay as this is a young adult fantasy novel and not an epic fantasy by Tolkien or Sanderson. However, there are quite a few interesting references to the history of the world under– and even above– the ocean that could be excellent fodder for the rest of the books in the series and potential spinoffs.

The cast of characters in this book is quite expansive its relatively short length (the paperback clocks in at only 229 pages), but I did not have a very hard time keeping track of who’s who. While the character development was substantial enough for a book of this length, I was left wanting to get a better sense of some of the characters. This, I am sure, will be addressed in the upcoming books.

Thankfully, Breakwater Jade’s and the other characters’ stories have just begun and we won’t have to wait a terrible amount of time for the sequel which is set to be released sometime in February of 2018.


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