“One thing. I’ve got experience with explosives. Another thing. I’ve got explosives.”
I do not know why this book has such a low rating on GR – 2.8 as of the time of this posting – as it’s a fluffy little environmental thriller, but I suppose you can’t make everyone happy! Not that there is too much in Mermaids in Paradise to be happy with, what with the incredibly privileged narrator and her cavalcade of side characters who oscillate wildly between do-gooders and backstabbers.
Mermaids in Paradise – much like the only other Millet that I’ve read, A Children’s Bible, escalates quickly. A slice of life quickly becomes a slice of the fantastic. It reminds me a bit of the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane (stay with me!) because yes: what you suspect is actually happening and no: that is not the end!
Deb and Chip are honeymooning in tropical paradise. They are at an island resort for a week, but before they can seclude themselves away to honey their moons, they are quickly drawn into the fold of a possible mermaid sighting. An excitable marine biologist has seen something amazing, and Deb and Chip are quickly deputized into searching and protecting. Things then get completely out of hand. This story is silly, farcical, and a total daytime soap. It’s also a look at colonialism, imperialism, environmental destruction, capitalism, and unchecked privilege.
Mermaids, murder, spear divers, and old hippies litter this beach, but what bothered me is the inclusion of a few “photos” throughout the book; I think they are meant to look like quick snaps from a phone camera, but they are done in such a poorly digital way that they look like stills from old video game cutscenes or random images that you might use to fill a PowerPoint. They are off-putting, unnecessary, and poorly done. They cheapen the entire existence.
It’s 3ish stars for me, but could have been stronger without those ridiculous photos. Did I give it at 4 on GR because I felt bad?