Review: Marine Biology by G.L. Carriger (2010)

San Andreas Shifters, Prequel

Heat Factor: Naked interspecies kissing, but that’s it

Character Chemistry: Cute banter, but I’m not sure that I buy this whole true love after 24 hours thing

Plot: Werewolves and merfolk fight crime together

Overall: Short, funny, and a bit manic

Here’s the deal: Alec is a werewolf, but he doesn’t fit in. Unlike the rest of his pack, who are huge, hirsute bikers who like getting into bar fights and grilling meat because FIRE, Alec is a slender scientist who does yoga and eats sushi. As he reflects: “The only person in existence less qualified to become a werewolf was Richard Simmons.” He is also closeted, and about more than just his sexual identity.

Enter Marvin the merman. He and his sister are in town from California because they’re tracking some money stolen by the Irish Mafia (ie: Selkies). Since Alec is a marine biologist (“I study microorganisms!”), he is put on fish duty (“We’re not fish!”), and they set off to find the money launderers.

Then there’s a bunch of running around and mutual attraction between Marvin and Alec, but this is a short short story, so it’s not like there’s a ton of plot or deep character analysis.

I’m not sure that “Marine Biology” really works as a stand alone story, since the main goal here is to set the stage for the new pack, led by Alec and his older brother Biff, who end up in San Francisco and feature in the San Andreas Shifters series. But! If you’ve been reading all of the reviews Erin has written about Carriger’s Parasolverse, and you’re interested, but not quite sure, this is a great introduction to Carriger’s writing style. So dip your toes in the water (literally or metaphorically – depends on how close you want to get to the merfolk). In other words, terrible puns abound, the plot is absolutely ridiculous, and the love story is sweet, with a side helping of LGBTQ acceptance.

Buy Now: Amazon

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