Into the Deep (ParisDude’s Review)

Title: Into the Deep
Author: Amara Lynn
Publisher: Self-published
Release Date: September 19, 2019
Genre(s): Pirates, Deserted Island, Merman, Magic
Page Count: 146
Reviewed by: ParisDude
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.2 stars out of 5


Luck has never been on Lamark’s side.

After his father’s untimely death, the new captain casts Lamark off the ship, leaving him in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Lamark is sure his life is over.

In a stroke of luck, Lamark encounters a merman, who saves him from drowning and brings him to a deserted island. Lamark quickly learns that on this mysterious island, not everything is as it seems, and danger lurks in every nook. This island may very well be the death of him.

Adventure, romance, and maybe some swashbuckling await Lamark, so long as he’s not too lily-livered to venture into the deep…

Into the Deep is a 45k pirate fantasy adventure novel with a heavy helping of slapstick comedy and a sweet, steamy m/m romance.

When nineteen-year-old Lamark, son of a successful pirate captain, witnesses his father’s death, he doesn’t know yet that his life will go helter-skelter. First, his late dad’s crew mutinies and leaves him in a dinghy in the middle of the ocean. Then, he saves a strange merman, entangled in a fishermen’s net, and both get stranded on a deserted island. As Lamark is very clumsy with his hands and feet, he doesn’t hold much hope that he might survive in this hostile environment. Luckily for him, not only does the young and dashing merman, Yuvie, help him to have some food (well, fish, mainly—duh!), but Lamark soon finds fruits and fresh water. And concomitantly, as you turn the pages, he also discovers he’s found… the treasure and love of his life.

This, in a nutshell, is the plot of the book. A nice and entertaining read with Lamark as its pleasant, endearing main character (by the way, don’t go looking for any female character—there are none). He might be described a bit too single-mindedly clumsy for my taste—the story of him stumbling over his own feet each time he tries to run away from danger gets a bit stale with the repetition, to be honest. Also, I understand that a merman wouldn’t talk our language at once, but as we get only two characters throughout a good part of the book, it sorely lacks nice dialogues. The two characters’ lovey-dovey-dopey-eyed exchanges are reduced to “Yuvie!”—“Lamark!”, which left me wanting after a while. But there were enough unexpected (sometimes a bit too sudden) twists and turns that made me turn the pages. Quite astounding, the amount of dangerous and legendary beings that populate such a small, deserted island! Had the author not found the satisfying explanation that they (they define as non-binary, hence this pronoun) present towards the end—a nice surprise indeed!—, I would have been frustrated.

Alright, some adventures felt far-fetched, but as we’re in a pirate story, they fit in—pirates are well-known for spinning some unbelievable yarn, and if you accept the presence of a cute merman, you’re willing to accept more of it. I was wondering right from the start how on earth Lamark would manage to, you know, do it (shag, that is) with his hard-on-inducing playmate, whose lower body is, well, fishy, after all. But here too, the author’s description stroke as well thought-of. And anyway, at the end, we find out that Lamark… and then, Yuvie… but I won’t tell you.

So, a nice read. The writing, though. Solid and straight-forward most of the time, but sometimes as clumsy as the main character. Sea-related similes galore (not always happily chosen), the odd cliché, some missing commas… And once again, thorough proof-reading and a thesaurus would have come in handy. Not so much for erasing spelling mistakes, even though there were some (“digged” instead of dug, for instance), but for finding out when and where to add hyphens and how to use convenient homonyms. It sometimes seemed the author was so pleased with a word they found that they decided they’d just throw it in throughout the following paragraphs. When you count ten “luck”s on one page, you can’t help but roll your eyes. All of these quibbles put together took off some of the reading pleasure. But all in all, though not the Book of the Year, “Into the Deep” was fun, and by the end, I was half in love with our merman-hottie myself, so I can recommend this book without qualms.

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Galley copy of Into the Deep provided by the author in exchange of an honest review.


Dieter, born and raised in Austria, studied Political Sciences in Vienna in the early 90s. He's living in Paris, France, with his boyfriend and working as a graphic designer. In his spare time, he loves to write, read, cook, take photos, and travel as often as possible. He’s already published two short-story collections as well as four poetry collections. His first murder mystery novel “The Stuffed Coffin” featuring Damien Drechsler and the dashing Greek student Nikos has been released on Jan. 6, 2019, and is available in English, French, and soon German. Dieter is also writing reviews for Gay Book Reviews under the pseudonym of ParisDude.