Rating: 3.75 stars
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“Courage is like a cut gemstone: multifaceted and surprising at every turn.” – the Collector
In the Void of Space and Time, the Collector is still in search of timeless love stories comparable to the finest gems.
Merman Nayder al Galimey is being sent on a wild goose chase, at least that’s how he feels about it. An independent soul, Nayder has never felt the need to find his soul-partner. When his planet, N’Tyre, is threatened by the Forces of Darkness, Nayder is told by the seer that he must seek out his soul-partner in order to rescue the Aquamarines of Courage. But instead Nayder sets out to find the Aquamarines of Courage in order to save his world and hopefully find a way around the mating business.
Nico Milanos is a treasure hunter who cherishes his independence. When he rescues a young man washes up on his beach, Nico is surprised by the immediate attraction he has to the man. The man, Nayder, tells Nico of a planet of merpeople who are in danger and Nayder is the only one who can save them. The story seems farfetched, but Nico is nothing if not trusting, and the man seems sincere and afraid, so Nico agrees to help.
Nayder and Nico go in search of the underwater cave only to find that all of the signs point to Nico being the destined soul-partner he was sent to find. Now the two men who’ve only just met must decide whether bonding for the sake of retrieving the Aquamarines of Courage and saving Nayder’s home is the only course of action they can take. Then Nayder and Nico must find a way to return the gems to N’Tyre before the Forces of Darkness overtake his people and end the world that Nayder calls home.
Aquamarines of Courage 1 is the third book in Serena Yates’ Gemstone Chronicles series. What I like most about this series is that each book is a story within a story. The Collector and the Chroniclers make up the storyline that runs from book to book. And each Gemstone story – the garnets, the amethysts, and now the aquamarines – is, at this time, a standalone story created for the Collector’s entertainment. Aquamarines of Courage 1 is a paranormal fantasy that focuses on the courage it takes to love and to protect those you care about.
I like this story, but it’s my least favorite of the three so far. I enjoyed the adventure in this story, but I saw many similar details between this plot and the plot of the first Garnets of Destiny. I would have like the story itself to be more original. It’s a good story, just not great. And what happened to Farys, Nayder’s friend? He’s part of the story and then he’s not. On the other hand, I’m enjoying the Collector’s storyline, even if it’s a little slow. There are a lot of covert hints given in that storyline that I wish would just be said outright, but it makes for good storytelling. I’m hoping something interesting will happen in that world soon.
The world that Yates has created is unique, but could have used a little more. For example, on N’Tyre the females of the mer-race are supposedly the more dominant gender and the males more submissive, but I didn’t see that at all. It was spoken, but not shown. Also, I would have liked to see the underwater world – the were sharks and Toloth, the underwater civilization. But the description physical aspects of the world were given in detail and made the world beautiful in my mind’s eye.
I think I like Nico best of both characters. He’s the stronger, more courageous of the two men. He’s also the most consistent. He makes up his mind quickly that he wants Nayder and he doesn’t back down. He’s confident and trusting. I liked Nayder but he was less consistent and it goes back to the men of his race being submissive. I never saw any submissiveness in him especially towards females of his race. Also, I found him fickle. He says he didn’t want a mate, but he gave into it a little too easily for my liking. But he is likable. He’s outspoken and honorable, willing to do whatever to save his people. And as a couple, Nico and Nayder are sweet. Their strengths and weaknesses balance one another. I really do like them as a couple.
In the end, I did like this story even with the noticeable faults. And I really like this series. There is so much to look forward to in the upcoming stories, and that’s part of the appeal of this series – you never know what’s coming next. I’ve enjoyed this series so far and I look forward to the next book, Diamonds of Victory.
Note: Whereas the individual tales are written as standalone stories, there is a common story arc in the Void of Space and Time, so these books are best if read in order.