Author: Maya Chhabra
Publisher: Less Than Three Press
Release Date: July 26, 2017
Source: For Review
The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she's being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch's sister is falling in love with her.
When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid's secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…
Walking on Knives contains some explicit content and a scene with dubious sexual consent.
To say that I was excited for Walking on Knives would be an understatement. I mean, F/F retelling of The Little Mermaid where she winds up with the seawitch’s sister?! Yes, please! Unfortunately, this short story did not work for me at all. As we already know, our unnamed little mermaid is in love with the unnamed prince and wants to be human to be with him and earn a soul. The seawitch grants her legs but every step is agony and she takes her voice as payment. But in this version, the witch’s sister helps the little mermaid by making her magic shoes. And apparently they fall in love and live happily ever after.
Walking on Knives reads very much like a fairy tale, which is not my favorite style at all. It also doesn’t help that there is absolutely no background story and no character development. The story jumps right in at the little mermaid and the seawitch’s bargain and then moves very fast. Because of this, my brain was trying to fill in the holes with the Disney version which doesn’t work at all. Why is the unnamed mermaid in love with the prince? Why does the seawitch want her voice? Why is her sister randomly in love with the unnamed mermaid? I don’t know!
Almost everything about Walking on Knives was awkward. The mermaid seems really determined to get her man, which would be fine if we knew anything about her and her personality beyond that. I guess the opening scene is the seawitch raping the mermaid, but I didn’t get that until I read other reviews. I honestly had no idea what was going on there, even after rereading it. A lot of the writing is very vague and confusing like that. It’s also hard to tell when the POV has switched sometimes, because characters just appear and no one has names. Also, where the heck did that princess come from? And why is she a liar? And why doesn’t the prince care?!
Walking on Knives was just a huge disappointment. It has the most amazing premise, but it’s seriously way too short to do it justice. We’re never given a reason to care about anyone. Everyone is falling in love with everyone else, and then switching, and I don’t even know. It’s weird.