Lyssa’s Latest Reads: Blood in the Water

Welcome to this week’s Lyssa’s Latest Reads! This is a new blog thing I’m doing for the next month (hopefully longer), where I share with you what I’ve been reading lately! I’ll post a new book (or in this case, a short story) every Friday. This week, “Blood in the Water” by Jaylee James!

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“Blood in the Water” is a short story that was released along with “Blood in the Library” (another amazing short!) on Jaylee’s Patreon page a few weeks ago. It’s a dark retelling of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, but in a way it’s not so much a retelling as a what if. What if the little mermaid hadn’t chosen the noble route, the route that gained her a human soul? What if she chose her sisters’ path instead?

This story is so excellent, I can’t even tell you. I feel like it would be a fabulous companion to the original story in an English class, because it’s written with such gorgeous, evocative language and it is so rich and literary, you could have a field day dissecting all its nuances. It makes a beautiful juxtaposition against Anderson’s story and does such a great job of exploring the nature of choice.

In fact, choice seems to be a theme in Jaylee’s works—her story “Choosing You” also focuses a lot on the concepts of destiny and choice. Both “Blood in the Water” and “Choosing You” do such a great job in highlighting humanity’s free will and putting it to the test. I’m so excited to be collaborating on Circuits & Slippers with her, because she’s such a masterful writer (and editor) and I know her adaptation of Pygmalion is going to be fantastic.

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