Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: Priddy’s Tale
AUTHOR: Harper Fox
PUBLISHER: Fox Tales
LENGTH: 159 Pages
RELEASE DATE: June 18, 2016
What doesn’t kill you sometimes makes you wish it had…
Priddy’s a lost soul in a part of Cornwall the tourists don’t get to see. He’s young, sweet-natured and gorgeous, but that’s not enough to achieve escape velocity from his deadbeat village and rotten family life.
He’s a drifter and a dreamer, and self-preservation isn’t his strong suit. An accidental overdose of a nightclub high leaves him fractured, hallucinating, too many vital circuits fried to function in a tough world. When a friend offers him winter work in a lighthouse – nothing to do but press the occasional button and keep the windows clean – he gratefully accepts.
His plans to live quietly and stay out of trouble don’t last very long. A ferocious Atlantic storm washes a stranger to Priddy’s lonely shore. For a shipwrecked sailor, the new arrival seems very composed. He’s also handsome as hell, debonair, and completely unconcerned by Priddy’s dreadful past.
Priddy has almost given up on the prospect of any kind of friendship, and a new boyfriend – let alone a six-foot beauty with eerily good swimming skills – out of the question entirely. But Merou seems to see undreamed-of promise in Priddy, and when they hit the water together, Priddy has to adapt to Merou’s potentials too, and fast. His lover from the sea might be a mere mortal from the waist up, but south of that line…
Far-flung west Cornwall has a hundred mermaid tales. Priddy’s loved the stories all his life. Now he has to face up to a wildly impossible truth. Merou’s life depends upon his courage and strength, and if Priddy can only find his way in the extraordinary world opening up all around him, all the ocean and a human lifetime needn’t be enough to contain the love between merman and mortal.
Jem Priddy, who goes by Priddy, is a lad who is down on his luck. He hasn’t had it easy. His father is a drunk, and a cheater, and a swindler, and just about anything else you can think of that is bad. Oh, and don’t forget a child abuser. He beat Priddy for much of his young life, only stopping when he nearly killed the lad after Priddy found his dad having sex on the kitchen table with the woman from next door.
Now a young adult, Priddy has drifted into drugs, and one night in a bar in Penzance, he takes a couple pills that his best friend Kit gave him. They cause him to overdose and he nearly dies. When he comes around, he sees things that aren’t there, and his brain is permanently scrambled. Gone are the hopes of going off to University with Kit to become a Marine Biologist. Now Priddy is stuck in the small village he grew up in on the coast of Cornwall. Kit is able to get him a winter job tending a lighthouse for Kit’s grandfather, on a lonely stretch of coastline.
One night there is a floundered ship on the rocks below and Priddy runs out and jumps in the water to rescue a young man floating in the water. There is more to the man that Priddy knows though, and the story is off. Things start to look a little strange when the Search & Rescue guys say there was a young family of five on the boat, not this young man named Merou, who Priddy rescued.
From the overly long and detailed blurb, you know where it goes from there, so no further spoilers from me. I enjoyed the author’s world-building skills and brief and casual references to other places and events in Cornwall to show it was set in the “real” world, just a slightly different “real” world. I also liked how the story wasn’t burdened with too many details. It focused on the interaction between the characters, rather than on the locale, background, etc.
I would recommend the story to anyone who enjoys a good merman/human story. There was some drama, some humor and some happy spots. I liked it.