Other Beasties

Book Review: Commanding the Tides by Michelle M. Pillow

Title: Commanding the TidesCommanding the Tides (Lords of the Abyss, #2)

Author: Michelle M. Pillow

Series: Lords of the Abyss #2

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For: Lovers of merfolk, crazy pets, and a love that overcomes everything

Genres: Paranormal Romance, Fantasy romance

Publication details: July 10th, 2010 by Raven Books

Format: Kindle edition, 160 pages

 All images link back to their respective Goodreads page


Terminally ill, Cassandra Nevin has come to the ocean to live out her days on a boat with a bunch of scientists who don’t even know she’s sick–or that she’s not even a scientist. When something from the depths of the abyss attacks their boat, leaving her to drown, she knows it’s her time. But then the unimaginable happens–she lives.

Iason the Hunter doesn’t understand why the woman he’s trying to save from death seems insistent he save anyone but her. Duty bound to try and rescue whoever he can; he takes the woman into Deep Ocean, to his home beneath the waves. But it would seem a watery grave wasn’t the only thing threatening his new charge’s life. To try and save her from her illness would mean possible disgrace and being banned from ever swimming in the ocean again. But what else can he do? From the first moment he saw her, she had command over his heart.

Rating: Contains graphic sexual content, adult language, and violence.


Much better. Commanding the Tides is the saving grace of the Lords of the Abyss trilogy in my opinion. The Mighty Hunter was bad, Captive of the Deep (book 3, currently unfinished) is just as bad but Commanding the Tides is in the right position of second; it’s perfectly placed.

Commanding the Tides follows the story of Iason the Hunter and Cassandra Nevin as they overcome various obstacles that are thrown in their paths.  The biggest obstacle they overcome has got to be the fact that Cassie is terminally ill with cancer – cancer is a sore subject with me and I find on occasion the mention of it in books hard to take but Michelle wrote this novella perfectly.

There wasn’t a huge over-mentioning of the cancer in and of itself but there was a shadowing of it, I think that due to this knowledge, Cassie’s character was a lot more likeable – she threw the majority of her caution to the wind, accepted (to a degree) the situation of cursed merfolk, pissed off gods and crazy mermaids with a God complex and succeeded in falling in love with her rescuer.

Cassie is supposedly a scientist also as she was on the same boat as Bridget but I got right away that she wasn’t a scientist, she just didn’t give me the right vibe. She comes across as quite meek and quite fragile – when you consider that she’s dying, it’s quite a good likeness of character – but on the other hand she also has her strengths as anybody does.

Iason the Hunter is just that a hunter. He’s just like Caderyn from the previous book, only he willingly puts his reputation and his life on the line by breaking the laws of the Merr. It’s all very sweet. Throughout this novella Iason does everything he can to make Cassie better, including taking on the illness himself as evident by the aches he gets when he takes her pain away.

What I forgot to mention in my previous review is that the survivors of the ship wrecks, if they survive the trip down to the Abyss they also become Merr.  I don’t know about you, but it’d be pretty cool to be an immortal mermaid despite the fact that I can never got to the surface for fear of dying.

There’s the traditional HEA that her work always contains and the characters were much easier to get along with.  The relationship between Iason and Cassie builds slowly but it burns hot, and there are extra obstacles (in the form of crazy mermaids with god complexes) that get in the way of them – the only thing I didn’t really like was the lack of communication between the pair.  Cassie refused to let Iason get a word in when he was trying to explain to her that she’d become a mermaid too as well as the fact that he loved her because (and this is so sweet) she didn’t want him to fall in love with her only to lose her.

Did I mention that she spent the majority of their conversations believing him to be insane and just agreed with him to humour him?

Overall, the writing style in this novella was much better than the previous and was on track with Michelle’s other works.  All of the books by Michelle I’ve read they all follow the same style – the next in the series is happening at the same time as the first in the series but from a different point of view, on occasion this means that things are repeated but it’s a case of if you haven’t read the first one then it won’t bother you. They’re series based but also can be read as standalones because what has happened to get the characters to where they are is explained.

I found little to dislike in this novella but I couldn’t push it up to the 5 star mark because it just wasn’t long enough to keep me fully immersed in the story. It was quite short at only 160 pages but they were classic Michelle and I enjoyed this instalment much better than The Mighty Hunter.

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