i don't really have any coherent thoughts about this one but i loved the creepy(?) vibes. i suppose it's ~atmospheric~ (which i had always imagined i would love in a book, as i do for movies. but i was so sorely disapointed in the bone houses which was also touted for its atmosphere i thought the genre was a miss for me. happy to see that its not and that one just didn't do it for me) it wasn't too scary but i enjoyed how it was a little dark fairy-tale esque.
i am 100% here for merin and i think she was a great character. i really felt for her and i wanted to find out everything about her history and family as she did. the twists and turns kept me interested, but the ride was enjoyable too. i wasn't just skipping ahead dying to see where it would end because the various settings and minor characters were really interesting and felt whole.
the narrator had a great voice, and it really suited the setting. but i did find it a touch quick – whereas usually i'll speed up audiobooks a little i actually had to slow this to 0.95 to pay attention properly, but that may be saying more of my current brainstate than anything else.
there are a few things i wish were explained/visited a bit more deeply (the automaton, the queen, her parents, her grandmother etc) but it works in this kind of story. i don't feel dissatisfied or cheated because its kind of supposed to be a mystery?
i liked the casual drops at same sex relationships being typical in this world, i am just sad that merin didn't run off with a mer and/or automaton to live her (my) sapphic dreams.
fuck it 5 stars :)