When a cloud falls to earth, Calla sets out to find what lies beyond the sky. Father says there’s nothing, but Calla knows better. Something killed that cloud; someone brought it down.
Raised on legends of fabled skymen, Calla never expected them to be real, much less save one from drowning—and lose her heart to him. Who are the men who walk on water? And how can such strange creatures be so beautiful?
Infatuated and intrigued, Calla rises out of her world in pursuit of a skyman who doesn’t even speak her language. Above the waves lies more than princes and politics. Above the sky awaits the discovery of who Calla was always meant to be. But what if it also means never going home again?
I read What It Looks Like by Matthew J. Metzger last year and loved it, so I ran to pick up every other book from him that I could find. However, Walking on Water isn't my typical kind of book so I initially passed it up. In the end, I'm glad I gave it a shot, even if I had some small issues with the story.
Walking on Water is a The Little Mermaid retelling, and I think that's important to keep in mind. Though The Little Mermaid is a charming and exciting story, remember that the two main characters fell in love without saying a word to each other, in only a matter of days. What worked for me in a movie when I was a child didn't quite work for me in a book form, mainly because I loathe insta-love. I like my love to come from days and weeks of getting to know one another, and the depth of feeling the two MCs had in Walking on Water from just a short time together felt strange. I get attraction and even loyalty to one another, especially after their shared intense experiences, but love... yeah, I need much more to feel it. However, if you like a vibe that is more similar to the original story, then perhaps you won't mind it as much.
If you ignore the rush towards profound feelings, I think Matthew J. Metzger does a fabulous job with the story. He really has a way with words, and the historical-fantasy element really lends itself to his lyrical, dreamy writing style. The secondary characters felt very developed, and though a few plot elements were left dangling, I think the overall story was moving and effective.
My one other issue, and *warning, this is a small spoiler*, is that one of the main characters has sex with a woman after the two MCs have gotten very involved with each other. The woman part didn't bother me one bit, but I personally prefer my romances to have monogamous MCs during the course of the story unless the story is a menage or polyamory set up (and, truthfully, I tend to avoid most of those). That is just my personal preference, but I'm surprised no other reviewer has mentioned this scene.
I love a book with a trans MC, and authors like Matthew J. Metzger have been paving the way for more authors to veer off of the cis trail, so to speak. This is my 34th book with a trans or genderqueer main character, and I do a little cheer whenever another one pops on my radar. However, you don't have to be an experienced reader of romance with trans MCs to enjoy this one. The story would easily appeal to anyone who loves a good fantasy romance, especially The Little Mermaid fans.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Happiness is reading a book! Kisses,