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Summary

Colin Everroad should be dead, but after his lobster boat founders during a violent storm off the Maine coast, he wakes up on a beach. He’s cold, but unscathed...with strange memories of a face he can’t conjure and a voice he doesn’t recognize.

No one can explain it, but a friend suggests Colin was saved by one of the mer. Except the mer don’t exist. Do they? But…that face. That voice. Someone was in the water with him. Someone saved him. If not a mer, then who? And whoever it was, Colin wants to see his face.

Lir broke protocol by rescuing a land person, but he couldn’t just let the man drown. When he disobediently resurfaces to see his beautiful land man, he knows it’s only a matter of time before he’s forbidden to leave the depths again.

One clandestine visit turns into more. Soon, Colin and Lir are meeting at the shore as often as possible, and the connection between them deepens. The only problem is that neither can live in the other’s world. Or can they?

Then Lir finds a way for them to be together, but only for a little while...and at a cost. As time grows short, they have to choose: does Lir return to the sea and never see Colin again or stay forever with the man he loves in a world that will never love them?

Ripples & Waves is a modern, queer retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s "The Little Mermaid".

©2019 L.A. Witt (P)2019 L.A. Witt

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Profile Image for Zell Oakley
  • Zell Oakley
  • 21-12-19

DNF

One of the first audiobooks I ever really loved was written by L.A. Witt, and I still listen to it occasionally as a relatively drama-free comfort read. Unfortunately, although her writing style is consistently wonderful, I've never really been able to get into anything else I've heard by her, and believe me, I've tried.

I should have been warned off by the odious (to me) word "queer" in the title of this, which is similar to the coloring of a poison dart frog in that it flashes a warning that there is danger about. I'm as liberal as the next person, and as gay as the day is long, but I have no patience for "queer" politics and a strong general distaste for the word itself. But I love merfolk and the original Hans Christian Anderson story, so I thought I'd give this book a shot.

Sure enough, although the human main character describes himself as gay, two of the first characters we meet have a discussion about what to call non-binary merfolk (groan) and it sort of goes downhill from there. There's this weird love of self-flagellation that infests certain political outlooks and it's fully on display here. Everything about the human world is awful and everything about the merfolk is wonderful. It gets tedious fast. Lir takes every opportunity to be shocked at the horrific world of the "land men" (a phrase we hear far too often) and Colin pines after the pansexual, socialist paradise of the merfolk (which, incongruously, seems to be governed by an absolute monarchy which is, erm, an interesting choice for a utopia, though we're assured that they're "nothing like the Kings and Queens" of the land people, barf). I'm also a bit discomfited, as a gay man, that a society in which everyone is pansexual (and therefore, not gay) is considered utopian. Isn't that a bit of erasure? Everyone in Colin's world, except his lesbian boss, is snobby and homophobic and horrible. It's a pessimistic view of the world I'm glad I don't hold, and it makes for frustrating reading/listening. To be honest, if humanity were as homophobic as they are in this novel, Witt wouldn't have much of an audience.

I've heard Michael Ferraiuolo narrate other novels, and if nothing else he's a consistent narrator. There's something about his voice that feels unnatural to me, as though he's delivering a newscast instead of telling a story, but it's still pleasant. I was less happy with his accents, including the merfolk (who have voices reminiscent of the faux-British Hollywood actresses from the 50's) and a truly irritating Boston accent for some of the locals, though I'm undecided about whether that's a fault of Ferraiuolo or if he's just good at doing an obnoxious accent.

Anyway after the umpteenth discussion of merfolk politics, I stopped listening.

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  • Nova
  • 18-12-19

Merman

What a great retelling of a classic. As always Michael Ferraiuolo did an awesome job with the narration. Well worth your time, your credit and maybe even a few tears.... HEA

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  • Sadie G
  • 17-12-19

So good

I loved this book. I thought it was a cute take on the Little Mermaid. I was very happy with the ending. It definitely made me tear up some. Hot sexy times and low angst. Listen to this. LA Witt + Michael Ferraiuolo = eargasms.

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  • Natalie Nicole
  • 03-08-21

I just LOVE Michael Ferraiuolo's narration! 😍

I must admit Disney's Mermaid was the very first time I enjoyed any story about merfolk and I was saddened that I had not been acquainted with the original story put forth by Hans Christian Andersen. Being totally enamored by M/M romance, L. A. Witt's 'Ripples & Waves' gave me a delicious taste of the well-loved fairy tale. We all know the pivotal Disney mermaid song "Part of Your World" whose meaning form the axis upon which the story rotates. L. A. Witt grabs that axis by throat to make it work by applying her own special magic of storytelling.
In her story, we meet Colin Everroad who had suffered a harrowing experience on the seas aboard an inoperative lobster boat during a storm. Someone saves him from the waters and he vaguely remembers them telling him their name is Lir. From a lesbian woman who is both boss and friend, he is told about the mer and how her life was saved by such beings when she was a young girl. She tells Colin how to contact Lir, explaining that he told Colin his name with the hope of seeing him again. He contacts Lir and a friendship begins that is very pure and truly lovely.
The writer doesn't waste time with a lot of intrigues. She gets the main characters together rather quickly to move from developing a friendship that establishes some common ground and mutual interest. A foundation between the men is formed before Lir decides to approach the witch about a potion that will make him a mute human for three days. It is during these three days that they enjoy sexual intimacies which further their love for each other. When given the options to make the transformation permanent, Colin makes the ultimate sacrifice to send Lir away from a world where he'd be shunned for loving other men. As we expect, the men become a couple bound together permanently but L. A. Witt makes this her story especially with a resolution that is linked to why Colin manages to be at sea during a storm on a non-functional lobster boat in the first place.
The world-building is wonderful with aspects that are connected to the prejudice some have against gay men. Some of it was painful and evoked some ugly crying on my part. I'll admit it, I PMd the writer on Facebook with a weeping emoji but did tell her the story was beautiful. The character development was definitely present and not just as a product of the fairy tale. L. A. Witt labored to give readers a critical narrative that demonstrated socioemotional growth for both main characters. Those factors along with the realism of prejudice due to sexual orientation made for one truly original retelling of a historic fairy tale.

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  • Elizabeth M
  • 21-08-20

Loved it

I absolutely loved this book. This was also my first book but this author. I will definitely read/listen to more. Lir saved Colin from drowning or freezing to death in the ocean. They had an immediate pull towards each other. Their relationship grew naturally. Both men are super sweet. They have great chemistry and hot sexy times. The end was perfect! I haven’t read many books like this but I do enjoyed it. Michael Ferraiuolo did an amazing job with the narration.

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  • Kashonna
  • 01-07-20

perfect

omg, this version of the Little Mermaid was great. This version has the merman with an actual brain. I loved that the couple got to know each other first before deciding their fate. Also, I loved that the sea witch wasnt portrayed as evil. Michael's voice was as usual great. He brought life to these characters. I got a little weeping at parts. Totally worth a listen.

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Profile Image for Voska
  • Voska
  • 20-12-19

So good

This is the way The Little Mermaid should have always been. It’s so good! I want to just blurt out everything I love about this story but I’m not going to give away any spoilers. I love how all the changes done to the story seem to just make more sense. And, omg, I cried so hard. I don’t think and audiobook has ever made cry this hard. The narrator conveys the pain and heartache with his voice and it’s amazing. Recommend this book 10 out of 10, will listen again.