top of page


The Under Series - Book 1

Underneath - A merfolk tale book cover

A gravely injured merman has been found washed up on a beach in Maine, leaving his new doctors struggling between saving his life and keeping him safe from the military's eager hands.

One reporter is hot on the trail of what she believes is an elaborate hoax—or the story of a lifetime. A story that has her tracking elusive clues into an ever-growing house of secrets surrounding one of the richest families in New York City.

For merfolk have been hiding in plain sight for centuries, and are now torn between sacrificing one of their own—or telling humanity the truth.

Underneath - A Merfolk Tale is an exceptionally different take on mermaid stories, one that combines the fear of the unknown with the need to protect those we love the most.


Readers' Favorite Gold Award 2018

Readers' Favorite
Gold Award Fiction - Mythology, 2018

Underneath: A Merfolk Tale (The Under Series Book 1) by M.N. Arzú is a mermaid tale like no other. This deservedly award-winning novel begins as a half-drowned merman with a deep gash in his tail washes up on the coast of Maine.

I found
Underneath: A Merfolk Tale to be very enjoyable, expertly written and extremely believable, except for the merman part, of course. But if a merman were really to wash ashore, this is exactly the sort of thing that would happen. The story reminded me of an old movie where an extraterrestrial comes to earth and is discovered by a child, except this story is for YA and adults (not because of the subject matter, but because of the complexity of the plot).

Underneath: A Merfolk Tale gets more and more exciting as the plot thickens and M.N. Arzú is very good at dropping hints to gradually show a fuller picture of the merfolk society. There were times I was confused about the backstory, but Underneath is the first book in The Under Series so I expect it all makes sense in the end. I really enjoyed the bits of humor and layers of mystery. Underneath comes to a satisfying conclusion, but the story is far from over and the rest of the series is definitely going on my reading list.

Highly recommended for lovers of science fiction, fantasy, mystery and good stories in general. I expect to some day see M.N. Arzú’s name on a national best-sellers list.

Book Viral
Best Fantasy Book, 2017

Original in thought and execution, Underneath - A Merfolk Tale proves an extraordinary science fiction fantasy debut from the pen of M.N. Arzú. With a dramatic narrative that whips along at a cracking pace, she weaves a plot of enthralling intricacy, her descriptive prowess painting scenes that are both compelling and immersive. It’s far from your run of the mill fantasy offering. Underpinned by a multi-layered plot and lucid prose, her style is to reveal only what is necessary, embracing the requisite drama and fantastical elements of the genre, without resorting to trite clichés.


Impressively imaginative and further elevated by superb character dynamics and development, she gives them an overriding sense of purpose, but it’s in their back stories that Arzú really hits her stride and distinguishes herself. No less than in the dialogue and interplay between Ray and Dr. Gwen. There’s a charm here that promises much for a developing series, but more importantly, she’s succeeded in giving the Merfolk believable origins and a real world identity that leaves us hungry for more.

A highly enjoyable and diverting fantasy that promises much for a possible sequel, Underneath - A Merfolk Tale proves a genuinely bewitching page turner and one we are happy to recommend without reservation.

"With a dramatic narrative that whips along at a cracking pace, she weaves a plot of enthralling intricacy, her descriptive prowess painting scenes that are both compelling and immersive."



Get to know the Brooks family through moments in time.


How does one come up with these ideas?


Check out what others are saying about this book

TV Tropes

Take a deep dive on what makes this story work

bottom of page