Sunday, 22 June 2014

Review: Fathomless

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3) by Jackson Pearce
Title: Fathomless
Series: Fairytale Retellings, #3
Author: Jackson Pearce
Published: Hodder Children's Books; 2013
288 pages, paperback
Source: Borrowed from the library
Rating: 3 stars
 Description (from Goodreads):

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant - until Celia meets Lo.

Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea - a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid - all terms too pretty for the soul-less monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.

When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her...and steal his soul.

My Thoughts:
Fathomless wasn't what I was expecting. Does that mean it wasn't good? I don't think so. Its just that it strayed so far from the bar that was set in Sisters Red. This time Jackson Pearce takes a completely different story and spins her magic there. For me both of the two previous book have had a darker streak and a hauntingly eerie mystery as the central plot. This time though we are treated to a poetic story of a mermaid named Lo. It is told almost like a tragedy, with rich words and an air of sadness.

Celia and her two sisters are not like other girls their age. They have powers, strong powers. Anne can see the future, Jane the present and Celia the past. Celia isn't as comfortable using her powers as her sisters are. She doesn't think they are helpful gifts. What good is it to know the life history of everyone she touches?

Lo is a mermaid. Once human she can no longer even remember her human name. Living with her mermaid sisters is beginning to take a toll on her and she knows that she will not last much longer. Not unless she can make a human fall in love with her... and steal his soul.

When Jude falls into the ocean one night, Celia and Lo save him together. But who will Jude fall for?

I really loved the character of Lo in this story. She was so lost at first and I loved the way her story was panned out. We took a journey with her. We discovered her slowly, her character was taken apart layer by layer and we got to see each part in light and depth. I loved her strength, her determination, the way that she took everything with a seriousness and wanted what was best, even if that was not the easiest way.

Celia and Jude weren't such highlights for me. I didn't understand them as much as I did Lo. Celia's reluctance for her own independence was frustrating and I didn't feel that we got to know Jude in as much depth as we should have.

The romance for me also didn't work. It was sweet but nothing remarkable. The banter was cute but nothing really that funny or notable. I felt like it was a little too underdeveloped since in the blurb it read like it was meant to play a more important role.

The mermaid lore was fascinating - like nothing I have ever read before. I loved the serenity of the sisters' world and I loved their sense of camaraderie. There was an amazing beauty to their dark world and it was very prettily and poetically written so that it reflected the more traditional folklore.

I did enjoy the ending. There is a great twist and a lot of action. The mystery is perfectly summarised though the epilogue left a lot to be desired.

Overall, nowhere near as good as
Sisters Red or Sweetly but a enjoyable and very well-written story nonetheless.

Note: I just want to add that I would strongly recommend reading the two previous books of the series first. It is said that this can be read as a standalone and it can, but there is a very clever character reference that would be lot more thrilling, and overly more enjoyable ,if you had read about it in
Sweetly. Also the Fenris lore might be a little confusing to you if you haven't gotten the back knowledge about them introduced in the two prequels.

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