book reviews by Althea

Fathomless – Jackson Pearce **

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This story had so much potential…
Inspired by ‘The Little Mermaid,’ but with a contemporary setting, I hoped the book would have something to say about cruelty and love… I felt that it started out promising; but quickly degenerated into an aggravating teen romance.

There are two main characters:
Celia is a human girl, one of an orphaned set of triplets. She and her sisters have psychic powers, which they mainly use to tease and torment local boys. Celia wants to assert her own identity, but her sisters pressure her to think of herself as part of a unit.

Naida, aka Lo, is a mermaid. However, she and the other mermaids in her group are not a natural phenomenon. Although they all seem to suffer from amnesia, it’s hinted quite early on that they all used to be human girls, until something happened to them. (Don’t hold your breath waiting to find out what exactly happened to them, or why, because you will not find out.)In the very last scene of the book, there’s a sort of half-explanation rushed in, which seems to have something to do with EVIL WEREWOLVES(?) creating the mermaids as a sort of transition stage to them becoming shapeshifters? Eh, what? Why? It was very random.
When a teen boy trips and falls into the water, nearly drowning, both Celia and Lo rush to save him (well, with a few complications), and they meet. Celia hopes to help Lo recover her lost memories, and they strike up a sort of friendship.

They also both develop a totally inexplicable fascination with the nearly-drowned boy (who is boring and has nothing I can see going for him to warrant a crush) and a dull teenage love triangle develops.

I wanted more heartless cruelty, more exploration of all the complex issues raised by the original ‘Little Mermaid’ story, and more logic


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