Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Little Mermaid

By Jenni James

Is grass truly greener than ocean blue?
Pearl has always dreamed of visiting the land of humans, to walk with them, eat with them, and learn everything she can from them. But no one in the North Seas agrees with her. In fact, they are all convinced that the landfolk are a dangerous, scary group of people who would harm the mermaid if they could.
Keel, the great merprince of the North Seas, has never loved anyone as much as he loves Pearl. He knows of her fascination with mankind and realizes she will never be truly settled until she has walked among the humans. So he finally relents, giving her a potion to grow legs of her own so she can experience the world above the water. He vows to come on land and protect her, as he doesn’t trust humans and never will.

While this fairy tale retelling was more engaging than Jenni’s Rapunzel, I still was a tad let down at what I thought was a sort of cheapened view at what should’ve been a longer novel. It once more felt like the bones of a novel that needed muscle, nerves, and skin. Pearl feels like a half-formed strange character who for no discernable reason wants to be a human; she admits no one makes her feel the way Keel does and yet she is still idiotically obsessed with the land. Keel on the other hand, is a self-sacrificing character that only wants to help Pearl get over her obsession so she might have a chance to decide to be happy with him. The plot had potential but the carry-out was too simplistic for me to feel engaged as a reader. It was too easy.

I give it a 2.75 out of 5

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