Sunday, November 4, 2012

Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

 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 soulless 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.
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers 
(summary grabbed from GoodReads)

First a little backstory:

Fathomless is the third entry in Jackson Pearce's Fairytale Retellings.  What I like about this series, is that it is almost not a series.  The stories are not co-dependent on each other -- however, it would be a better experience to read them in order.  I actually read them out of order, not knowing that Sweetly was the second in the series.  What makes them a unit is that Jackson Pearce has created her own mythology that she weaves into the fairytale.  This can be somewhat jarring as most people wouldn't expect werewolves in a Hansel and Gretle retelling (which Sweetly is).  This is the reason to read them in order: Sisters Red, the first in the series and a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, introduces the mythos into a fairytale were it fits completely.  So that being said, Fathomless is a retelling of The Little Mermaid intertwined with Jackson Pearce's mythos.

Because this is the third in the series, the author wrote the book intending for the reader to know her mythos.  Therefore, it is not a spoiler to know that werewolves will be making an appearance.  I definitely found it more enjoyable to be reading and go "I wonder how she's going to do this" vs. "lolwut?  Werewolves?”

Moving on, Fathomless blows its predecessors out of the water.  It focuses on two girls: Celia and Lo.  Celia is part of a set of three, a triplet, but doesn’t really fit with her sisters.  Lo is a sea girl: a water dwelling monster part of a pack she refers to as her sisters.  The book really focuses on these ideas of sisterhood instead of centering on the romance.  Not to say there isn’t a romance, because there is (and it’s rather sweet too!). 

Fathomless does have alternating POVs, which normally drives me up the wall.  However, for the first time ever, I think the story was better because of how Jackson Pearce used this trick.  If the story had stuck to one POV, it would seriously be lacking as there was so much going on for each girl.  If it was written in third person, there wouldn’t have been the strong sense of empathy that you get from reading what the character is thinking/feeling.  Each character thought and felt things differently, which was the pivot point that took Fathomless from a good book (like Sisters Red and Sweetly) to a great book.

Mermaids were too mainstream for Lo

Therefore, Fathomless is the best in the series so far and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into Jackson Pearce’s next entry.  Eat your heart out, hipster Ariel.

Final Thought: 10 out of 10 Under-the-Sea toadstools

This review is also on GoodReads