Thursday, 22 August 2013

Fathomless - Jackson Pearce

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, #3)Fathomless - Jackson Pearce
(Fairytale Retellings #3)

Grade: YA
Rating: 4.5/5 stars

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. (Description from Date a Book)

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Fathomless had an extra edge before I even started the book. Not only did I love the previous fairytale stories Jackson Pearce has written, but The Little Mermaid is my personal favourite fairytale - so I was SUPER excited to see how Pearce would twist the story and make it her own. And let me tell you I LOVED IT!

We start the book being introduced to the Ocean Girls. If you know Jackson Pearce's previous books well, the Ocean Girls are not new ideas, but we've never actually seen them before. Transformed into something that can live under the water, something dangerous - not quite a mermaid, but closer to a siren, luring men into the waves with the hope they will love them enough to return their souls and let them be released from the ocean. But you can't make a boy fall in love with you with just a song...and so, the Ocean Girls chose to fade away under the water, forgetting their past lives, hoping an angel will return and take them to a better place.

Enter Lo, our main Ocean Girl. She's conflicted. She loves her life under the water and after a failed attempt at taking a human boy's soul she's content to let her life fade away. I was so curious about Lo's life. She is obviously the Little Mermaid in the story, especially when she later attempts to move around on land, with pain shooting up from her feet - almost like crushing glass with new step. But she's torn between accepting her life now under the water, and trying to regain the memories of her life before becoming and Ocean Girl, her life as Naida. The conflicting people within her made for some interesting twists. You never knew which personality will take hold or what memories she'll discover.

But she has help with that, Celia Reynolds. I knew before starting the book, that Celia was part of the giant Reynolds clan, my favourite family in Jackson Pearce's series! Celia is a triplet, and unlike the males in her family, she doesn't seem to be aware that there are dangerous and supernatural beings in the world. Her sisters, Anne and Jane, believe they are the only ones which weird and secret talents - the three sisters can see the Future, Present and Past. Celia, gifted with the power to see the past, believes her talent is useless. What good is seeing the mistakes and troubles of the past? You can't change what happened before. But she can help someone who forgets to remember. She can try to help Lo remember Naida. I felt bad for Celia, she seemed so alone, despite having sisters around her all the time. Not quite like Anne and Jane, Celia stands apart and when she meets Lo, she starts to find herself as Celia and not just as a sister. I loved her trying to help search through Lo's memories and I loved how much she cared.

Like all good stories, there's a complication in the mix: a boy, Jude. Lo and Celia help save Jude from drowning, and it starts a snowball effect of drama. Jude falls in love, both girls feel a connection to him and both look for something beyond their lives when they're with him. Lo, desperate to find a way out of her ocean life, hopes that Jude might fall in love with her and release her from her water prison. Celia wants to be normal and finds a way to block the past while with Jude. But secrets and lies plague their separate relationships and that can only lead to trouble. The secrets churned me up a bit. Some I could understand keeping, others made me mental. I just wanted everyone to be happy in the end. These hopes for a new life and the mix of secrets caused a massive twist at the end - I totally didn't see it coming - but it was good. I loved it.

Amazing retelling of The Little Mermaid - definitely a favourite. Can't wait for Cold Spell. I hope there are more retellings after this one, because I enjoy them too much to let go.

4.5/5 stars

(also posted on Goodreads)


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