by Jennifer Donnelly
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
Well, I certainly was left feeling blue. The first thing I noticed was the writing. It made me die inside. A lot. It wasn’t bad, but it was. I don’t know what exactly it was about it that was so obnoxious, but oh my gosh it made it painful to read! I don’t usually notice the writing too much or care about it really, unless it’s exceptional or funky, but this time I couldn’t ignore it. Catherine pointed out that it fallowed a block pattern where the sentence structure was the same every time. It also would follow patterns in things like how it described things, and what the topic of the writing following the description was. The writing actually took away from the story for about 85% of the book. I think it didn’t bother me as much at the end, because I had adjusted and was able to ignore it or something. I noticed it in the first page of the first chapter, and simply couldn’t stop noticing it. It wasn’t just me, I had other people read the first chapter or so to check and see if I was the only one bothered by it. I wasn’t.
The story was pretty original and Jennifer did a great job bringing the world to life. She had a special name for everything. I kind of felt like younger readers might appreciate it a bit more. It felt a little bit childish to me, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for readers younger than pre-teens really, and at the same time there wasn’t really anything that wouldn’t be ok for readers younger than that, so I don’t know.
The characters were…interesting. The characters seemed a little bit two demetional to me. I felt like they were missing something as the story went on. They were decent.
I just need to talk about Neela for a moment. She loved food and I loved that about her. However, even that got annoying after a while because she, or another character, had to bring up how Neela wanted or needed food because she was stressed out, and what specific foods, every two seconds. That got kind of old fast. We got the idea early on and it needed to stay incorporated but could have been a bit less in your face.
One general feeling I had throughout the book, and at the end, was this feeling of awkward unfinished-ness. Every problem, whether it be minor or major, remained unresolved when the book ended. NOTHING WAS SOLVED! That is so far from ok with me and I want to scream and smack something around right now just remembering it.
It’s cool too leave a few things, maybe just one thing, unsolved at the end to get readers to read the next book, but you have to solve something!
The plot got low scores from me because it was poorly done. If nothings finished then you only have part of a complete plot. It was like I got dropped off a few miles from the climax and left in the middle of no where. The plot that was there wasn’t anything special either. It wasn’t twisty, cunning, or masterfully spun. It was just kinda there.
Overall I was not very fond of this book. It might be entertaining to some, but it was not for me. I couldn’t overlook the glaring issues enough to really love it. I wouldn’t really recommend it, but I’m not going to stop you from going for it if you want to try it that’s your life choice. It get’s one and a half stars from me.