Thursday, September 13, 2012

Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

"It's {the ocean} nothing to be afraid of," I say fondly. "You just have to remember that it doesn't care. It doesn't want to kill you, but it doesn't love you, either. That makes it dangerous, but it also makes it reliable. You can trust the ocean because it's always the same." 
~Fathomless, page 122.

I love the beach. I love the ocean, the water, the salty breeze, the sand, the marine life (except for sharks), the atmosphere. I love it all. I also love ocean lure. One of the first movies I remember ever seeing in the theater was Disney's The Little Mermaid. I was captivated--there are people that live in the ocean?! WHAT? How do become a mermaid?? I'm not sure I have outgrown this phase. Imagine my delight in the mermaid trend in YA lit!

See my posts on Fathomless Release Party 

My first mer-read is Fathomless by Jackson Pearce. This is book three in Jackson's retelling of fairy tales companion series. (The first was Sisters Red, which is a retelling of "Red Riding Hood" and the second is Sweetly, a retelling of "Hansel and Gretel." Since they are companion books you don't have to read them in order but if you do you are rewarded with little tid bits here and there but not required for understanding and enjoying the current read.) Fathomless is a retelling of "The Little Mermaid," not the Disney version, but rather the original Hans Christian Anderson version. Incidentally, I would recommend you reading the original because it is quite different from the Mouse's version.

This was outside our rental house on Tybee Island.
I thought, surely they put this up just for me!

Having read Jackson's other retellings and having a preconceived love of all things mermaid, I was totally prepared to love Fathomless. I was not disappointed in the least! I totally loved everything about it. From the beautiful cover to the very end, I was enamored by this book. It's tragic yet hopeful. There is so much intricacies going on in this book I fear it will be hard for me to explain the premise at all or review without being very spoilery. You have Lo, the mermaid, and Celia, one third of set of triplets with special powers, and a boy, oh the sweet, guitar-playing, cute boy. Le sigh. If you have read many of my posts before you know I'm a sucker for those love triangles. This triangle tends to border the life and death, with or without a soul line, so the stakes are high!

Pic from our trip to Tybee Island earlier this year.
Relevant to this post. There's talk of a pier in Fathomless.

Also, through out this book there was a lot of discovery of self for the characters which I really enjoyed. It was like we were on the journey of self discovery with them. I found it interesting to watch them develop, deciding who to trust, what was important, how to use their gifts, when to sacrifice for the betterment of another. This book was good on the surface but you could easily delve deeper into the introspective reflections if you were so inclined.

"How could someone without a soul remember what it 
felt like to have one? That's like asking each drop in the 
ocean to remember its time as rain." 
~Fathomless, page 64.

I would recommend Fathomless (and Sisters Red and Sweetly) to anyone willing to listen. Fathomless was beautifully written in a way that made me rush through to see what happens and regret rushing at the same time because I didn't make it last. I give it 4 out 5 stars, if not just a smidgen more than a 4.

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