Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3)

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3)
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Release Date
September 04, 2012
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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.

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A Chilling Twist on The Little Mermaid Tale
(Updated: November 24, 2012)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Twists on classic fairy tales are very popular right now. Look at the success of the TV series ONCE UPON A TIME and GRIMM. One YA author who's been retelling some classic tales is Jackson Pearce. I loved her previous stories: SISTERS RED and SWEETLY. I was excited to be able to read her latest, FATHOMLESS.

Jackson Pearce has to be the Queen of taking classic fairytales and spinning her own unique twist to them. FATHOMLESS is the retelling of THE LITTLE MERMAID. Unlike the Disney movie, this story has a sharp edge to it, which I love. We meet Celia, who's a triplet. Unlike her other sisters, she feels different as she isn't bound to them by their shared special abilities. Then one day she sees a handsome boy named Jude fall off the pier and into the ocean. A mysterious girl, Lo, helps her save him. Something isn't quite right with Lo. Only later does Celia find out why.

Another huge plus with Jackson's stories is how she's able to put a modern touch to these old time fairy tales. In this case we read the dual point of views of both Celia and Lo. Both girls have secrets. Both feel out of place. But here's where Jackson weaves in her own magic by giving us a haunting yet chilling story. You care for all the characters. Celia isn't one to sit by and just let Jude win her over with what her sister's call the Nightingale symptom but rather she goes and wants to find out more about Lo.

Lo is a complex character. Her 'human' name resurfaces and she battles between the memories that were swept away by the ocean and her longing to be human again. You're not sure if she's the monster she fears or is trapped by the voice inside her head.

The mermaids in this story are almost like the sirens in Greek mythology only not so obvious. Their bite is more subtle. This makes this tale more frightening and dark. I loved it!

I really love these characters. All have faults and also hidden strengths that help them toward the twist at the climax of the story. The revelation is almost more frightening then the myth the mermaids turn to foam if they don't steal a human soul. Also Celia learns that she must rely on not only herself but her sisters in the end.

Haunting with a sharp bite, FATHOMLESS will satisfy readers. I can't wait for the next Jackson Pearce novel!
Good Points
1. Jackson Pearce is able to put her own magical touch on classic fairy tales
2. Chilling, haunting retelling of THE LITTLE MERMAID
3. Great dual POV of both Celia, the human, and Lo, the mermaid
4. Unique twist to the tale
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A Unique Retelling
This book was nothing like I expected, but I still enjoyed it.

Jackson Pearce wrote two really interesting main characters. Both Lo and Celia are nothing like other characters I've read. Lo was always a back and forth, sometimes Lo and sometimes her former self. Celia is trying to learn how to be one person instead of a part of a team of three. I liked Lo and Celia and found their voices to be very distinct.

As usual for Jackson's fairytale retellings, this was unapologetically dark. It was twisted and although I knew this wouldn't be a Disney story, it went places I wouldn't have imagined. I really liked the part Jude played in the book, as well. That really added to it, I think.

Jackson's writing was interesting, as usual. I didn't think it was going to be a dual perspective and I didn't think Lo would be...like Lo, so it's a bit different from the norm. Jackson's a good, solid writer. Her descriptions were really in depth and let me picture the locations really well. I could really feel the atmosphere of the story.

Despite all the good, I just didn't click with this story. Like I said, it wasn't what I expected. While it was a pretty quick read, something oddly fun to read at the beach, Fathomless isn't a super memorable book for me. It's just another book I read.

If you're a fan of Jackson Pearce's work or really different fairy tale retellings, definitely pick this one up. It'll probably go better for you than it did for me.
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