Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident. Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people. Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?
It’s pretty obvious from the beginning that something is different about Asia and Gretchen, but what makes Gretchen different is unclear. In fact, although this story is told from Will’s point of view, it is mostly about Gretchen which makes it a great mystery. In fact, there are more unanswered questions about Gretchen’s role in things at the end of the book. She is certainly a driving force in the plot.
The characters were pretty good. There were several that you enjoyed and some that you despised. But most of all, Will and Gretchen are complete mysteries. I think there was a fair amount of depth and insight into Will and Gretchen’s character, but the others were a little lacking. I know they weren’t main attractions in the plot, but I still want an inkling into their motivations. I guess it was there for the most part, I just wanted a little more.
I did enjoy the allusions to The Odyssey. That was fun. I’m a big nerd like that, always looking for symbols, themes, and allusions to classic literature. Like I said, big ol’ dork. If you have forgotten the story of The Odyssey or Ulysses, then you need a refresher. Calypso makes a huge appearance in this book. In fact, she is the major antagonist.
The only thing that bugged me was how quickly the plot ended. There was a steady build throughout the whole book that really helped me connect with the characters, but then all of the sudden I was in the middle of the climax and resolution. It seemed too quick. There is no up and down climax that leads to some great cataclysmic event. It’s more like jumping off the edge of a cliff and being in the middle of the action, which ends as soon as you hit the surface again. It left me with many questions. But, since the second book, Fury’s Fire, is coming out next week, I won’t have to wait long for my answers—I hope.
This was a quick read full of beautiful descriptions and quirky characters. I enjoyed it, and I think if you enjoy mysteries featuring killer mermaids, you’ll enjoy this one too.