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Fathomless (Fairy Tale Retelling) Hardcover – September 4, 2012


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Fathomless (Fairy Tale Retelling) + Cold Spell (Fairy Tale Retelling) + Sweetly (Fairy Tale Retelling)
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Product Details

  • Series: Fairy Tale Retelling
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (September 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316207780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316207782
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889,528 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Anne, Jane, and Celia are no ordinary triplets. Anne can read a person's future; Jane, their present; and Celia, their past. The girls spend their days wandering the boardwalk of their coastal town and testing their powers on the tourists. Although Celia's sisters insist that they are "stronger together," she has always felt like the weakest link. However, when she meets Lo, a mysterious girl who lives in the ocean and has no recollection of her human life, she finally understands the value of her unique gift. They work together to unravel Lo's past; but the more Lo remembers, the more she'd like to forget. Chapters alternate between Lo's and Celia's perspectives as Lo struggles to understand who she is and Celia strives to form an identity separate from her sisters. This modern-day retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid" plays up the dark side of the fairy tale; teens will find themselves both entranced and terrified by Pearce's world beneath the waves and the tension between the two protagonists once they begin fighting for the love of the same boy. Those who have read the author's other books will delight in the tie-ins, but familiarity with them is not necessary to follow the story. Fans of Frank Beddor's The Looking Glass Wars (Dial, 2006) and Marissa Meyer's Cinder (Feiwel & Friends, 2012) are likely to enjoy this quick-paced revamp.-Jennifer Furuyama, Pendleton Public Library, ORα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Shy Celia has always felt overshadowed by her beautiful and talented sisters, Anne and Jane. While Anne can see the future and Jane can see the present, Celia, the youngest triplet, is embarrassed by her own “useless” ability to see the past. That is, until Celia encounters Lo, a mysterious girl from the sea, and Jude, a handsome musician whom Celia and Lo save from drowning. Lo cannot remember who she was or how she became an “ocean girl”; she knows only that her one chance in regaining her humanity lies in seducing and sacrificing Jude. Or can she forge another path with Celia’s help? Seasoned fairy-tale adapter Pearce balances a myriad of voices, narrators, and histories in this fresh, modern, and creepy take on Hans Christian Andersen’s “Little Mermaid.” While the basis for this story will be familiar to most, Pearce’s innovative twists and brisk pacing make for a quick and deliciously suspenseful read that will appeal to those who enjoy their paranormal romance with a side of murder. Grades 8-11. --Candice Mack

More About the Author

Jackson Pearce lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with a slightly cross-eyed cat and a lot of secondhand furniture. She recently graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in English and a minor in Philosophy. She auditioned for the circus once, but didn't make it; other jobs she's had include obituaries writer, biker bar waitress, and receptionist.

Jackson began writing when she got angry that the school librarian couldn't tell her of a book that contained a smart girl, horses, baby animals, and magic. Her solution was to write the book herself when she was twelve. Her parents thought it was cute at first, but have grown steadily more concerned for her ever since. Visit Jackson online at www.jacksonpearce.com.

Customer Reviews

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The story had me ripping through the pages.
Andrea Thompson
Fathomless is an incredibly creative retelling, and it sated my appetite for an interesting mermaid story.
Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)
I felt a disconnect and dislike for all of the female characters.
Jill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By pandareads on August 28, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Celia and her triplet sisters have a certain ability between the three of them to tell the past, present, and future of those they touch. While her sisters can use their powers to see the present and future to their advantage, Celia doesn't feel like her gift to see the past is all that useful. That is until she meets Lo, a girl who lives in the ocean who used to be a girl who lived on the land named Naida. Lo doesn't want to forget what it was like to be Naida, and with Celia's help she begins to see her forgotten past more clearly. They work together to save Jude, a handsome local boy, when he falls into the ocean and soon they are competing for his love, for very different reasons...

This is not your Disney movie retelling of The Little Mermaid. There are no friendly crab and fish sidekicks in this retelling, which gets decidedly darker as the novel goes on. I loved the way Celia, Jude, and Lo's lives became instantly intertwined in that one moment. This created a delicious plot that at times was more devious than innocent.

I really enjoyed the alternating points of view in this novel. I feel like I really got to know Celia and Lo/Naida. I really felt for Celia. I'm a twin and I know what it's like to grow and to not have your own identity - you're always thought of as a group. So I knew where Celia was coming from, wanting to do things apart from her sister and have her own friends. But it was Lo/Naida's character that really had me invested in the story - it was like two characters in one person and they kept dueling with each other to see who would be the more dominant one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Star @ The Bibliophilic Book Blog on November 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Reynolds triplets have unusual powers - Anne can see the future, Jane can see the present, and the youngest, Celia, can see the past. Anne and Jane use their powers to trick material goods from the boys they meet, while all Celia gets is the burden of the person's memories and feelings from the past. Celia doesn't feel like she fits in with her sisters or anywhere until she helps a strange ocean-girl save Jude, a musician who falls off a pier and into the ocean. Celia's kind of glad to have something secret from her sisters. She wants to grow and become her own person. Celia goes back to the beach and meets Lo, the ocean-girl who helped save Jude, and finds her chance to have her powers actually have meaning. Lo doesn't remember who she was, but she knows she's become something monstrous. Is the only way for Lo to regain her life and humanity to convince a mortal to love her and then drown him to steal his soul or can Celia save Lo from her fate?

I liked how Ms. Pearce kept to the darker side of "The Little Mermaid" story in `Fathomless'. Before there were the fairy tales with the "princesses" everyone knows today, fairy tales were cautionary stories for children. `Fathomless' is told in three voices: Celia, Lo, and Naida (Lo's human side / personality) and they each bring a unique perspective to the events unfolding in their lives. This is a novel about identity, sisterhood, and the meaning of love and friendship. I greatly enjoy reading `retellings' of fairy tales which embrace the depth and darkness of their original predecessors. Ms. Pearce is a masterful storyteller and `Fathomless' is a complex and intriguing novel.

Fairytale Retellings series: Sisters Red (1), Sweetly (2), Fathomless (3), Cold Spell (4)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By The Compulsive Reader VINE VOICE on August 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Celia and her two sisters share more than a birth date--they each possess supernatural powers that allow them to know people better. But while her sisters are blessed with the gifts of seeing people's presents and futures, Celia can only see their pasts. This seems useless, until she meets the mermaid Lo. Lo is struggling to hold on to her humanity, and accessing forgotten memories helps her hold on. But their friendship is challenged when the girls clash over Jude, a drowning boy they helped save, and the dark forces behind what transformed Lo from human to mermaid are revealed.

Jackson Pearce's Fathomless takes its inspiration from "The Little Mermaid" but it bears little resemblance to the original tale. The narrative is split pretty much equally between Celia and Lo, though Lo has a lot of internal conflicts that make her an unstable narrator, and Celia comes off as the more reliable narrator. Celia, her sisters, their powers, and their sometimes rocky relationship was interesting, but not really fully developed. Celia's new relationship with musician Jude is much more entertaining. Jude is the ideal male lead--kind, quirky, straightforward, with just enough romance. It's no wonder that Lo can't help but like him, despite her ulterior motives for wanting him to fall in love with her. Lo's struggles were heartrending, and her connection to Pearce's Sweetly will make readers happy, but there was still a maddening lack of information about her and her situation by the end of the novel. Fathomless moves quickly, and is a nice addition to Pearce's collection of supernatural fairy tale retellings, but it wasn't very satisfying.

Cover Comments: It's pretty, but I am disappointed.
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