on August 28, 2012
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. It was a little bit of a split personality type of thing, and that was extremely interesting to read about, particularly as the novel reached its climax and it was clear only one could win.
All of Jackson Pearce's fairy tale retellings are extremely enjoyable and I highly recommend them all. They all have a delightful cast of characters and brilliantly thought-up plots that take the fairy tales you knew as a child and upgrade them into charming YA novels. I really hope Pearce continues on with the series, I would love to read more.
on August 27, 2015
Let me start off by saying: mermaids. That's why I picked this up. I didn't even bother to read the summary because I'll read just about anything that whispers mermaids.
Imagine my surprise to find that this was a retelling of The Little Mermaid. I vaguely knew of the other books in this "series" but I never read them. I think starting with the beginning and moving through the books would give this one something extra. There were times I found myself wondering about certain back stories (the triplets) that were never fully answered in this book.
But, all that aside, you can still read Fathomless as a stand alone and be fine. It was actually an original spin on The Little Mermaid. It kept all the dark, creepy undertones you would expect. I even found a little pearl of a surprise. I didn't think the characters had all that much depth, but you can survive it. The alternating points of view also got a bit annoying, especially when dealing with Lo because it was just too dang cryptic. The end does wrap up a few of those loose ends, but I'm assuming we will learn more with the next installment? I hope at least.
on January 15, 2016
I loved this series! I read the books at the library , and I needed them cause I had the first two. this one is about the little mermiad, it's one of my favorites! it's well written, but you need to read all the books in order to understand, I didn't before I read this one and was last. so glad I went back and read them!
on November 27, 2012
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)
Lo and Celia are both not normal girls. Lo is a soulless ocean girl with no memory of her previous human life as Naida. She and her ocean sisters wait for the time when the angels will come and take them away. In the meantime, they can try to make human boys love them and drown them to return to get their souls back and return human form, but it has never worked, as far as any of them can remember. Celia and her two sisters are triplets, which is uncommon, but they also have special powers that allow them to see into various aspects of people's lives through touch. Celia considers her power to see into the past is basically useless, but finds purpose when she and Lo meet. They work together to save a boy from drowning. Celia, curious about Lo, looks for her later and works to help her remember her human self and how she came to be an ocean girl. They find themselves building relationships with the boy, Jude, and working against each other. Celia wants love, but Lo wants her soul back.
I love fairy tale retellings and Jackson Pearce's have been the best in the genre so far. Fathomless lives up to the rest of her novels and puts a new, dark spin on my favorite fairy tale, The Little Mermaid. The original tale by Hans Christian Andersen has some very dark elements, including the stabbing pain every time the mermaid steps in human form, her option to kill the prince to become a mermaid once again, and the unhappy, weirdly religious ending. Fathomless makes great use of these elements by slightly altering them instead of entirely omitting them like many other retellings. My favorite example of this is the ocean girls waiting to become angels. After they forget who they were and transform into cold ocean beings, an angel comes to free them and makes them into angels. Instead of being something beautiful and redemptive like in the original story, where the mermaid becomes an air spirit to earn her soul after she dies, this transformation is revealed to be something much more nefarious.
The characters and the plot are much more fleshed out than in the original tale. Lo is kind of like two people in one. The Lo personality is a soulless ocean girl, inhuman, cold, and dangerous. The Naida personality tries to hold on to every single human memory discovered with Celia's help. She is desperate to get her life back and return to human form. Celia is my favorite character. She has never really had an identity of her own and lives beneath her sisters' shadows. Lo presents her with a unique opportunity to use her special power to see into people's pasts, which she has always found to be patently useless. Jude became her first friend separate from her sisters and her first date. The romance is organic and sweet and also didn't overpower the story as is typical in YA books. These multidimensional characters really elevate the story and bring it into the modern age.
Fathomless is the best retelling of The Little Mermaid I have ever read. I love that Jackson Pearce chose to embrace the darkness of the original story while adding her own spin to it. I also like how it relates to both Sweetly and Sisters Red. I can't wait to read the next book in the series, Cold Spell, a retelling of the Snow Queen.
on September 17, 2012
This is my favorite of Pearce's Fairytale Retellings so far. I may be partially biased as I have a degree in marine biology and half of this novel takes place under the sea.
After reading this, I both want to rewatch Disney's The Little Mermaid and read the original story by Hans Christian Andersen. Pearce always does such a nice job recreating a well known story.
Another reason I enjoyed this book so much was the amount of moral quandaries. There was less action and more thinking. These mermaids that Pearce has created are so interesting. They are far from Ariel, yet I wondered if Pearce was referencing her with Molly's red hair. The mermaids slowly lose their self, going through many new names before merely drifting away to an unknown destination, in which many think involves Angels.
Pearce has said that this book is written in 2.5 perspectives. It was done perfectly. I liked the way she did it and I won't reveal any more.
The connection to the other books is so subtle. Many books written as companions make the references very bold and obvious. In Pearce's works you have to catch them on your own. They may be references to siblings, locations, or even last names. The mythology of the worlds is all the same and in each companion novel, it becomes more in depth. I really enjoyed what was revealed about these pseudo-mermaids towards the end of the novel.
Celia was a wonderful protagonist. I liked her relationship with her fellow triplet sisters. Their powers and the way they use them is also very cool. Each can see either the past, present, or future when they touch someone. Celia sees the past.
Jude was an excellent replacement to Prince Eric, although I would have liked some more dancing. He is an indie musician, barely getting through life. I like how the relationships in this novel played out.
Lo was another very interesting character. I love when I am unsure how I feel about a character throughout a novel until the very end.
Overall, I loved this book. I am looking forward to Pearce's next untitled Fairytale Retelling of The Snow Queen. I know that story is very close to her and I think she will excellently tell it. Until then, I am going to have to read Purity soon, as it is the only Jackson Pearce novel I have to read.
I give this book a 5/5. If you have not read Sisters Red or Sweetly, you should definitely look into this series. This novel could be read alone, but I think the knowledge of the two previous novels enhances it.
on October 29, 2014
I really enjoyed this book. It's about triplets with a gift that meet a magical underwater being. It was a fast read and kept me turning the pages. Even though there was an epilogue I still had questions and it ended abruptly. I don't think it was set up for a sequel but I would certainly read one if it came out!
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.
on June 26, 2013
I am full of so much disappointment after reading this. I had never read any of these retellings, and was super excited when I got the chance to read about mermaids. But overall, this book just fell flat for me.
+ The chapters alternate between Lo, her human personality Naida, and Celia. This makes for a well rounded story perspective.
+ It's an interesting twist to the mermaid lore, taking away their humanity completely.
- It was very odd reading about a mermaid who pretty much has multiple personality disorder. Lo is everything oceanic and mermaid. Naida is her human self. Both are in the same body, and one voice often interrupts the other. It was interesting, but didn't quite work for me.
- I was disappointed by the lack of... Well... Mermaidness. This is a darker version then, say, Disney's The Little Mermaid, and I'm fine with that. But, the only real difference (physically) between them and humans is their skin color.
- And on that note, when Lo walks on shore, blood oozes from her feet. I understand this is to show the pain she's willing to go through to learn about herself. But, I couldn't help but to want her dead. She's a mermaid. On shore..... No thanks.
- The triplets all have powers. While necessary for the plot, I couldn't help but to feel that it's a little much when combined with a story that already contains mermaids.
- I felt a disconnect and dislike for all of the female characters. Celia came across as antisocial and awkward, and Lo has that whole personality conflict that made it hard to follow at times, and it didn't really make me cheer for her to be human, the way I think the author intended.
Over all this book felt clumsy and anticlimactic. I didn't care what happened to either leading lady, and I feel that's just a bit important in a good book. If you're gung-ho into mermaids and fairy tales, maybe you'll enjoy this book. But for me, it's a pass.
Thank you to Jen Ryland and YA Romantics for my copy of this book.
on October 14, 2012
Jackson Pearce doesn't seem to want to stop creating breathtaking re-tellings of fairy tales any time soon. As done with the first two novels in her Fairy Tale Re-tellings, Jackson Pearce managed to have me hanging over the edge of my seat and reading in anticipation of what must come next in her novel Fathomless. If you've read Sisters Red and Sweetly the other two novels in her series, then you know that there are werewolves and that they are usually trying to tear out the throats of pretty young girls. In her past two novels, Jackson Pearce has her characters fighting against the big bad wolves and has them as the main antagonists--constantly terrorizing the characters and giving romantic interests a reason to be manly men. In Fathomless you get a different type of story entirely and I personally loved it.
Fathomless is the story of main character Lo, an "Ocean Girl". If you've read Sweetly then you remember being told by a werewolf that twins are identical and in turn have identical souls and that if one is killed, the other twin only has half a soul. You also remember that the final twin has to have their heart bitten. If you've read Sweetly then I really hope you remembered that, it's kind of crucial and if you haven't not only is it explained in the book but you also read a (very rushed) description of how an Ocean Girl is created.
Lo is related to a character in Sweetly and that's all I can say without spoilers. However Lo has been living in the ocean and just like every other ocean girl, living in the ocean causes their memories of their pasts lives to slowly slip away to nothingness. So imagine having an insane case of amnesia. Lo believes that as time goes by (and as she grows more and more beautiful) that she will be taken away to become an angel and join the angels that sent her to the ocean to be an Ocean Girl. However, Lo isn't willing to fade away and searches for a way to regain her soul by making a boy love her and by stealing it from him. So, throughout the story that is mainly Lo's goal.
The story switches to the POV of Celia, another main character and part of a set of triplets. Each sister can see either the past, present or future. Celia is stuck with what she finds the most useless ability she could possibly have--the past. But when Celia helps Lo save the life of a musician named Jude, Lo and Celia become allies and Celia helps her regain remnants of her past.
When Celia and Lo come in contact, you immediately get a chapter from a different part of Lo. You get Naida Kelly (if you've read Sweetly I think you know whose sister this is) who is intent on getting her soul back. Naida and Celia quickly become friends and attempt to give Naida back both hope and her memory, but Naida and Lo are both the same person in the same body. I liked to think of it as a novel that gives us a taste of Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder, where Lo is two different people living in the same tortured mind.
Fathomless is supposed to be a modern day Little Mermaid and I have to admit that when I think of the Little Mermaid I imagine that there would be a beautiful Ocean Girl singing to a boy and eventually falling in love. Don't imagine that exactly because it's wrong. Personally, I did expect that Lo would get some romance, maybe a romantic kiss from a boy right? Well wrong again, the novel mostly focuses on the romance going on with Celia and I felt like Lo wasn't exactly "fighting" for a romance when she was more or less just sitting around saving herself instead of waiting for a prince charming with a perfectly good soul to snatch.
All around, I love, love, loved Fathomless it was a novel that I personally found worth reading and because I'm already a huge Jackson Pearce fan I knew that I had nothing to lose. It was absolutely amazing with twists turns and a bit of psychopathy. The Ocean Girls are a brilliant new aspect to add to the series and the story is not stuffed with werewolves like the novels before it. Fathomless focuses on the hardships of being an Ocean Girl and eventually shows us what happens when the werewolves--I mean angels come back for the Ocean Girls they left behind.
I would recommend Fathomless to past fans of Jackson Pearce's novels as well as readers who are looking for an amazing YA series and are fans of the supernatural. Now don't mind me as I pretend that I am Ariel from the Little Mermaid: "Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah..."