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A Mer-Tale Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
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There's a bit of back-story which I would have preferred to be shown in a more active way but that's being picky mainly because it's interesting back-story so I wanted to immerse myself more.
Over all, a very well developed world and interesting characters - there's no voiceless Ariel here!
If you're interested in a modern day mermaid with a sci-fi twist, give this one a read for sure.
A Mer-Tale is a Young Adult contemporary fantasy novella, skirting closely science fiction. It primarily tells the tale through the POV of Thala, a young mermaid from an ancient mer-family, facing many personal and collective challenges, including the extinction of her race at the hands of an aquatic, alien race. I'll leave most of the spoilers now - it is worth a read.
I enjoyed A Mer-Tale and am impressed with strong world-building and character development in a relatively short work. At the same time, I feel that the story could have been longer, and there are a few places that are hurried - being a young adult story (as opposed to a young teen tale - middle grade), I think the audience would have appreciated delving a little deeper into the world, the cultures depicted, and most importantly, the characters and their interrelationships. Having said this, this is not a deal breaker - as I have already stated, Goldie has achieved much in a small space, which is no mean feat.
Thala's character is the most developed, which isn't surprising as it is her POV that dominates the story and given its first-person mode, allows the reader to easily slide into her thoughts. She is, above all else, and even beyond her prodigious burgeoning powers, a girl of determination and courage. This is, in my view, the theme that runs through the novella - the power of love and determination. Interestingly, there is a somewhat parallel thread running through the secondary narrative - that of Shiv, the uber-evolved alien (and which I think may have needed more expansion).
An outstanding dimension of Goldie's work is her scene-setting, bolstered by her strong imagination. Mermaid and Selkie tales abound in genre literature and Goldie has been able to knit such a tale with a fresh spin, most notably the concept of an alien/Earth conflict, with almost insurmountable differences, occurring beneath the ocean waves, and with humanity oblivious to it. On the surface this plot-line could appear ridiculous, far from the reach of suspended disbelief, but not in this particular case. It is strong and believable world-building.
I would recommend this one-night read to any lover of mermaid tales or imaginative young adult fiction.
Thala is coping with her studies, her overprotective uncle, her desire for more freedom and her knowledge that there are secrets being kept around her. Just like a normal teenager. However, she’s also a mermaid who has physical training to keep up, an arranged marriage to contend with, and an old family feud that goes back generations and which involves the loss of her parents.
I enjoyed the fantastical setting of this story, and Thala is sure to appeal to all teenage girls. She is feisty, outspoken and naturally curious, but she also has a few secret weapons in her armoury which surprise even herself.