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Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings #3)
by Jackson Pearce

Publication: September 4, 2012
Pages: 304
Author: Website  | Facebook | Twitter | Youtube
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depository

I received a copy of this book for review purposes from the publisher
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.

This is my first Jackson Pearce book, and I'm asking myself why it took me so long to discover such an amazing writer. I had heard of Jackson's earlier Fairytale Retellings; somehow, I didn't get around to reading any until now when the shiny cover attracted me. I kid. It's actually the fact that Jackson based this off the original work that compelled me to read this book, and the shiny cover was a bonus. Nevertheless, I am really glad that I picked this up because I am loving Jackson's work!!!

The writing flows beautifully from beginning to end. The characters are engaging, and the plot brewing with mystery and intrigue. Who is Lo, and how did she and her "sisters" end up living underwater? I love how the story is told from the alternating perspectives of Lo and Celia, with Naida chiming in now and then. Each one of these girls is unique and compelling in her own way, but I have an especial interest in Lo. She keeps telling herself that she should be satisfied with life underwater; however, she can't forget Naida and wants to solve the mystery of how she came to be. Her voice is haunting, and she is strong and beautiful. It is she who introduces us to the mystical world underwater.

The characters are complex and filled with depth. Celia feels alone and overshadowed by her sisters. Naida makes her feel empowered; Jude makes her feel loved. I liked her character overall except for that one time she accuses Jude and Lo separately of keeping secrets. Honestly, I don't see a legitimate reason for her to want to know that they've been meeting up, except for the fact that she's an insecure girlfriend. Again, it goes back to her lacking confidence in herself, which does get better over time.

Lo is curious about Naida and the world above, yet she can't let go of her life underwater. However, the ocean girls believe that they must get a mortal to love them and then kill him in order to become human again. Lo once believed this, and she still hasn't entirely let go of this belief. After she falls in love with Jude, she begins to wonder if freedom is possible and if she is willing to make the necessary sacrifice to live abovewater. It was heartbreaking following Lo's struggle with her humanity, and I love her all the more for the hard choices she had to make.

Fathomless is a fairy retelling of "The Little Mermaid." While Naida's past is a mystery to be solved for Lo and Celia, it isn't the greater plot in the story. Rather, it is a story about two girls trying to find their place in the world. I love this book and will definitely be on the lookout for more works by Jackson Pearce!

Rating: Keeper

8 comments on "Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce"
  1. "The Little Mermaid" isn't a Grimm story. It is by Hans Christian Andersen. I really liked this book, too! If you haven't checked out the first two Fairytale Retellings, the story will make more sense. At least, the ending will.

    1. Thanks! I will be sure to check out the first two Fairytale Retellings!

  2. I adore Jackson Pearce and her books! Fathomless is sitting on my shelf waiting to be read, but I have several books ahead of it. Great review.

  3. This was my first Jackson Pierce novel too! I've head that Naida was a character in one of the previous novels.

    1. I'll be sure to read the first two books now. I'm curious to see how reading the other books will influence my view of Fathomless and of Naida.

  4. I just read Sisters Red and loved it! I'm really looking forward to seeing where she goes with "The Little Mermaid" when I get around to reading Fathomless. It sounds really, really good!

    1. I'm glad to hear that. I'm looking forward to reading Sisters Red. Hope you enjoy Fathomless!


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