Book Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

I make no secret of the fact that my favorite Disney movie of all time is The Little Mermaid. I mean, my hair is an extreme shade of fire engine red for a REASON! Ariel is my hair idol.

I’ve also been a fan of Jackson Pearce’s re-imagined, modern fairy tales from the beginning. I adored Sisters Red and eagerly snapped up Sweetly, even featuring it as our Book of the Month here at Novel Novice last summer.

So when you take Pearce’s writing and combine it with one of my all-time favorite fairy tales, you can imagine how excited I was to pick up Fathomless, the third book in Pearce’s collection of companion novels in her re-imagined fairy tale universe.

I was not disappointed.

Fathomless re-imagines a darker version of “The Little Mermaid,” going back to the story’s original version by Hans Christian Andersen — in which there really is no “happily ever after” for the titular mermaid and her prince. But Pearce’s retelling takes the darker, original fairy tale and brilliantly weaves it into the growing mythology of her own universe. Elements from both Sisters Red and Sweetly slowly but surely unfold and become part of the novel. The book is easy for newcomers to read — but offers it’s best rewards to those who have followed Pearce’s series from the beginning.

Dark, gritty, and filled with a realistic take on magic and fantasy, Pearce’s true brilliance with Fathomless and the other books in her fairy tale series is that the stories are about more than just the fairy tale. They are about relationships: between sisters, between friends, between enemies, and yes, romance, too. What makes Fathomless so successful is that all of the fantastic is rooted in very human emotion. And that’s what makes these stories so brilliantly relatable.

Fathomless may be Pearce’s most stunning entry in her fairy tale series yet: a human story about people who are more than just human.

Fathomless is in stores September 4th. Here is the official synopsis:

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.

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2 responses to “Book Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

  1. Oh, this book sounds amazing! I can’t believe I’m just now finding out about it. This is definitely going on my to-read list.

  2. Pingback: Poison by Bridget Zinn: Fantasy & Fairy Tales | Novel Novice

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