Wednesday, December 29, 2010

BR: The Mermaid's Mirror

So. I have, indeed, started my quest to read more classic literature than sticking to my favored young adult genre. And, I have rediscovered that good literature takes forever to read.

I've been reading Jane Eyre for like, six days now. I'm just not used to that.

So, in my frustration of Jane Eyre, (which I am enjoying, even though it does lag in some parts, and I would have totally chopped out the beginning part about her life as a ten year old) I grabbed one of the books I received for Christmas, The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan.

It was (my mind, while suffering from the heavy prose of 1800's speak, was quite grateful) a very easy read. I would have enjoyed more prose and imagery, but then again, it was more of a childlike storyline to begin with: On her sixteenth birthday, Lena pieces together that she is the daughter of a mortal man and a mermaid, thus making her half mermaid herself. Her mother was under an enchantment that made her forget her human family of land-- she had ridden herself of her mermaid nature and become a human women to be with her human lover-- and made her return to the sea... until she glimpses Lena. Lena becomes obsessed with seeing the mermaid (later discovering it's really her mother), defying her fathers wishes to go surfing. She goes down below with her mother and lives with the mer-folk for a while, finds her "soul-mate" down there, and falls under the same enchantment that her mother did--- to forget her life above the sea. In the end, she breaks the enchantment and has to decide whether to live underwater with her newfound mother and lover and friends there, or back on land with her heartbroken dad, stepmother, and little brother.

Overall, it was good, but very predictable. Although there were a few different angles at the story (I really liked the incorporation of the sealskin cloak! Wasn't that a poem or something? I don't know why I know about that legend, where the mermaids leave their sealskin cloaks on the sand, and if some mortal finds it and hides it, the mermaid has to remain on land with them), it feels like it's been done before... girl realizes she's part human, part mermaid; goes off in a search to find the other parent she hasn't known her whole life; has to decide which one to stay with for eternity, forsaking the other forever.... (however, I do expect a sequel here. Things with her lover Nix don't tie up and she ends her one life so abruptly that it left the reader rather unsatisfied: thus, I expect a sequel.)

I'd just like to see a mermaid story that didn't feel so childish. Is it possible? Who knows? Mermaids seem so innocent and childlike, but there seems to be so much more potential there...

I'd love for mermaids, sirens, etc to be the next big thing in YA... but I see that it'd be a big challenge to take on. How do you make undersea life appealing to teenagers? Don't know, man. Don't know.

Someone will do it, and someone will do it big. It might take another forty years, but someone will get it.

But it sure as heck won't be me!


  1. Good review! And I know what you mean about literature taking so much LONGER to read. It sucks but is usually worth it in the end

  2. Thanks! And, you're right, it is so worth it. And to tell the truth, I STILL haven't finished Jane Eyre! Why? Because it fell behind my bed and I was too lazy to rescue it until last night. Teehee :)