Author: Jackson Pearce
Publish Date: September 4th 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC from the Teen Author Carnival
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.
I love, love, love Jackson Pearce’s work. I love, love, love fairy tales. And above all of them, I love, love, love The Little Mermaid.
So raise your hand if you’re at all surprised that I loved, loved, loved Fathomless.
Fathomless is the third in Pearce’s fairy tale retelling series, but you don’t necessarily need to read the other two to understand this one, as they’re all companion novels.
Pearce simply has a very obvious talent with words. Her prose shines whether we’re with human Celia or Lo, who is a creature of the sea– but her talent is especially evident when we see the world through Lo’s eyes. The sea and Lo’s sisters are mysteriously sinister. Not only because of the fact that the only way for them to regain their souls is to kill, but because they lose their concepts of “self” as time moves on. Is there anything more terrifying?
There are so many strengths to this novel, and one of them is the strength that we find in the main characters Lo and Celia. They begin thinking of themselves as weak or powerless, but progress beautifully until their strengths shine. Not really their physical strengths, but strength of character. It’s also wonderful to see that when a (rather swoony) love interest is introduced, it doesn’t at all subtract from the girls’ strength.
A major theme of this book (and perhaps the series overall), is sibling relationships. Celia and her sisters don’t always see eye to eye, but they love each other. Despite the paranormalcy of the triplets and the events surrounding them, there is so much truth to their relationship.
Rating: 5/5. I’m almost sad that this series of retellings has concluded, but I can’t wait to see what future novels from Jackson Pearce bring.