The third book in Jackson Pearce’s Fairytale Retellings series, Fathomless focuses on The Little Mermaid version from the Brothers Grimm more than the Disney version most of us know and love. I like to think of this as the book that brings the series together, since it all comes full circle once you meet the characters.
Warning: There will be some small spoilers for the other two books.
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.
If you’ve ever read the Brothers Grimm tales, you know the endings are rarely happy and things are not all sunshine and flowers during the stories. Jackson takes it one step further, in my opinion, and connects Fathomless to the rest of this series by including the Fenris in a way I didn’t see coming. Also, you meet people who have been mentioned in the first and second books. I had a very big “OOOOHHH” moment when those connections were made since it’s been a while since I’ve read Sisters RedÂ and Sweetly.
Speaking of characters, I feel I should talk about Lo. I never fully got to the point where I liked her. I recognized her necessity to the story and overall plot, but she was a hard person to nail down. She didn’t fully know herself or what she wanted, so I felt like I never really got to know her or what she stood for. The end cleared some things up, but as soon as I finally made up my mind about her, the book was over. Sigh.
Celia and her powers are mentioned and talked about, as are the powers her sisters have, but the origin of them is never revealed. I don’t know why that bugged me, but it did. It wasn’t really speculated on. Even if it was something silly, like, oh, we must have a mutation or something, that would have been nice. Regardless, I liked Celia. I can totally understand where she was coming from and why she did some of the things she did.
As for the book cover change, honestly, I realize this is a thing publishers do and it makes sense to them, for whatever reason, but I really liked the covers for Sisters Red and Sweetly. Like, really REALLY liked them. I wish they had continued in that same theme for Fathomless, but since I don’t work at Little Brown, they have no reason to listen to me. (Clearly this a sign that I need to work in the marketing department for Little Brown.)
If you grew up watching The Little Mermaid, like I did, this book will definitely make you look at Ariel in a completely new light.
Overall, this was an interesting book that tied everything together. I have no idea if Jackson plans to continue with this series, but if she does, there are tons of fairytales she can choose from. However, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite, Jackson, and there’s so many ways you can make that work with the Fenris. Just throwing that out there.
Fathomless came out earlier this month and can be found at your local bookstore, library, or online.