The Mermaid’s Sister by Carrie Anne Noble
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Mermaid’s Sister is a sweet tale about a girl whose sister (by adopted mother and not by blood) is a mermaid.
Maren is growing scales and fins, and as much as Clara wishes for it to stop, it won’t. Their almost brother, O’Neill is away with his caretaker, but longs to come and fix Maren so they can all live happily ever after. But fate delays his return, and a chance encounter at a traveling show brings the first tendrils of fear.
Clara, O’Neill and Maren must set out alone if they hope to bring Maren to the ocean before she shrinks into nonexistence, but can Clara’s heart handle watching O’Neill, the man she loves, care for Maren, the sister she dreads to lose?
When the traveling show rolls around to rescue them, it complicates the matter even further.
This story is rather sweet in many ways. The bonds formed by the three are adorable, and the dynamics with Clara and Maren’s jealousy over O’Neill keeps the story moving along. The text is well written, which is also enjoyable, and there are some neat little surprises that hint at the depth of magic in the world they inhabit.
There were a few things that I didn’t enjoy, however.
- The first third of the book is wistful to the point of whining, and it drags on for far too long as they delay and delay and delay taking Maren to the ocean.
- The traveling show plays a rather sinister role in the whole thing, but I have to say that I found their characters less than compelling. The blind devotion to Dr. Phipps, head of the family, and the actions of his son, Jasper, just seemed to lack rationale and reason. Now, it could be due to the wonky potions they’re selling, but for the whole family to be as they are was a bit off-putting.
- It takes the better part of the novel for Clara to get her butt into gear, and she’s constantly comparing herself to her beautiful, main attraction sister.
- There are several things that seem to hint at Clara having some sort of magical presence, herself, but the final revelation is less than satisfactory, given some of the evidence.
- As Maren changes, Clara is constantly referring to her voice (even as it’s almost gone) as sounding like some sort of ocean thing. Cute the first few times, but it got to be a bit too much. Thankfully, Maren falls silent, so that stops. 😛
Despite all that, the short chapters and delightful descriptions keep this story moving along. If you can make it past the first half, the second half is much more enjoyable, and the ending is sweet and satisfying.
If you enjoy mermaid stories like The Mermaid’s Sister, then you might also enjoy Shearwater and Skye’s Lure. (Pssst! Shearwater is free at the link, but Skye’s Lure is only free if you sign up for the Legion Newsletter.)
**This book is every bit sweet and clean.