Review: Fathomless by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
Release Date: September 4, 2012
Publisher:  Little Brown for Young Readers
Pages: 291
Source:  contest win at The Revolving Bookcase

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.


Review:  Considered a Fairy Tale Retelling, Fathomless was a dark modern take on the lighthearted, The Little Mermaid. The way in which Pearce wove the story in alternating voices was fascinating and kept me hooked the entire time.

Celia, one of the triplets, is unsure how she’s special since her sisters seem to have more important powers than she does.  I really liked her ability to self-reflect and be her own person, especially when her sisters were mischievous. One fateful day, she helps save a boy, Jude, by performing CPR. When she decided to keep what happened to herself, she asserted her independence from her sisters and while she had no one to confide in, I applauded her choice.  When she meets Lo, the most fascinating mer creature of the story, I felt a shift in the plot and felt that the action and suspense really picked up.

Each chapter does change the point-of-view that the story is told from but not in a way that you can’t follow. The story did become more challenging when Lo/Nadia inhabit the same form but I was still able to keep up without problems. Jude’s character is more secondary as the girl’s relationship with each other is the main focus. As each one tries to determine their fate, decisions have to be made that can’t be changed.  At the very end, there are more characters introduced into the story that seemed out of place which was a twist that I didn’t expect and I wondered if Jackson Pearce planned on writing a sequel since there wasn’t any closure regarding them.

Favorite Quote:  “There’s a girl – she’s looking at me. She sees me. She sees me, I have to go, I have to go back.”

The girl is running toward the water’s edge —

She calls my name. MY name. Naida.



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