Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Mermaid's Mirror by LK Madigan

Published October 4, 2010.

There's something drawing Lena to the water. It's making Lena sleepwalk to the beach. It's compelling her to surf even if it means putting herself in grave danger and going against her father's wishes.

A woman emerges from the waves—a woman with a silvery tail.

She has a message.

She has a key.

When Lena finds a brown leather sea chest and uses the key to unlock it, she has no choice but to look into the watery depths of her secret past through the mysterious mermaid's mirror . . . Lena's life will never be the same.

I wouldn't say I had high hopes for this one but I was expecting a little more than what I got. Unfortunately, this ended up being a Did Not Finish. I let myself get to the halfway point before shutting the pages (or turning off the eReader, as it were) on it for good. When it becomes a chore to read, it's time to move on. At least with this one I wasn't trading reading for bathroom scrubbing.

I found the writing to be, at times, mechanical, like there was no heart in it. You'd think it'd be a little more whimsical, being a mermaid story and all but I didn't get that. In fact I felt that a lot of the telling (because that's what it was) was robotic, like I was watching the characters jerk around on the page, moving from one action to another without much thought other than what exactly they were doing. One character told the other character this. They surfed. They walked on the beach. They went to school. They got a ride home. I just didn't feel involved. I felt it all rather emotionless.

The story itself was drawn on what I thought was unnecessarily long. At the mid-point I was just getting to be more involved with the mermaid. And I don't mean me personally. I meant the story. She pops up (literally) a couple of times until that point but it's more as an aside than a direct involvement. She doesn't actually engage with the main character until about halfway through the book and by then I was already struggling.

And then there are the insinuations hinted at to Lena's mother. And the mermaid. Really they're blatantly obvious. Because I didn't read to the end I can't tell you if what's so blatant is actually true but it wouldn't surprise me since that was the road it was headed down when I left. And it just made the reading that much more tired. I think because it was made so obvious more than it being the storyline itself. I wasn't thrilled with it but at the same time it wasn't really written with finesse either so that didn't help.

I think the book overall needed a serious plotline shift. Move the mermaid stuff up further and stop hovering over Lena's social life for so long unless it actually played a vital role later on in the story (again, I can't answer if it did or not because I stopped reading but at the pace it was going, I doubt it). But because of such a slow pace and the uninteresting writing, I just couldn't get involved in the story. So much time was spent on Lena and her friends and her boyfriend that the mermaid part was stuffed to the side that it just wasn't interesting for me. I didn't have the patience to wait and see the mermaid aspect rise to the surface like it should have in the beginning.

If you have the patience, I'm sure you'd like the story. It seemed like it was going in an interesting direction. I know I've seen some good reviews of this one out there. But it wasn't for me. I didn't have the patience enough to wait and see.


Jessica said...

Thanks for your honesty! I've been wanting to pick this one up, but I'm not sure if I'll have the patience for it. I love the cover, though. :)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

For me it was really a chick lit book than a paranormal book. Sorry you didn't care for the book. Hopefully your next book will be a winner!

Adriana said...

I didn't like this one all that much either. Believe it or not, but the the beginning with her friends and family was more enjoyable than the mermaids...

Unknown said...

Thanks for the honest review--I'll still read it but will probably borrow it from the library. :)

The Book Swarm

Books for Company said...

I don't usually go for mermaid books, l love the cover but from the sounds of it, its slow paced.
Books for Company

Mari - Escape In A Book said...

Good and honest review. This one was close to a DNF for me as well. I ended up giving it two stars.

Donna (Bites) said...

Thanks, guys! Sometimes it's a hard decision to not finish a book. I feel like I might not be giving it a good enough chance. But I figured the middle-point of the book is a good stopping point as any. If I'm asking myself why am I still reading at that point, why go on? I went back and forth with this one but, obviously, decided on not finishing it.

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