Review No.88 – Between the Sea and Sky

Between the Sea and Sky – Jaclyn Dolamore

Bloomsbury, 2011

The highest honour that can be accorded in mermaid society is the siren’s belt, but it is also their greatest danger – if a siren’s belt is stolen from her, she will never be able to return to the sea. When newly made siren Esmerine suspects that her sister Dosia has been kidnapped by humans, she risks her own safety to go ashore in search of answers, in the process stumbling across an old friend. Alander is of the winged Fandarsee, belonging to the sky as Esmerine belongs to the water. But it is only together they have any chance of discovering what has happened to Dosia.

This book begins by feeling like a retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’ and, according to the blurb, there’s a dash of Pride and Prejudice in there as well, though I couldn’t see even a trace of that. There were good ideas but they were given an infuriatingly shallow treatment, reducing what could have been a deeply gripping story of abduction and family loyalty to a meandering and ultimately unconvincing romance. The characters lacked motivation and sincerity and the resolution insulted me with its lack of believability; the original fairy tale has much more heart.

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