Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: September 4, 2012
Origins: From Publisher for Review
Order From: Amazon / Barnes & Noble
Synopsis: 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: The Reynolds triplets have unusual powers – Anne can see the future, Jane can see the present, and the youngest, Celia, can see the past. Anne and Jane use their powers to trick material goods from the boys they meet, while all Celia gets is the burden of the person’s memories and feelings from the past. Celia doesn’t feel like she fits in with her sisters or anywhere until she helps a strange ocean-girl save Jude, a musician who falls off a pier and into the ocean. Celia’s kind of glad to have something secret from her sisters. She wants to grow and become her own person. Celia goes back to the beach and meets Lo, the ocean-girl who helped save Jude, and finds her chance to have her powers actually have meaning. Lo doesn’t remember who she was, but she knows she’s become something monstrous. Is the only way for Lo to regain her life and humanity to convince a mortal to love her and then drown him to steal his soul or can Celia save Lo from her fate?
I liked how Ms. Pearce kept to the darker side of “The Little Mermaid” story in ‘Fathomless’. Before there were the fairy tales with the “princesses” everyone knows today, fairy tales were cautionary stories for children. ‘Fathomless’ is told in three voices: Celia, Lo, and Naida (Lo’s human side / personality) and they each bring a unique perspective to the events unfolding in their lives. This is a novel about identity, sisterhood, and the meaning of love and friendship. I greatly enjoy reading ‘retellings’ of fairy tales which embrace the depth and darkness of their original predecessors. Ms. Pearce is a masterful storyteller and ‘Fathomless’ is a complex and intriguing novel.
Fairytale Retellings series: Sisters Red (1), Sweetly (2), Fathomless (3), Cold Spell (4)