Under the sea...
For fans of: The Little Mermaid (Disney version, not Andersen fairytale)
Blurb: When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos. Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents' death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world's very existence.
Cover: This was an absolute cover buy; I found this remaindered book at a bookshop near my university and had to buy it immediately.
Content: The plot wasn't that special, but the setting definitely is and Jennifer Donnelly seems to have experience in telling a story. It's just that it's not a very good story and very predictable. It felt like every Disney Channel movie or series, probably because it has some connection to Disney.
The pacing was a bit too fast and things came to the main characters too easily.
The main characters are like every Disney princess ever, but not very relatable to me. Especially Serafina and Neela are very girly girls. Their only interests seem to be dresses and jewellry. The other "chosen ones" are very one-sided too. The girl with the red hair has fire powers. Who would have guessed.
In connection to that are plenty of stereotypes and cultural appropriation. The mermen from the waters near India wear turbans. How original. Besides, if they have lived 5000 years seperated from people living on land, why did they adapt to their clothing styles?
That's not the only thing that doesn't makes sense. If the merpeople have their own language, Mermish, why do they throw in so many words from other languages? All that Italian was really annoying (and I love Italian). There's a glossary at the end, but you'd have to go back and forth all the time. Again, they haven't been in contact with the humans in 5000 years and they're not supposed to get in contact with people on land. Then why bother learning their languages?
My conclusion: If you want a fluffy read and don't care for much depth, this is the book for you. Something you can read, but you're not missing out much, if you don't.
My rating: 3/5 Buttons