Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mermaids Are the New Vampires

Last night, I read my second YA mermaid book in less than a month. Apparently, this is the hot new trend in YA  paranormal fiction. The good news is that most authors seem to be using different mermaid myths to create their worlds. The bad news is that they just haven't been all that compelling.

Last night, it was 'Siren's Storm' by Lisa Papademetriou. There was a lot I liked about this book. I liked the hero and heroine and really admired the way their relationship was portrayed. They were friends, but the heroine wanted more, which the reader didn't really find out until the very end. There was a lot of use of the story of Odysseus and sailors' lore that really helped to explain how different mermaid tales could have all stemmed from a misunderstanding of the truth. But, the problem was that there was too much going on for a book that was less than 300 pages long. There were strained parent-child relationships, mysterious deaths, a seemingly crazy teenager, a mysterious newcomer, past tragedies, a sea captain's journal...and, well, the whole was not greater than the sum of its parts. Nothing ever really got resolved and the reader was left with a lot of questions at the end. If you want to throw every idea you have into one book, that's fine, but you need to make sure you have the page count to make sure every element is given its due. There was a lot of promise here and a lot of admirable bits, but the whole just didn't quite come together as well as it might.

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