Friday, June 22, 2018

Review - The Mermaid by Christina Henry @C_Henry_Author @BerkleyPub

The Mermaid by Christina Henry
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Date Read: June 18, 2018
Length:  336 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum's American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.

My Review

I liked this book and thought it was well done.  I do have to say that this book was a little different than I expected.  That isn't a bad thing since I like being surprised by the books that I am reading.  I loved Christina Henry's previous book, Lost Boy, so I was really excited to see what she would do with this mermaid tale.  I found the book to be incredibly well written  and quite entertaining.

One of the reasons that this book may have surprised me a bit is due to the fact that my mermaid knowledge is quite limited.  I have watched the Disney movie more times than I can count but that is really my total mermaid experience.  I did see a few similarities between this book and the Disney film but only at the very start of the story.

I liked Amelia and thought her view of the world was quite refreshing.  While women around her concerned themselves with the opinions of others and propriety, Amelia cared little about how others saw her.  She did not want to see anyone come to harm and really had a very kind heart.  I loved her relationship with P.T. Barnum's young daughter, Caroline, and wife, Charity.  Levi and Barnum were both great characters as well.  Barnum always had dollar signs in his eyes and didn't always do the right thing but I was impressed that he would back down in certain situations.  Levi wanted to protect Amelia and it was quite obvious how much he cared for her.

As I mentioned this book wasn't quite what I thought it would be.  Based on my experience reading Lost Boy, I expected a much darker story.  As I read, I kept thinking about all the evil things that could potentially happen but I just couldn't guess the turns this book would make since it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would.  In some ways the story made me sad.  It is terrible the way that human beings will treat each other not to mention animals in our care.  I also think it would have been very hard to be a woman during this period of time.

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a nice combination of fantasy and historical fiction seen through the eyes of a mermaid that is often more human than those around her.  I look forward to reading more from Christina Henry very soon.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

Christina Henry is the author of The Mermaid, Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

20 comments:

  1. Want!!! I have wanted to try something else by her for aaaaaaaaaaaaages

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    1. I hope you enjoy it when you get the chance to read it, Blodeuedd!

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  2. I wasn't sure I would like a mermaid story, but this one looks to be more historical than fantasy and I like the idea of the Barnum connection. Good find!

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    1. It really was more historical fiction. I thought it was well done.

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  3. I really enjoyed Lost Boy so like you, I would have been looking for a darker story. I have read a couple mermaid stories and they do seem to have some sadness to them with the leaving the sea part.

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    1. This mermaid really had a neat perspective regarding how people treat each other.

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  4. I'm glad it was good and you enjoyed it. I'm not sure why but I'm off fairy tales at the moment as I'm reading them for COYER and I'm going to be ready for something else. Anne - Books of My Heart

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    1. I also tend to get tired of a genre if I read too many of them in a short period of time.

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  5. I'm glad I've read a couple of good reviews about this during the week. I do think I'll like it but had I not read them, I probably would have went in expecting something darker like Lost Boy, which I loved. I would have been okay with darker, but now my expectations are probably in the right place.

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    1. I kept thinking that something was about happen but then it didn't. I loved how dark Lost Boy was and was looking forward to some of that darkness in this one.

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  6. Glad you liked it even though it wasn't what you expected.

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    1. It was a good story even though it was a bit different than I thought it would be.

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  7. I never heard of the author before until I read your review of Lost Boy. I am glad you enjoyed this one as well. I will be adding these to my list. Great review.

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    1. I still need to go back and read her Alice in Wonderland retellings.

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  8. This looks like a good book, and the cover looks great. I like the historical aspect as well.

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    1. I thought that the historical aspect of the story was very well done, Brooke!

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  9. Thank you for your great review, Carole. I am looking forward to reading this one and so was glad to read your thoughts on it. The notion of nonhumans being more human than actual humans is always an interesting--and sadly true--one. The combination of history and fantasy appeals to me. I do not know a lot about mermaids either. Splash and Disney's Little Mermaid are about the extent of it.

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    1. I forgot about Splash! I guess I do have that knowledge as well :)

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  10. I think this appeals to me because it isn't as dark as you were expecting. My mermaid knowledge is limited in the same way yours is and now you've really got me curious!

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