ARC Review | The Mermaid by Christina Henry

The Mermaid by Christina Henry
Adult Fantasy
Publication Date | June 19th, 2018
ARC from the publisher



Book Blurb:

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.

| Book Review |

I’d never read anything from Christina Henry before, and I was really nervous picking up The Mermaid. But the lure of the blurb proved to be too strong for me to resist and this was one instance where caving to temptation really paid off. My favorite part of this story was the very beginning with Amelia meeting Jack. I love that she couldn’t resist the loneliness in his eyes, that she found it enticing enough to give up her sea-life to live on land with him. And I love that a simple fisherman’s life was enough to keep them both happy as long as they were together. I love that the people in their little town, hesitant to accept Amelia at first, became her protectors and shunned anyone who came looking for the real life mermaid they’d heard tales about. Or ‘tails,’ as the case may be! This is where this book peaked for me, unfortunately. While I found this book to beautifully written, it wasn’t as sinister as I expected (and hoped) it to be. There were no great lengths Barnum went to keep Amelia aside from negotiating, though he did make some threats a time or two. The biggest disappointment in this book was the romance that Amelia had after her life with Jack. No spoilers about who it was, but I never bought it. It never felt authentic to me. It felt as though Amelia had been put on a pedestal instead of being genuinely loved, and after her love with Jack, it wasn’t enough for me. Highlight for spoiler – I had a really hard time that Amelia would give up her life in the sea for him, especially after how disappointed she was and how she’d seen such an ugly side to humanity. The way she longed for the sea couldn’t make me buy it. Aside from that, she was setting herself up to love another man until his death. Their love never felt strong enough for her to make that sacrifice. – End spoiler.

While the pacing of this book was decent most of the way through, the last 20% dragged, and things fell apart. There were political undertones all throughout the book, but they became more prominent, and quite frankly jarring at the end. It didn’t feel authentic to me, and it changed the tone of the story so much that it lost some of its beauty.

I’m still giving this book three stars, because like I mentioned, the writing for the majority of the book was stunning. The prologue alone with Amelia and Jack was worth the read. I won’t hesitate to pick this author up in the future, and I would heartily recommend The Mermaid if the blurb intrigues you as it did me!

| Rating |

| Stunning Cover |

I don’t normally do this – maybe it’s Lampshade Reader and her fabulous ‘Comparing Covers’ feature that inspired me – but I saw this cover on an international edition, and I swear my mouth watered! I think it is absolutely stunning, and they captured the mermaid green color perfectly! I would love to get my hands on a copy of this edition.

13 thoughts on “ARC Review | The Mermaid by Christina Henry

Add yours

  1. Oh good! I’m glad to get your thoughts on this b/c I read her Captain Hook story and loved it. I’m not a big Mermaid fan, but might try this one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There really was a decent story here. I just wish it had been more sinister and forgone the second love story in the book. I think you’ll find something to like about this book.


  2. I do have to agree with you that the international cover is my favorite of the two. I liked this book but it wasn’t what I had expected it to be. I thought it would be a much darker story and kept waiting for something big to happen. The writing was amazing though. Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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