Thursday, November 04, 2010

The Mermaid’s Mirror by L.K. Madigan

Lena has lived her whole life near the beach—walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves—the problem is, she’s spent her whole life just watching.
As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf.
But her father – a former surfer himself – refuses to allow her to take lessons. After a near drowning in his past, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet something lures Lena to the water … an ancient, powerful magic. One morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman—with a silvery tail.
Nothing will keep Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove.
And soon … what she sees in the mermaid’s mirror will change her life ...

I enjoyed Madigan’s first novel, Flash Burnout, so much that I got excited when I saw this one coming out. I really liked Lena, and her situation was very interesting. The story unfolded at a good pace, and, once I started reading, I didn’t want to set it down.

The first half was fantastic. I was glued to the pages and loved finding out the mysteries of the sea as Lena did. And then, once we found out for sure why she was so drawn to the ocean, I couldn’t wait to see how it was all going to work out. The characters were interesting, and I loved that Lena didn’t want to go all ‘McSwoonypants’ over her boyfriend. McSwoonypants!! Love it!

Some SPOILERS below.

This story is basically about how the absolute choice of Mom vs. no Mom can be painful and terrifying. Lena’s mother went through this when she made her own choices of how to live her life, so I was hoping to see some growth in Lena when the same choice came around to her. Unfortunately, this is where the story disappointed me. Instead of standing up and fighting for what she wanted, and insisting that her grandparents compromise, she succumbs to them. Yes, she does a great thing for her father, but she hurts so many others in the process. It feels like she learned nothing. Like no one learned anything, actually, and that was kind of frustrating. Lena is a child of both land and sea, and, of anyone, she has the right to fight for both. Being forced to choose means she’s missing half her heritage. Very sad.

I understand there is a sequel coming, and it may address the concerns I have about the ending. But I was hoping for a bit more here. Still, it was an enjoyably light read.


Elizabeth Kolodziej said...

thanks for letting me know about this book! i'm not sure if i want to really give it a go or not. i'm wondering if it is going to be too predictable. i think i'll read some more reviews and see what others are saying.. but thanks for introducing me to the title and author!

Liz ^_^

Tabitha said...

If you haven't read her first book, you definitely should! She's a great writer, and I'll be reading more of her books.

cleemckenzie said...

I agree with you, Tabitha. I'm privileged to know L.K. and share writing with her, so I appreciate her talent both as a writer and and editor. She's a pretty darned nice person as well.

Tabitha said...

That's awesome! I think she's a Blueboarder too, and she's always been super nice on the forums.

mARTy said...

just realized that you are a nanowriter;) cool!

Tabitha said...

Yes, I am poking along. But some words are better than none! :)