Author: Jaclyn Dolamore
Series: Stand Alone
Published: October 25th 2011 by Bloomsbury USA Children's Books
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: For as long as Esmerine can remember, she has longed to join her older sister, Dosinia, as a siren--the highest calling a mermaid can have. When Dosinia runs away to the mainland, Esmerine is sent to retrieve her. Using magic to transform her tail into legs, she makes her way unsteadily to the capital city. There she comes upon a friend she hasn't seen since childhood--a dashing young man named Alander, who belongs to a winged race of people. As Esmerine and Alander band together to search for Dosinia, they rekindle a friendship . . . and ignite the emotions for a love so great, it cannot be bound by sea, land, or air.
I Give This ...
This was a different sort of read for me. I think I've gotten to the point were I expect my young adult fantasy to be a little more more gritty. This story was simple, so I honestly felt like it was almost more middle grade fiction despite the age of the characters. I think there was so much more that could have been done with this story.
The mythology was there. It's one of the more interesting premises for mermaids that I've read. Mermaid's openly exist with humans. In fact, the siren's readily mix with them. Not every mermaid can become a siren, and sirens are more drawn to humans than any other mermaid. All mermaids can change into humans, although it causes them great pain with every step they take on human feet. I got the impression that siren's are better able to withstand that pain. A siren is also powerful because all her power is trapped in her belt (which other mermaids don't have). She may give her belt freely to a human, or it can be forcefully taken from her. But, once she does, the pain being human causes her is gone.
When Dosinia disappears, Esmerine is convinced that she did not give up her belt of her own freewill. She's determined to find out what really happened. What I did think was interesting was her thoughts may have been on finding Dosinia, but she sure made a beeline for finding Alander first. It felt like she needed that excuse to seek him out. I did admire her determination to find her sister. Being a mermaid, I would think she would have a great connection to the ocean. And to travel so far from it shows how much she wanted to see her sister (or was it to spend more time with Alander).
The story seemed frightfully simple despite my interest in it. And Esmerine has all these thoughts on finding her sister, but no real way to find her. She didn't really think it through. Sometimes it felt like she way saying to she would do something in hopes of getting Alander to help her. It was a little frustrating.
In the end, the story wasn't all that I hoped that it would be. But, it wasn't all bad either.