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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Review: The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan

Title: The Mermaid's Mirror
Author: L.K. Madigan
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: 10/04/10
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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...

Plot: 3.5 Stars
The first half of this novel came off very comtemporary, as compared to paranormal. Except for two paragraphs at the end of two chapters, there was no mention of mermaids until past the halfway mark. It wasn't necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't what I expected. I'm a paranormal lover, so I want the creatures to be hiding in every corner. But this novel was very restrained. Even after the idea of the mermaid was brought up, it was another fifty pages or so until Lena actually sees and talks to one. But once we meet the merpeople, the lore behind them is very interesting. My favorite part of the story is how the author wove surfing into the story. It was every interesting to read about, and none of the descriptions were confusing to someone who does not surf.

Pace: 3 Stars
The pace of this novel was very strong in the beginning. The first two thirds of the novel flew by, even with the lack of paranormal. When the idea of mermaids finally came up, the pace slowed down a bit. It seemed like Lena dwelled on the topic quite a bit, with little action going on around her. Then she pace slowed even further once she entered the ocean to meet more merpeople. Many of the underwater scenes didn't seem to further the plot much. Lena also seemed like a totally different person while she was underwater, and it was a bit weird. A bit of the problems in these later scenes is explained near the end, but there were still some unnecessary scenes underwater.

Characters: 4 Stars
All of the characters in this novel were developed very thoroughly. Lena was a very complex teenager, but not in the normal adolescent ways. She came across very mature at times, while still acting like a kid. The love she felt for her parents and her brother really shined through. Her little brother was a very cute character, and I'm glad he played such a large role. Siblings, especially younger ones, are not that common in paranormal young adult novels. Her best friends were great characters. The author was able to bring them into Lena's life without them getting in the way of the story. They actually helped bring the story together through surfing.

Cover: 3 Stars
Although the cover really resonates with the main character Lena, and her love for the ocean, it's a bit washed out. The ocean in the background seems a bit too quiet and dull. A breaking wave or a brighter blue would really draw the eye to an important element to the story. Although it is cloudy and rainy during parts of the novel, I think this cover could've used a ray of sunshine peeking through the clouds. It would fit the mood of the story a bit more. But I loved that the cover model is facing away from the reader, and towards the ocean. Even without seeing the cover model's face, I can feel her longing for the sea.

Overall: 3.5 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure.

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