Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.
©2014 Jennifer Donnelly (P)2014 Listening Library
I listened to this because my daughter is reading it for summer reading and I wanted to check in on her reading comprehension.
The narration was just not good. The reading was hesitant in places - should have been read without accents - why accents? I had to go back and listen so many times to figure out who was who for conversations. Sounds like the narrator was about 12/13 - should have picked someone more 18ish, with a smoother voice.
Listening and reading is some times better
So for me the print version is very good
And audio is perfect
When Serafina lost her father and have to scape leaving her mother
My dauther and I can't wait To read the next book
I couldn't even get past the first chapter. It's read by a raspy voiced 12 year old who rushes through the reading. The reading is flat. So monotoned. I hope I can get a refund.
The story is solid, and generally fun. Nothing super original, but it is enjoyable and a clear narrative. The characterization is strong, the girls (merls) are believable individuals.
However, the story is constantly marred by descriptions that defy the basic physics of water, and not in ways that can be hand waved away by "magic." Blood seems to be the only liquid that mixes with the water around it. Otherwise, tea is poured and drunk from cups, poison drips from fangs and falls to the floor. The merpeople sit down, stride (Stride!) and kneel. Bodies fall to the floor, and somehow it's remarkable that when one girl casts a powerful spell, she's still floating after. The summon walls of water that shatter and spray droplets everywhere. Fins make remarkable and noticeable noise when moving through the water.
It is frustrating and distracting from what could otherwise be a well developed world.
I got this book to play during longer vehicle rides with my teenage son and preteen daughter. It's the only thing that keeps the arguments over music, or breathing, at bay after a while.
In the past, I have misjudged a book or audiobook as "age appropriate" on occasion, so I had been waiting a while to start it for them. A few days ago between the ending of my own book, and my next credit, I decided to scout out a few chapters before I started playing it for the kids. I was hooked immediately. The story is written well, very visually descriptive, but not in the way that drones on wasting time just to make sure you only "see" things the way the author saw them.
It took me a little time to get accustomed to the narrator's young voice (I have 5 children, so I naturally drown out kid voices as a form of self preservation). After a few chapters the voice grew on me and I was able to appreciate the subtle changes between characters and accents, without it sounding ridiculous or forced.
I've always been a sci-fi fantasy reader in both adult and young adult categories , but I don't think I have ever read anything surrounding mermaids. The world created in this story was a refreshing change and a nice new perspective for me.
I am looking forward to the rest of the series and doubt I'll be waiting on kids to catch up.
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