Suzanne L. Foster
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The Mermaid's Sister
- By: Carrie Anne Noble
- Narrated by: Kate Rudd
- Length: 7 hrs and 36 mins
There is no cure for being who you truly are.… In a cottage high atop Llanfair Mountain, sixteen-year-old Clara lives with her sister, Maren, and guardian Auntie. By day, they gather herbs for Auntie's healing potions. By night, Auntie spins tales of faraway lands and wicked fairies. Clara's favorite story tells of three orphan infants—Clara, who was brought to Auntie by a stork; Maren, who arrived in a seashell; and their best friend, O'Neill, who was found beneath an apple tree. One day, Clara discovers shimmering scales just beneath her sister's skin.
- By I-C Household on 05-08-15
Unlikable Heroine and Narrator
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I have to admit, I didn't love the characterization. I thought Clara, the heroine, was unlikable. The whole duration of the book she kept whining and moping over her unrequited love for O'Neill. One minute she would be over the moon with love for him, the next she would be hating his guts. Then the next she would be desolate again. But at least she got to console herself with the fact that she's modest and virtuous. Over and over and over again. It got pretty old pretty fast. Maren might as well not even have been in the book. She had absolutely no depth to her at all; in fact, for about half the book she doesn't even speak. She just became like a doll halfway through, with no feelings or interactions. Very disappointing. I liked O'Neill alright. I thought he wasn't very interesting or remarkable in any way, but he was just meh.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
It just felt so rushed to me. The conflict kept building and building, and then it just ended. I had so many questions after finishing. There was a grievous deus ex machina that left a bad taste in the mouth at the climax. There were so many loose ends that were never addressed at all. As for the supposed happy ending, I didn't feel confident about that relationship at all. There seemed to be some communication problems-- maybe because Clara is just so modest and virtuous [eye roll].
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Kate Rudd?
I feel like I'm in the vast minority here in not liking Kate Rudd. She had good moments (I thought she voiced men pretty well, which can be difficult for female narrators), but most of her voices made me cringe a little bit. Her Clara voice was the worst. Clara sounded mannish sixty percent of the time, so it could be confusing when I thought a man was speaking and it turned out to be Clara. Rudd also had this terrible volume problem. I listened to the book with headphones, maybe it's better when it's just car speakers or something, but there were several times when I had to hurriedly turn the volume down or up. I even had to rip the earbuds out of my ears a couple times because Rudd's voice got so loud that it hurt. Then ten seconds later I wouldn't be able to hear her at all. That's a MAJOR problem for an audiobook. I have listened to many, many audiobooks, and this had the worst volume control by far.
Do you think The Mermaid's Sister needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?
No. Though I was left dissatisfied with the ending, I think this tale is as wrapped up as it's ever going to be.
Any additional comments?
I heard that this book was written by Carrie Anne Noble for NaNoWriMo, and later self-published. Though this shows in the unpolished nature of the storyline, I think it's a remarkably good book for having been written in a month. It had so much potential, and I would definitely consider checking Noble's books out in the future.
9 of 9 people found this review helpful