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on Aug. 04, 2013 :
Wonderful combination of mythology and technology; the set-up is exciting and the mermaid culture is believable (and the names are awesome!). My favorite part of the book is the beautiful descriptions that take a land-born reader into the cool, tumultuous depths of the ocean. Ballantine is wickedly talented in brevity, and gives each mermaid a distinct personality with a few, carefully chosen sentences.
I quite liked the ending, a turn from the original tale. It was a great interpretation of her ascension into the air.
There is one thing I wish would have been explored more in depth: the development of Lorelei’s ambitions. The question that plagued me was: why Roan? Why was he so different and inspiring from the men she had killed in the beginning? Why was he (an enemy) and the Above, worth so much sacrifice? I got vague impressions that she was bored with life under the sea, but it would have been lovely to see it illustrated more clearly.
Overall, I would love to see more of this mermaid steampunk universe. It’s definitely strong enough to stand on its own as a separate entity from the original by Andersen.
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on May 24, 2013 :
This was a really fascinating and wonderfully different mermaid story. The war with the humans and the underwater machinery led me to believe the story would end on a much darker note, but I was pleasantly surprised.
I absolutely loved Lorelei's character; her thoughts and actions were easier to relate to than the original story by Hans Christian Anderson. My only complaint is I wish there were more about Lorelei's mother and how Lorelei's final form was received by the humans.
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)