Good news Merfriends, the effervescent Mermaid Sherlyn from Mermaid with a Book is back! And she has more tasty reviews for us. This week she takes on Son of a Mermaid by Katie O’ Sullivan…
Shea MacNamara’s life just got complicated. After a freak tornado devastates his Oklahoma farm, the fifteen-year-old orphan is whisked away to Cape Cod. Struggling to make sense of his new surroundings, he’s trying hard to deal with feelings of abandonment… and the emotions stirred by a girl he meets along the shore.
Kae belongs to an undersea world hidden from drylanders. The daughter of royal servants, she knows the planned marriage of her Princess to the foreign King should put an end to the war between the clans. But two things stand in the way of lasting peace: the ambitions of the foreign King’s regent, and rumors of the Princess’s bastard child. Sparks fly when she meets Shea, but could the cute drylander really be the Son of a Mermaid?
Son of a Mermaid is such an adorable book. When Katie approached me for a review, I immediately agreed (because, as you know, I am such a mer-freak).
How interesting can a son of a mermaid be? Not many mermaid books have guys as main characters, but Son of a Mermaid does fairly well with one. Katie proves this by filling her book with likeable characters, especially Shea. A boy with unique traits, one of which is a brilliant memory (thanks to his mer-heritage), Shea’s POVs start off in a most amusing way by featuring the different kinds of trash he remembers clearing off from the beach. Even though Shea’s upset about his missing father, he doesn’t stay angry or miserable at his situation and tries his best to get used to Cape Cod. The longer he stays there, the more his curiosity about his mother, whom he never knew much about, grows. He also takes to his merman transformation pretty well and is quick to adapt.
Kae is a character I grew to love just a teeny bit more than Shea! I find that Kae’s character has a little more depth than Shea and I connected with her really quickly. Her speech is occasionally peppered with bits of mermaid slang like “I’m such a jellyfish!” and “… you clownfish”. It was so cute and wasn’t too overwhelming. Her unfamiliarity with the human world is very charming as well. I admire how Kae’s bravery slowly emerges as she seeks out the answers to her questions. She’s a believable character who’s got her own insecurities, especially those concerning her growing attraction to Shea.
The supporting characters do not pale in comparison, either. Hailey is quite amusing, what with grading everyday things using A pluses and B minuses with her brother. I soon viewed her as an annoyance in Shea and Kae’s relationship, which was great as it meant that Katie was doing her job in making me feel something towards Hailey, who didn’t fade into the background. Mr Guenther is pretty amazing as well, though I wish he had dropped more hints earlier. I think it would have been better if Brynneliana (can’t say I like her name very much, it’s such a mouthful) had been a more prominent character and had her own POV, as she’s rather an important person mermaid to Shea. Shea’s granddad is the funniest granddad I’ve read about in a while. As for the villain, Demyan is really convincing and we haven’t seen the last of him yet!
Katie paints a beautiful picture of Cape Cod and Kae’s watery world beneath the surface. Both were easy for me to visualise, and I particularly love the portrayal of the merfolk and their underwater world. Who knew mer-politics could be so interesting? The third-person POVs of Shea and Kae are simple and clear, while showing how the mer-royals are formal in language with each other.
The conflict is strong and the plot is brilliantly woven. The romance between Shea and Kae isn’t the highlight of the story, which is a nice change, but it came off a tad strong in the last part of the book though. The ending is not bad at all, with the promise of even more adventures for Shea and Kae.
I was totally entertained by this novel and am absolutely looking forward to the release of the sequel, Blood of a Mermaid! Son of a Mermaid is perfect for younger teens as well as older ones, especially if you’re looking for a light and enjoyable afternoon read. It’ll take you on an amazing underwater adventure and leave you gasping for more, so dive in!
She hopes her debut YA novel, SON OF A MERMAID, will make a big splash this summer, engaging young readers with a Cape Cod tale of a boy who discovers both his roots and his destiny far below the waters of Nantucket Sound.
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