Annabelle Walsh thought she had it all. She was the star of her swim team, had a loving family, a great boyfriend, and to top it off, she’d be starting at UCLA in the fall. One day, she’d be referred to as Dr. Annabelle Walsh.
She was living every girl’s dream – until her life was turned upside down. All starting with finding out that she’s not just a human, but also a water spirit. Half-human, half-sprite to be exact. Although not just any sprite, Annabelle is prophesied to be the only one who can save both the sprites and mankind.
With a mix of current events, anecdotes from Greek mythology, tidbits of folklore, and Leigh’s own imagination, we join Annabelle in her journey to restore order beneath the sea. Each step of the way her mind, body, and soul are pushed to the limit begging the question, how much can one half-human, half-sprite take?
I love mermaids. Always have. But I’ve never read a mermaid book until now. We start off with our seemingly regular high school girl who has dreams of becoming a doctor one day. Coming off the high of a big win in her swim match, Annabelle gets kidnapped and later finds out she’s supposed to be the savior of a group of merfolk, who, by the way, have two tales instead of one (like the Starbucks mascot). They originate from Poseidon’s son, Triton, and have a long and colorful history.
I love that Leigh Michael did her research on the many, many creatures of water mythology and folklore (although I do disagree that rusalkas should be a part of “merfolk” species). I don’t think she let an opportunity pass by to prove that she did the research and I think that really benefits the more casual reader who may not have as much knowledge of the stories as say, a mythology-buff like me. This story is super fast paced and easy to read. It’s sweet, likable, and the quest of the main character definitely keeps you interested. The underwater world is painted really well to make everything believable. And the secondary characters all had these wonderful little backstories to go with them.
I had one major issue. I just don’t feel like Annabelle was given enough time to train properly and then within a course of three days her water powers come to fruition. And then after a day of training those powers, BAM!, she has to run off on this super dangerous quest. I realize that there’s a time table here, but I also think that the merfolk could have, or rather should have, captured her earlier so that she could properly train.
All in all: I enjoyed the book. I felt it was a bit too short and wished it was longer, but I suppose I’ll have to read Kin to find out what happens next.
The Little Mermaid fans who love Starbucks would really get a kick out of this tale. And anyone looking for a cute, quick read.
I wish there was more of Blake, Annabelle’s boyfriend, mentioned in the book. Because of the lack of his presence, I don’t know how I feel about him and her being paired up versus her being paired up with Adrian, the prince of the merfolk. It’s like because he wasn’t there, he had no way to defend his name! But I suppose I’ll find in the sequel…