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Reviewed by Karen Pirnot for Readers' Favorite
Author Elizabeth Jane Wolfe gives the reader a lot to think about in her first book of this young adult sci-fi series. In Mermother we meet Briony, a young woman sitting naked in a tide pool. She has no idea how she got there and seems quite unconcerned about her predicament. Then, Briony meets Sylvie, a mer who tells Briony that her boyfriend has pushed her off the ship on which a party was under way. Apparently, Briony has led a less than successful life on land and she now wishes to explore the sea. Sylvie becomes her instructor, after having first fed Briony and taught her a more powerful means of surviving in the ocean. Briony does not suspect that her new sea friend has ulterior motives for befriending her. Sylvie sees an opportunity to acclimate Briony to sea life with the purpose of impregnating her for the continuation of the mer species.
I had mixed feelings about the book. Briony initially seemed almost apathetic about her own needs and goals while Sylvie bounced between being a nurturer and a controller. I did like the development of Briony's character once she acclimated to the sea life and became willing to develop friendships and try a new way of being. Perhaps the next book in the series will develop the characters to a greater degree. This book takes a unique approach to the old speculation on the existence of mermaids and it will probably intrigue the younger reader. I found it lacked depth at times but, with further development, this could be a good series.