Title: The Mermaid's Sister
Author: Carrie Anne Noble
Publication Date: March 1st, 2015
Synopsis: 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: Maren is becoming a mermaid and must be taken to the sea or she will die. So Clara, O’Neill, and the mermaid-girl set out for the shore. But the trio encounters trouble around every bend. Ensnared by an evil troupe of traveling performers, Clara and O’Neill must find a way to save themselves and the ever-weakening Maren.
And always in the back of her mind, Clara wonders, if my sister is a mermaid, then what am I?
Review: I am a huge sucker for stories about sisters, especially if they involve magic and fantasy, and especially mermaids. When I first saw this book, I immediately knew that I had to read it. And then I saw that it was an Audible Daily Deal, and I got even more excited, because then I could listen to it on my drive to and from work!
The audiobook starts out kind of slow, I think. It took me a while to get into the story since there's kind of a lot of necessary set-up, and I found myself zoning out and having to rewind and listen to sections over again. I think the narrator does a good job, I just have a problem paying attention when it comes to audiobooks. Eventually though, the story picks up and things settle in to a nice pace. It isn't fast, but it isn't slow either, and I found myself not wanting to turn the car off because I was enjoying the story so much.
I also had a little bit of trouble connecting with Clara. She's kind of annoying and needy, and I just didn't really care about her problems. I mean, I know Clara wants to help, and I know she doesn't want to lose her sister at the same time, but she just spends so much time whining. And then there's the romantic aspects, where Clara keeps trying to convince herself that she isn't really in love with O'Neill because he's her "almost brother." Like we get it, please stop telling us.
You would think that since Maren is the one who started all of this by beginning her transformation into a mermaid, we would see much more of her. At the beginning, when she's still mostly human, she does get plenty of screen time. But as she becomes sicker and weaker, the focus shifts from her to Clara and we see less and less of her. I kind of wish the chapters had alternated between Maren and Clara so that we could see more of what Maren is thinking and feeling, but I do understand that the book is called The Mermaid's Sister and we're probably supposed to care more about Clara.
Overall, I did really enjoy this story. Clara's love for her sister is so strong, and she's willing to do whatever it takes to save Maren - even if it means she'll never see her again. She constantly has to fight with her own fears of what she'll become, but she never lets those get in the way of her goal of saving her sister. I would love to see more stories set in this world, and although the book ended very nicely, a companion novel would be fantastic! I'll be keeping an eye out for more of Carrie Anne Noble's books in the future! 4/5.