Book Review: The Mermaid's Mirror

The Mermaid's Mirror
By: L.K. Madigan
Narrated By: Katie Schorr
Published By: Brilliance Audio
Publication Date: October 2010
Audio Length: 7 hours, 22 minutes
Audience: Young Adult - Fantasy
Source: Library

On the Writing & Story: 

The protagonist, Lena, has always been drawn to the water. She feels most comfortable when she is in the ocean. Her greatest desire is to learn to surf, but her father stubbornly refuses to allow her to take lessons. A surfing accident keeps him on the shore and he fears that something terrible will happen to Lena. As the story unfolds, readers will learn that Lena's father fears more than a few wipe-outs.

The beginning of this novel was a little slow, but as soon as Lena begins to piece together the story of her mother things begin to pick up. The beginning really serves as a way to ground Lena in the human world; this element will play a dominant role in the conflict. Once the mermaids took center stage, I was enthralled. I really enjoyed the undersea world Madigan created. Her take on the concept of mermaids combines traditional lore with her own creativity.

I struggled with how to review this one because I don't want to give anything away. I loved the characters in this one and the impossible choices that they are forced to make. There were moments when I honestly wasn't sure which path they would take or how things would end up. Lena is put into a difficult predicament that I didn't envy.

At it's core, this is a story about family and choice. I highly recommend it to all fans of mermaids and fantasy. The writing is beautiful and will have you craving a trip to Northern California.

On the Audio:

I enjoyed listening to this story.The narrator did a nice job of differentiating the character voices and infusing them with emotion. I particularly enjoyed the way she chose to voice Lena. You could feel her happiness and sorrow in each line of dialog. The only thing about the audio that annoyed me is whenever the narrator sang Lena's lullaby. She wasn't a great singer - which isn't the main focus, I know - but since the song comes up numerous times it was hard to ignore.

One Last Gripe: I felt like the ending of this one was somewhat of a let down. 

My Favorite Thing About This Book: The Mermaids and their society

First Sentence: Lena woke up on the beach.

Favorite Character: Nix

Least Favorite Character: Max

Lena has lived her whole life near the beach ? walking for miles up and down the shore and breathing the salty air, swimming in the cold water, and watching the surfers rule the waves ? the problem is, she's spent her whole life just watching. As her sixteenth birthday approaches, Lena vows she will no longer watch from the sand: she will learn to surf. But her father ? a former surfer himself ? refuses to allow her to take lessons. After his near drowning years ago, he can't bear to let Lena take up the risky sport. Yet something keeps drawing Lena to the water . . . an ancient, powerful magic. And one morning Lena catches sight of this magic: a beautiful woman ? with a silvery tail. Now nothing can stop Lena from seeking the mermaid, not even the dangerous waves at Magic Crescent Cove. And soon . . . what she sees in the mermaid's mirror will change her life forever.