Saying I loved Fathomless by Jackson Pearce doesn’t even begin to describe what I feel for this book. It grabbed me, sucked me in and never let me go. Fathomless was like nothing I expected but turned out to be everything I love. I don’t know if I can do it justice in this review because all I really want to say is, “Go read this book!”
Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant — until Celia meets Lo.
Lo doesn’t know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea — a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid — all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she’s becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she’s tempted to embrace her dark immortality.
When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude’s affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there’s only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.
I will be the first to say that the beginning of Fathomless was pretty slow. I mean, after all the intense action of Sister’s Red, and the not quite as much but still seriously intense action in Sweetly, I was expecting some action. Fathomless lacked that action. The first half was mostly character development. Celia and Lo were both at the point in their lives when they’re not quite sure who they are or what they want. Celia and Lo both struggled with self-identity issues. Instead of letting that hold them back, they worked together toward becoming strong, independent and free-willed. Celia wanted to be more than just Anne and Jane’s sister; Lo wanted to become human again. So, the first half of Fathomless was them figuring out the answers to those questions. Like I said before, it was a bit of a struggle to get through but without that, there would not have been a story at all.
The lack of intensity didn’t last. While I was reading the last 130 pages of Fathomless, my aunt’s cat scratched my hand so hard that I started bleeding and my bladder was close to bursting. Yet, I could not stop reading until I finished the book. Physical pain could not stop me from reading Fathomless – if that doesn’t say just how gripping it was (despite the lack of fighting action) I don’t know what will. I don’t know how to explain what was going on without giving away anything. There wasn’t any fighting or epic battles; it was just the final show down.
While Jude was important to the scheme of the story, he was a secondary character. His fall into the ocean was the catalyst that started everything and his subsequent relationship with Celia certainly helped her come to some self-realizations. Yet, for the most part, he was in the background while Celia and Lo solved their problems on their own.
Anyone new to Pearce’s Fairy Tale Retellings series, could read Fathomless as a stand alone without any problem at all. However, I would strongly recommend that you, at the very least, read Sweetly first because of the dramatic irony. All three books are set in the same universe and distantly related; though reading them in order gives the readers background knowledge that Celia and Lo don’t have any clue about. Because of that background knowledge, I was able to anticipate/guess plot twists.
Fathomless was an impossible to put down book that everyone should read. A hauntingly beautiful tale about not only finding love, sisters, friendship and finding oneself, but holding on to it. Anyone who has ever felt like an outsider, even when surrounded by sisters, will relate to Celia and Lo’s struggles. Fathomless will suck readers in and never let them go.