The Little Mermaid’s Voice

Shonna Slayton

4 stars

I always enjoy Shonna Slayton’s historical fantasies, and this was no different. I was especially excited for this one because I’ve only read one or two books set on the Titanic, and I’ve never even seen the famous movie. I thought that the idea behind this one was particularly interesting, as the little mermaid has always been my least favorite fairy tale, but I’ve enjoyed retellings of it before and I was curious to see how the author incorporated it into history. The story follows Mairin, the niece of the Little Mermaid 100 years after her aunt’s famous story takes place (A mermaid lifetime being about 300 years, as in the original Grimm version) the mermaids are now trapped under a barrier and are unable to surface, and Mairin feels trapped by this.
I really enjoyed the way that the Titanic was incorporated, because while it was clearly well researched, there was not so much information loaded into the book that I could not enjoy the storyline. I also appreciated the fact that the book talked about the human cost of the event, because while it is very much romanticized in today’s society, people’s lives were drastically changed, with even those who survived mostly never setting foot on a boat again.
An aspect of this particular retelling that I found interesting was that it almost seemed to assume that the reader knew the storyline of the original Grimm version of the story rather than the Disney version. While many retellings do in fact focus on the original stories, I felt like this had stronger ties to it than most do, and while I do feel like the book could be read and understood without reading the original, I was glad I had while reading.
I do think that Mairin falls into the trap laid out for her a bit too easily, but I guess without that there wouldn’t really have been a plot, so I understand why it had to be done that way. I thought Zade and Edwin were very fun, and I’m glad that the book ended the way that it did. I did feel like some parts of the story were left a bit unresolved at the end, but part of the ending did make me feel as though there might be a sequel, so I suppose we’ll see. 
There is a fun link at the end of the Kindle Version that allows you to guess the original Little Mermaid’s name for access to a “secret page” I was able to guess it, but only after looking back through the book. Overall I thought that this story was another interesting blend of history and fantasy, and I enjoyed the lighthearted touches combined with the seriousness of the topic.
Thank you to the author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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