PurplyCookie's Reviews > Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"

Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguié
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May 28, 10

bookshelves: fairy-tale, young-adult
Read on May 27, 2010, read count: 1

Peal was discovered by a fisherman in the ocean on the day of a huge storm. She was about four years old, naked as a bluejay and clutching a large, dark pearl. The fisherman and his wife raised her like their own for they had been praying for a child.

Many years later Pearl is all grown up. She still has long, ungainly legs pale translucent skin, silvery hair and won't eat fish. She stares and stares at the sea but never goes in because she has nightmares about a pair of dark eyes watching her in the water and the memory of words that the ocean would kill her. Pearl's best friend is James and he just happens to be a prince. We learn that they've been friends since childhood and that they meet on a regular basis. It is also hinted that they have started to have feelings for each other. Both discover that their parents expect them to marry soon, and each begins to regard the other as a possible choice for that marriage.

Prince James even tries to propose -- though he is interrupted. It's not until that point, almost halfway through the book that two new characters enter the scene. These two, we realize, are the real love interests for the two main characters. This is the clumsy story telling. At this point, I'm already attached to the two main characters as a couple. Everything has hinted that they love each other, that they're meant for each other. So, as a reader, when new love interests suddenly pop up halfway through the story, I view them as intruders and immediately dislike them. I don't sympathize with them or cheer for their success. Their story seemed to come out of nowhere and blindsided me, and the love at first sight that develops with the two new characters is unconvincing in contrast to the two main characters, who seem to have the sort of love that sometimes blossoms from friendship that is also seen in a lot of fairy tales.

Even though I know how the story would turn out, I still held out hope that somehow these new characters would go away and that Pearl and James would end up together. I thought the author could have handled that aspect of the story more gracefully -- perhaps by introducing the two love interests and their part in the plot earlier on in the book so it seemed more natural when they do meet the main characters.

A minor, but rather baffling detail is the mention that the Sea Witch is a "dryad", described as a mermaid with a long serpent's tail. Dryads are Grecian tree spirits (wood nymphs to be exact); why would they be at the bottom of the ocean?

The "Once Upon a Time" books are guilty pleasures; beautifully designed and quick and easy to read. But "Midnight Pearls" stretches credibility too far, and therefore saps away the enjoyment I might have had as a result.


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Book Details:

Title Midnight Pearls: A Retelling of "The Little Mermaid"
Author Debbie Viguié
Reviewed By Purplycookie
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads) Thanks for the informative review, Purplycookie. I'll move this down in my tbr pile.


PurplyCookie You're welcome :)
Really, too bad about this retelling. I had such high hopes for it


PurplyCookie Thanks for liking my book review, Sherlyn! :)


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