Nafiza's Reviews > Between the Sea and Sky

Between the Sea and Sky by Jaclyn Dolamore
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's review
Nov 14, 11

bookshelves: net-galley, 2011
Read on November 14, 2011

Between the Sea and the Sky offers readers a chance to witness the unfurling love story between a mermaid and a winged creature. The premise is fascinating. The question of how these two beings of different species work over their significant differences to fall in love and fight for a chance for a happily ever after is an engaging one. Wow, that was a long sentence. Sadly though, the entire book feels like it’s waiting for things to get better. Even the ending. The potential is there – it just is never fulfilled.

In fact, the entire book feels anticlimactic.

Esmerine is a promising character but she just doesn’t develop. Alander remains stodgy and I have less than fond thoughts of Dosinia. Esmerine’s sister, Dosinia disappears so Esmerine, with Alander’s help, goes on a quest to find her. The way the tension builds up in the novel, I expected Dosinia to have been kidnapped or something more villainous. Only, it turns out that Dosinia willingly left her family to be with a human man. She’s portrayed as a sympathetic character and then you find out that she’s really not someone you can like. What kind of a person leaves their family to worry and leaves without informing the people who purportedly hold a lot of meaning to her?

Also, the book kept on reiterating that once a siren has been captured in the human bond of marriage, there is no way out for her.

My question is, why? If she has been “captured” why can’t she steal her belt back and make a run for it? Why does the human concept of marriage hold any meaning to a mermaid who has a different value system and as such different ideas about marriage?
I wanted to like this book, I really did. It just didn’t do anything for me. There is no real conflict, no overarching arc that tells a story, that makes a person tense with anticipation, nothing learned, nothing gained just a seemingly flat rendering of what might have made a better short story than a novel length one. If Dolamore had focused a bit more on the differences between the winged creatures and mermaids, delved into how difficult it would be to make their relationship work, I think the book would have offered more in the way of substance. As it is, it didn’t appeal to me as much as Dolamore’s Magic Under Glass did. But as I always say, make up your own mind.

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