Monday, January 3, 2011

The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan

The Mermaid's Mirror
L.K. Madigan
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Released: October 4, 2010
Pages: 320
Source: Cavalier House Books
Lena has lived her whole live 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 even though her father forbids it. Because 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.
The Mermaid's Mirror was one of the first ARCs I received from Cavalier House Books. I was not familiar with the author, and I had never heard of the title, but the premise seemed interesting. With the huge increase in fantasy and paranormal, I never read about mermaids so I was intrigued by a new take on the genre. That said, I was pretty disappointed with this read and a little disappointed in myself for not liking it more - it was one of those books I really wanted to like, but unfortunately I didn't connect to the characters enough.

To me, Lena was a spoiled brat through most of the story. I know most of us were at that age (okay, I was), but I didn't find her to be very likeable at all. I understood her frustration and anger, but the way she dealt with her feelings made her seem bratty and immature. I also had issues with the pacing. The first three quarters of the book seemed drawn out and slow, and then the end felt rushed. Overall, I wasn't left feeling very satisfied, and I was disappointed in Lena for the choices she ultimately made.

I really hate writing reviews like this one because I feel guilty when I have to be negative. But, as a blogger/reviewer, all I have is my integrity, and I must be honest if I want to keep it. I will say that I do look forward to reading Madigan's first novel Flash Burnout. While The Mermaid's Mirror was a bit of a letdown, I very much enjoyed Madigan's writing. Her descriptions of the ocean and beach were wonderful. I've spent many Christmases and summers in San Francisco because my mom is from there, so reading about the surfers and the waves was very enjoyable for me.

While I may have been underwhelmed by The Mermaid's Mirror, there are plenty of others who've read and loved it, so please don't let my review deter you if this book sounds like it's for you. Different books say different things to different people, so I'm sure many of you would enjoy this one. Here are some reviews from people who loved it: Lost for Words, The Book Scout.


  1. Well, I for one really appreciate honesty in a review, so thank you.
    For the most part, for me to truly enjoy a book, I have to like the protagonist so I'm not sure I would enjoy this book either from your description of Lena. I'll definitely check out some other reviews though before making a final decision.

  2. I agree.

    I felt that Lena was a huge brat through out the book. I felt that that situation at the end was pretty harsh but I did like how the author described everything. Everything from the underwater world to what we could see through the mirror.


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