Top positive review
A fun, creative tale
Reviewed in the United States on December 4, 2013
Son of a Mermaid, by Katie O’Sullivan, is a fun, creative tale about Shea, a boy who discovers that his supposedly dead mother is actually alive - and a mermaid! The story begins with a slice from Shea’s interrupted life as an Oklahoma farmboy. A tornado destroys the home he shares with his single dad, presumably killing the father. Intriguingly, no body is found, which made me wonder if the missing Dad will return in a sequel.
Fifteen-year-old Shea moves to Cape Cod to live with his grandmother. Here, Katie O’Sullivan really begins to shine. Her vivid descriptions of the seaside town and the beaches make it clear that she’s spent time in this place. You can practically smell the salt air. Shae makes friends with Hailey, a local teen, and another, more mysterious girl named Kae. Kae pops up on the beach at unexpected moments. To Shae, she seems bright and fun, but oddly ignorant of the modern world.
Walking the beach, Shea finds an odd stone with a hole in the middle. The stone is a transmutare, a magical medallion that allows a mermaid to shift into human form. Luckily, the stone is in his pocket when he falls off the deck. Unable to swim, Shea is in trouble. But the medallion makes him grow gills! He survives and discovers Kae is also a transformed mermaid. She takes him to the underwater realm of his grandfather, who rules the Atlantic. But the ambitious Demyan, a merman, has plans to take over. Shea must foil Demyan and prevent his mother’s arranged marriage to take his rightful place as the heir of Neptune.
Son of a Mermaid is a completely “clean” read, making it a good choice for middle grade readers and parents who don’t want their teens to grow up too fast. The story is an engaging one that kept me turning pages right to the end. The only question left unanswered was - will there be a sequel? I certainly hope so!