Fathomless by Jackson Pearce | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce | Book ReviewFathomless by Jackson Pearce
Series: Fairytale Retellings #3
Also in this series: How the Light Gets In
Also by this author: How the Light Gets In
Published by Hachette Digital, Inc. on 2012-09-04
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Family, Legends, Myths, Fables, Siblings, Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Celia Reynolds is the youngest in a set of triplets and the one with the least valuable power. Anne can see the future, and Jane can see the present, but all Celia can see is the past. And the past seems so insignificant -- until Celia meets Lo.Lo doesn't know who she is. Or who she was. Once a human, she is now almost entirely a creature of the sea -- a nymph, an ocean girl, a mermaid -- all terms too pretty for the soulless monster she knows she's becoming. Lo clings to shreds of her former self, fighting to remember her past, even as she's tempted to embrace her dark immortality.When a handsome boy named Jude falls off a pier and into the ocean, Celia and Lo work together to rescue him from the waves. The two form a friendship, but soon they find themselves competing for Jude's affection. Lo wants more than that, though. According to the ocean girls, there's only one way for Lo to earn back her humanity. She must persuade a mortal to love her . . . and steal his soul.

Fathomless by Jackson Pearce has been on my to be read pile for about two years at this point. I decided to dive into it’s pages mainly because the book was super short, I liked her one book about purity and because I am a super huge fan of fairy tale retellings. Friends, it turns out that the only retelling that I like involving the Little Mermaid is the Disney movie, and that’s probably because of the musical numbers. I just am not that into mermaids and was not very impressed by this book. I wanted to like it very badly, just like I do with every book I crack open but it was not meant to be, apparently.

Celia goes to boarding school with her two sisters, and is a triplet. Y’all, the last time I crossed paths with a triplet in a book was when I was reading the Babysitter’s Club and Mallory’s triplet siblings were all over the place. Anyways, Celia and her two sisters have these magical powers. One can read the future, one can read the present sort of and Celia can read the past. One day Celia meets this guy named Jude who falls into the ocean and is almost pulled under when this weird girl comes out of the ocean to save him, Celia helps, FYI. The weird girl is named Lo and she’s pretty much a mermaid. She remembers absolutely nothing about her past, so her friendship with Celia basically has the advantage of Celia telling Lo what her life was like before she lost all her memories, because, like I said, Celia can read the past. Fathomless revolves around the plot point of Lo wishing for her soul back and trying to decide if she wants to kill Jude for her soul and around Celia gaining some confidence with the boys and falling for Jude herself.

The one main character that I enjoyed reading about kind of in Fathomless by Jackson Pearce was Celia. Like, she had her vulnerabilities and weaknesses, sure, but she also has a big heart. She really cares about her sisters. She wants to do the right thing. She also is interesting in that she feels kind of left out and apart from her triplet sisters. She feels like they are really into fashion and beauty and beguiling dudes, whereas Celia just wants a steady relationship in her life. I liked seeing her be self-conscious and awkward feeling in the beginning. I think that for me, Celia’s chapters were more relatable and interesting.

Honestly, Lo’s chapters kind of felt like a hot mess. I get it though, I get the point behind making Lo so weird. First off, she’s not human at this point. She doesn’t have human memories or think like a human would. Second off, there’s a whole big long back story as to how she became a mermaid. I am going to tell you it’s totally bizarre and was hard for me to fathom and understand. That’s on me, not the book, I guess. I don’t know, I liked when we were able to flashback to Lo’s days of being human, but for the most part I rushed through her chapters. She just did not hold much appeal for me.

Overall, I am not in love with Fathomless. I am not sure if it’s the mermaid theme, the book, or me. It is a fast read, yes, but parts feel a bit jumbled and convoluted to me. Like, I just felt that the whole action sequence (you will see if you read) was all over the place and that I had to re-read a few pages to understand what was going on and why. I never really found myself all that heavily invested in the characters or the romance. I wasn’t into the mythology. And I never had that fairy tale sense of wonder while reading Fathomless by Jackson Pearce. My recommendation is to just watch the Disney movie instead.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Danielle D says

    While it’s not really a sequel per se, if you read Sisters Red and Sweetly before Fathomless, I think the backstory/action sequence will make more sense, because of the way Pearce has set up her fairy tale world. There are continuing threads and some characters appear/are mentioned in the other books. I have yet to read Cold Spell to see how she wrapped everything up, but I just wanted to say thanks for your review – I remember the book kind of dragging at points for me too. And, if others are still interested in checking this out, check *all* her fairy tale books out together to get the bigger picture!

  2. First – how pretty does your new design look? SOO FREAKING PRETTY.

    I have been wanting to find a mermaid book that I like because I love Disney’s The Little Mermaid, but I’ve never found one. I’m sorry this one wasn’t what you were hoping for.

    You know, my cousin actually had triplets! Isn’t that crazy. They are fraternal (two girls and one boy) but triplets do happen! 🙂

  3. Awwww I read the first two of these, and I didn’t love them but I didn’t hate them either. I’ve been putting off reading this one for awhile, maybe because it focuses on a mermaid tale. Like you, I’m just not big on the mermaid myth. I’ll eventually get to this, but I can see myself sharing some of your complaints. Great review, April!

  4. I’ve heard wonderful things about Pierce, but I’ve never read her myself. As for mermaids, I’m not really sure how I feel about them. I am not a fan of Ariel whatsoever, but I do remember reading a mermaid-based book a long time ago that I enjoyed.

  5. I’ve been on the fence about reading anything by her. I read a short story, in grim I think. I liked that. But I’m always wary of the re-tellings. Plus she can be a bit obnoxious on twitter, so that has turned me off a bit. It shouldn’t, but it does.

    I love mermaid stuff, but the last few mermaid themed books I’ve read have been a disappointment. So if I try anything by Pierce, it will be something different. I have purity sitting in my wishlist, maybe that one.

    and Omg, The baby sitters club.. *memories* It’s been so long since I’ve read any of those.