Monday, November 15, 2010

Review: The Mermaid’s Pendant by LeAnn Neal Reilly (Blog Tour)

Title: The Mermaid’s Pendant
Author: LeAnn Neal Reilly
Available: Now
Reading Level: Adult

2.5 out of 5 Stars

Description from Goodreads:

Inspired by the beloved classic The Little Mermaid, THE MERMAID’S PENDANT is a modern fairy tale about growing up and discovering who you are—and what you believe in. At times lyrical, this novel is a fantastic journey filled with magic, myth, romance, and adventure. 

Four years after John Wilkerson claims the mermaid Tamarind for his wife, they have an idyllic marriage that depends on a talisman that she crafted on their island paradise. But Tamarind learns a painful truth: it takes more than legs to live on land and more than magic to sustain a bond. When the talisman breaks, she and John are forced to rely on themselves instead of magic. 

Three wise women play key roles in the young lovers’ journey to mature love. Ana, Tamarind’s aging mentor, casts spells and performs seductions to keep the lovers apart. Valerie, an ex-pat jewelry maker cum fairy godmother, works her own magic to bring them together. Lucy, their widowed neighbor, grounds the couple in the realities of marriage, parenting, and family. 

My thoughts:

The Mermaid’s Pendant opens with John heading to a beautiful island for a little down time. His girlfriend, Zoe, plans to join him in two weeks. While snorkeling he almost drowns, but his life is saved by a mysterious woman. When John wakes the only person present is an elderly women named Ana. John becomes obsessed with finding the woman who saved him. People start to talk about the possibility of his savior being gente del mar (people of the sea). John eventually finds his savior, Tamarind. Unbeknown to him she has stayed close by. She is drawn to John and wants to leave behind her mermaid life to be with him. Ana offers to assist Tamarind, but her motives for helping the naive mermaid are not sincere. As John and Tamarind try to build a life together they face many obstacles including the mysterious Ana, and John’s meddling ex Zoe.

I have mixed feelings about this one. While I did enjoy reading it, some parts were a little slow for my liking. I enjoyed when the dialogue and plot focused on John and Tamarind. Even when it was just Tamarind pondering the direction her life had taken I was a happy reader. I also enjoyed the glimpses of Ana’s plans to destroy their relationship. The author is very descriptive with her writing which was a huge asset when it came to describing the setting in which the story took place. Unfortunately, this was also a hinderance because some parts seemed to ramble on a little. The technical explanations of John’s career were something I wouldn’t have missed had they not been included. I appreciate knowing what he did, but when he was talking shop with his peers I was lost. It isn’t something familiar to me, and trying to maneuver those sections of the novel were a bit trying. 

I enjoyed the time they were on Culebra more than other parts because I found the island lore and mermaid magic fascinating. I did like the characters, and found Ana the most intriguing. I think some will adore this book, but this is not one I’d recommend if you want a light and quick read. Parts are a little darker than I’d anticipated, and there is quite a bit of angst surrounding John and Tamarind’s story.  This is not your typical warm and fuzzy feel good romance. 

I’d recommend this to those who enjoy Audrey Niffenegger or Kristen Hannah’s writing, but want something with magical themes.




  1. I don't usually read too many adult books, but I really like the sound of this one. Great review, Christie! :)

  2. Christie, thank you for your review. You have a way with summarizing the initial setup of the story without giving away too much of the plot.

  3. Thanks for the great review and note about the pace.

  4. I agree,this book is HUGE, all in all it was good had a good story a little slow paced but good nonetheless. Great review!