Review of middle grade fantasy adventure The Mermaid and the Unicorns by L.T. Getty
Daphne’s a typical mermaid, and at least according to her, that’s a problem. She’s courageous and has a beautiful singing voice, but lacks the power of an elemental, the ability to command water with the sound of her voice. Jealous of her best friend, she makes a deal with a sea-witch, only to be betrayed, in place of her beautiful tail and flukes Daphne’s left beached with a pair of human legs. The spell keeping Daphne looking human will become permanent, unless Daphne can hunt down and bring the scheming Lorelei a unicorn horn before the next full moon.
Unable to reach her friends and family for help, Daphne doesn’t know how to walk, much less where to find a unicorn or how to catch one. Even if she’s successful, Daphne’s still not sure if she can trust Lorelei and her pint-sized kraken to keep their end of the bargain and let her return to the sea.
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Excerpt from The Mermaid and the Unicorn
Echor explored a small rocky cave before he chattered. I saw a fish I’d never seen before. He was orange and white!
“You’ll see lots as you travel from place to place,” Daphne told the small dolphin. “Come, your mother won’t forgive me if I let you roam from the pod.”
Why hurry? Echor asked as he swam, spinning around different plants and sponges that grew along the rocks, before focusing in on a vibrant snail. It was not a very old reef, though it was well inhabited by many vividly-colored, small fish. The young dolphin seemed to take pleasure in disturbing them and watching them scurry into their small hiding crevices and among the anemones. You’re so lucky that you get to stay in your town all the time. This part of the sea is so beautiful!
“I think it would be neat to see so much of the ocean,” Daphne said, thinking of her small town of Thranda. Unlike the dolphins, who often travelled long distances in a single day, most merfolk lived in towns unless they left their communities to hunt or travel to another community. She had known members of his family since she was a little mermaid, and only got to see them a few times a year when they passed through her home to feed in a nearby bay. She heard a series of warnings behind her—the other dolphins had detected something with their echolocation. Unless it was something exceptionally large, they should have been safe within the pod, but Echor was very young. “Echor, let’s return to your family.” The young dolphin had wandered off while Daphne had turned her head, chasing a seal that had left her bob, trying to swim away from Echor.
“Echor!” Daphne called, swimming after him. She caught up to him, then looked over her shoulder as she heard a familiar sound. An orca! Daphne suppressed a shudder. It was large, but far enough away for her to find a hiding space. Still, killer whales almost always travelled in groups. The killer whale dove when he spotted her. She knew the others would want to help, but they were no match for an orca. He swam quickly towards her and Echor. Daphne knew she would be hard pressed to out-swim the large creature.
Hide! the orca told her.
Daphne then saw the immense shadow and wooden keel of a ship following the orca. The killer whale dove deep, though the water was too clear and shallow to truly hide his massive form. A harpoon followed him, missed, and was quickly pulled back to the surface by a rope. Another harpoon plunged into the water, and then another. The rough waters churned green and grey in the ship’s wake, and Echor’s warning chatter only told her that there was another human vessel. It came from Daphne’s left, and it dragged a net behind it.
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My Review of The Mermaid and the Unicorn
This was an adorable read. I was a little obsessed with The Little Mermaid as a child, so I have a special place in my heart for mermaid stories. This pulled in a lot from The Little Mermaid, at least to me—the mermaid/human transformation, singing, a sea witch of sorts. I wouldn’t say it was at all a retelling, but if part of your soul lives with Ariel, you’ll enjoy this.
Lots of great lessons in here for the younger crowd about appreciating who you are/what you have and that jealousy gets you nowhere. The humor was fun, too. Many laugh-out-loud moments. Oh, and there were unicorns. Who doesn’t love unicorns?
The characters felt maybe a year or two older than I felt they should have been. I kept pegging them for 12 or so and was surprised when I was reminded they were 14, give or take. Really not a big deal, and I may be in the minority here, but the teen years feel like every single one is so different from the year before that those differences throw me for a loop. Regardless, a fantastic story and fun characters. I recommend this one.
About L.T. Getty
L.T. Getty is a rural paramedic from Manitoba. She enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy and generally being creative.
L.T. Getty will be awarding a $50 GC to your favorite online venue to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.