Thursday, 24 March 2011

Book Review: The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K Madigan

The Mermaid's Mirror
I love the 'sea' feeling of this
gorgeous cover.
Goodreads description

Lena has lived her whole life 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. But her father — a former surfer himself — refuses to allow her to take lessons. After his near drowning years ago, he can’t bear to let Lena take up the risky sport.
Yet 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 is one of those books that I felt myself flowing along with the ebb and tide of the plot because I wasn't constantly guessing what might come next and I think this is because the plot builds up to a climax in the fantastical world and I gradually became more captivated by Lena's world as the book progressed. By the end I began to see what a vidid and detailed world Madigan had created without me realising it as I read. Although, there was one major plot line that I guessed nearer the beginning but it didn't really affect my enjoyment of the story.

I found that Lena's feelings were very well described and realistic so I was able to empathise with her and she was a sweet but serious girl. However, my one problem was that I wanted her to have more personality to flesh her out a bit as a person, rather than everything about her coming from what is going on in her life.This would have helped me to forge a connection with her better and for her to be a more memorable character.
One aspect of Lena's character that I particularly liked was the close relationship she had with her family and the different bond she had with her mum, dad and sister. The reason why I liked this is because it is unusual to find YA books where the parents are at the front of the plot and not blended into the background or forgotten about most of the time. Lena's good and loving relationship with her stepmother was great because I would never have guessed she was her stepmother if it had not been mentioned before and usually in books step mothers are perceived as enemies. Her father is the one she goes to for advice and her younger brother Kye was adorable. Despite this, her family is not without problems of its own and there are many secrets behind the outside appearance that cannot remain hidden forever.

I read and absolutely loved the mermaid series, Ingo by Helen Dunmore, a couple of years ago so I was excited to read another mermaid story. However, I think that I would have loved The Mermaid's Mirror so much more if I hadn't read the Ingo series because the underwater world was really good  but the one in Ingo was amazing. I am in no doubt that the descriptions were enchanting because of their strong imagery and helped me to imagine the underwater domain of the mermaids but I didn't feel as immersed in the world as much as I did in Ingo. For that reason, I liked the part of the book set on land better even though it seems strange saying that about a mermaid book.

One of my favourite things about the book was the way the ehiliration of surfing was captured in writing because it made me feel like I was out by the sea with the wind blowing through my hair carrying the smell of salt as I watched surfers ride on the waves. It really made me want to try out surfing (not that I think I ever will!)

There were several unwrapped plot lines left at the end and I know that L.K Madigan had a sequel planned but like many bloggers have heard, she sadly passed away about a month ago at the time I was reading the book. When I came back from holiday after finishing it, I was very sad to hear this news because a wonderful author, family member and friend to other people has been lost.

Verdict: The Mermaid's Mirror is a creative and enchanting book that has an interesting and unique take on mermaids and I looked forward to returning home to my holiday cottage whilst I was away to curl up with it. However, it isn't the best mermaid book I have read but then again, I think that it is so much than that because the contemorary side is strong.

Rating: 4 stars


  1. So glad you liked it! I haven't read Ingo, maybe I should check the series out. For me the underwater world was so amazing and I was sad to leave it behind. I agree that it's SO nice to read about a functional family for once!

  2. Great review! This is one on my list to read.


I love comments, they make me smile! So thank you for taking the time to write one, I read all of them.
I try my best to reply here or on your blog :)

Stephanie x