Source: the local library
Release Date: April 6, 2015
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Blurb from goodreads:
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.
They didn't expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth.
This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
Mermaids written by Mira Grant? I've wanted to read it since I heard about it.
Grant uses her typical framing device, with each section of the book prefaced by a clip from a 'documentary' about the expedition. Imagine is a cable network that seems like a cross between SyFy and A&E. They're funding the expedition to 'find' mermaids but they don't actually expect to so they've scripted it heavily and planted fake mermaids. On board too are scientists Imagine has hired to provide authenticity to the documentary who are also doing real research while they're aboard.
One of Grant's strengths is her ability to use science to make her scenarios believable. I don't know enough science to know how accurate it is but it sure sounds good. Grant also makes her characters shine. She spends time on a variety of them, bringing us close to them. The downside to that was it threw the pacing off. The story is a slow build but then the climax of the story occurs much too fast. I wish Grant had spent time bringing us closer to her mermaids, helping us understand them or at least see the world from their viewpoint. In typical Grant fashion, these are not your sparkly, smiling mermaids that Disney sells us. As one character says, "All the stories about mermaids drowning sailors, all the men lost at sea...we never took those into account...We turned monsters into myths, and then we turned them into fairy tales. We dismissed the bad parts."
And that pretty much sums up the story. :)
The pacing is off, there's a lot of head hopping which doesn't bother me but I know it bothers some readers, and the story is scarily believable. It wasn't gripping but it was interesting and I loved her take on mermaids.