Monday, March 26, 2012

Review: Sleeping with the Fishes (Fred the Mermaid, #1), by MaryJanice Davidson

Rating (Out of 5): ~3.5
Publisher: Penguin (Jove Books)
Spoilers?: Only for the basic plot.

Amazon Synopsis:

Fred is not your ordinary mermaid. She's not blonde. She's not buxom. And she's definitely not perky. In fact, Fred can be downright cranky. And it doesn't help matters that her hair is blue. While volunteering at the New England Aquarium, Fred learns that there are weird levels of toxins in the local seawater. A gorgeous marine biologist wants her help investigating. So does her merperson ruler, the High Prince of the Black Sea. You'd think it would be easy for a mermaid to get to the bottom of things. Think again.


I've been on a kick lately with these types of book (you know, the adult romances, that take very little time to read because they don't have too much substance?) and I'm not sure why (also, I'm not sure if I'm going to review very many, if any more at all. I'm kind of surprised I'm reviewing this one in the first place). They're really easy to read, and I just like reading something easy, romantic, and happy a lot of the time, and so these are what I go to. (Plus, there's a used book store in the town that I live, where they are really easy to find, for not much money.)
I was kind of surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, though. I read one of her short story collection a while ago, and so I had a got a few others of hers and had them on my shelf but hadn't gotten around to actually reading it until a couple of weekends ago, when I read one of her stories in an anthology, that I really liked (the anthology was Valentine's Day Is Killing Me). From there I decided to read the two books of hers that I had (that other one was Derik's Bane), and now have more waiting to be read.
The book is about Fredrika, a mermaid who works at an aquarium (where the fish are on a strike because of the music), doesn't enjoy swimming in the ocean, and has never met another like her. She's got a hard edge, focuses a bit more on herself than other people, and has a witty tongue. Things get complicated when a mer-prince, Artur, shows up, as well as a marine biologist named Thomas, both trying to find out what is messing up the water in her area, and falling for Fred in the process.
I liked all of the characters. Fred is fun, and I genuinely like both Artur and Thomas, to the point that I'm unsure which one I want her to choose (I think I'm leaning a bit more toward Thomas, but that could change). There was chemistry between her and both of them, even if I think their falling in love came a little too fast. And I especially like how the boys got along with each other. They weren't mean, even helped each other out when it was needed, while keeping it obvious that they want her, and don't want to share, at the same time. (Honestly, they could pull an Anita Blake, become a three-some, and I wouldn't mind. Although that would be a bit of a cop-out.)
I also liked Fred's girly best friend who's not gay, Jonas, and his relationship with... someone, who I won't name.
The story-line for the book moved along fine, and I found it interesting, while mostly enjoying the characters and their relationships. I actually wasn't expecting the love part of it not to come to a conclusion by the end of the book (since I've read a couple others of hers, and they usually do, but I guess this is a series with the same character all the way through...) and so I was eager to get the next one. (And now that I have it, a bit eager to read it.)
This is an adult book, but there wasn't too many sexual parts of it. Only kissing. Which I didn't mind, and works just fine because of the way the triangle is. I'm hoping for a bit more in the following books, and expecting more to come because what her other books entail, but just kissing is good for now.
I'm not sure if I'll be reviewing the next one when I finish it, but I just might. Not sure when that will be, either. Davidson's books are fairly easy to get through, though. They're light, with fast-moving dialogue, and a little, um, random or something? I'm not sure how to describe what I mean, but it's a good thing.

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