Retro Review: Fish Out Of Water (2008)

MaryJanice Davidson

Piatkus (2008)

ISBN: 9780749909079

The Mermaid Series #3

Book 1: Swimming Without A Net
Book 2: Sleeping With The Fishes
Book 3: Fish Out Of Water

Given that I am a fan of MaryJanice Davidson’s Undead books, I was amazed to discover she had written a mermaid trilogy and I didn’t know about it! Sure, vampires are far more prevalent in the paranormal genre than mermaids, but still, you’d think someone would have told me!

Fish Out Of Water is the third and final book of the Fred the mermaid trilogy. Not having read the others didn’t really impact on my reading of this one, although I imagine my emotional investment in some of the characters and the events happening to them would have been stronger if I had read the first two.

In this book half-human, half-mermaid Fredericka Bimm, media liaison to the merfolk – who have only recently “come out” to the land-dwelling humans – struggles to balance this role with her new engagement to the undersea Prince Artur and her friendships on land. Add to this strange merfolk disappearances, her own inadequacies as an undersea citizen, and her unresolved feelings for the lothario marine biologist Thomas, and Fred has a lot on her fins.

Davidson’s writing is as flippant and engaging as always. Irreverent banter between characters is a trademark of her style, and I enjoyed the quick pace of the story very much. Davidson manages to employ a lighthearted style without telling a shallow story, and is always highly readable.

While the novel did stand up to being read out of sequence, I would recommend starting at the beginning of the series (Sleeping With The Fishes and Swimming Without A Net are the first two books – there is also a novella in the anthology “Dead Over Heels”). You will get more MaryJanice Davidson fun, and the sense of character will no doubt be better too. A thoroughly enjoyable, speedy read, and a great break from fat fantasy!

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