– Reviewed by Brogan Merrill
Kate O’Connor’s Mermaid is a science fiction re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid". O’Connor brings a true sense of otherness to her retelling while keeping the spirit of the original.
Our heroine, Coral, is a mechanical sea drone with six arms and green hair. She has only existed for 22 months, but the human DNA inside her has created a longing for connection that goes beyond her programming.
It is a Frankensteinian tale that explores what makes humans unique. Can partial humans ever be satisfied with their limitations or must they exert their will to satisfy their curiosity? In Coral’s case, she sacrifices everything to be human (-oid). Her transformation leaves her with no voice and pain when she walks—she basically becomes a disabled human. How far will she go for acceptance?
Although I have never liked the original Little Mermaid’s tragic storyline, I found myself admiring how the author kept the story’s skeleton intact while creating an entirely new skin for it. Mermaid is a heart wrenching coming of age novel that isn’t afraid to wrestle with tough ethical quandaries. This book is a rare gem—and that’s coming from a “happily ever after” junkie.
You can buy Mermaid in digital format through Musa Publishing HERE or on Amazon.