I got the 'Fred the Mermaid' series for Christmas, and whilst the first novel had its comedic moments and a very interesting premise, it sadly wasn't as good as I'd expected. Nevertheless, as I had the second and third book, I thought I'd plough on regardless and see how it all turned out- it's no good leaving a series unfinished, right?
Seriously, by mid-way through this book I was beginning to wish I'd never bothered which is a real shame as I've heard really good things about Mary Janice Dickinson, especially her 'Undead' series. The character of Fred is even MORE sulky and irritating than she was in book one which is hard to believe, the secondary characters are much more developed than she is and the plot is just stupid, even for a paranormal romance. MJD at one point tries to imply that one of Fred's parents' foster kids is being abused (a serious subject) but then the issue is barely glossed over when the book is resolved. Aargh! Seriously, why put in something like that in the first place? Oh, and this book is THIN, as other reviewers have already commented. Even if you aren't a speed-reader you'll get through this in a couple of hours and the whole series in half a day. As I said, the series had real potential- Fred is a heroine with a difference, it just seems like the writer got bored half way through it.
A brief synopsis if you're still interested: Fred goes to the Black Sea with Arthur for a mermaid gathering as the mermaids are trying to decide whether or not to expose their true nature to humans. Accompanied by her best friend Jonas (by far the most interesting character in the whole series), they run into Thomas- the marine biologist who Fred has more than a passing interest in, and discover that Fred's biological father betrayed the mermaid species many years ago and is in exile- hence a lot of the undersea folk don't trust her [cannily leaving the plot line for book 3 exposed]. Oh, and of course Artur is *still* trying to get her to be his bride; why? Can you really see yourself being stuck with that?!
Don't get me wrong the book does have a few light-hearted comedy moments just like book one did; Artur's father's new found love of American television (obtained via Thomas) is genuinely hilarious, as he picks up on human curse words and litters every sentence with them. The appearance of Dr Barb also caused me to breathe a sigh of relief and managed to pick the book up slightly. Overall opinion? Well... sorry MJD, this just didn't cut the mustard for me, but because I've started the series I *will* finish it. Thankfully reading the third book won't take up too much time and then I can move onto something much more promising. Phew.