Book Type: Novel
Author: Suzanne Harper
Nine-year-old Poppy Malone’s parents are paranormal investigators. They research vampires, fairies, UFOs, and other strange things. When they need help, it’s up to scientific Poppy. Her twin brother, Will, is too lazy. Her older sister, Franny, is too busy with teenage stuff. And Rolly, the baby of the family, is too little.
In the third book in the spooky and hilarious Unseen World of Poppy Malone series, A Mischief of Mermaids, Poppy makes friends with Nerissa, a mermaid who lives in Lake Travis. When Franny messes with Nerissa’s magic, she gets transformed into a mermaid herself, and Poppy has to figure out how to turn her sister back into a human.
I have some mixed feelings towards this book. While I find that I liked some qualities of the plot and characters, other characteristics grew boring and just didn't make much sense. I was first lured into the story by the immediate mentioning of monsters and sea beasts, and the thought that perhaps there is more than just mermaids in this lake. Sadly, after the first couple of pages, I became annoyed at the characters and was enjoying the book less and less with each page turn. It seems as if the adults act like immature children, boasting and arguing who is the best paranormal investigator, and Poppy's dad is very pompous. Put your ego away, Dad!
UFOs ...? Aliens...?
I also felt that this book was three quarters about UFOs and aliens, and one part mermaids. Much of the plot involves the parents searching for UFOs, and surprisingly had a lot of the parents dialogue as well. This immediately bored me. Poppy's character is a bit out of the norm, and I find her unrelatable for children in middle school or younger.
What 10- year - old reads scientific journals and articles? What 10 - year- old even knows what insurance is?? Its just unrealistic.
After reading half the book, I finally found some mermaids! These mermaids are evil and malicious, all except Nerissa, the main mermaid character. She reminds me a lot of Ariel; she is the youngest, she has reddish hair and has a curiosity/interest in human beings and I really liked her fiery personality. The cover of the book is misleading though. Although these mermaids seem nice (and identical) they are actually pretty nasty and all four of them look different. Ariadne has beautiful long blonde hair, Kali has more of an attitude with black spikey hair and Coralie, the matriarch is the oldest with silver hair. I wish this was depicted on the cover.
Overall, I felt that the book focused too much on alien hunting and the eccentric family to the point where I forgot that the book is even about mermaids. It was also boring in some spots and not really eventful. I give this book (***) 3 stars.
-Sirenita The Selkie