by Sarah Hennings
Katherine Tegen Books, 2018. 348 pages. Young Adult
Evie has not been the same since her best friend Anna was lost to the sea. When a girl who closely resembles Anna appears on the shore, with magical powers and a mission to win the heart of a prince who happens to be Evie’s best friend, she jumps at the chance to help her any way she can. Not everyone so easily accepts this new Anna look-a-like, or believes she is who she says, but Evie doesn’t heed the warnings and misgivings of others in the community. All she knows is that she couldn’t bear to lose even this mysterious semblance of her beloved friend again.
This book is an imaginative origin story of a recognizable villain, the Sea Witch from the classic Hans Christian Anderson tale, “The Little Mermaid”. The mix of magic, love, suspense, and danger brings something to the table for panoply of readers and is a sure hit for fans of fairy tale retellings. While I felt the ending was a little rushed, getting there was the real joy of this book, wondering what twists and turns were coming to have created such a monster.