Fathomless and Cold Spell by Jackson Pearce

Fathomless and Cold Spell are the two concluding books in the Fairytale retellings quadrilogy (is that a word?). Anyways, four books.

The books

The Fairytale retellings are essentially what it says on the tin. Fathomless is based on the Little Mermaid. I haven’t read the real fairytale, so I can’t speak to how similar it is to the book. It’s about Celia Reynolds, the youngest of a set of triplets. Anne, Jane and Celia have powers, Anne can see the future, Jane can see the present (essentially read minds), and Celia can see the past. And Celia feels like it’s a useless power. Then she meets Lo, a girl from the ocean, who can’t remember anything about her past. A boy falls in the ocean, almost drowns, and Celia and Lo save him, and they both start to fall for him.
Cold Spell is based on the Snow Queen, or Frozen. Again, I haven’t read the fairytale. I really want to read the originals, the ones with the sex and the murder, and torture, and all that. Anyway. It’s about Ginny and Kai, who have been friends forever, and it’s evolved into something different, with kissing and plans of running away together. And then Kai meets Mora, seems to forget Ginny, and hate her at the same time, and runs away, and Ginny goes after him.

I like them, they’re fine. They’re acceptable young adult urban fantasy. And I think they’re pretty true to the fairy tales. The two first books are extremely true to the tales they’re based on, so I’m going to assume these are too.

I like that there’s this common enemy going through the whole series, the Fenris, who are these creepy werewolf types. They’re not really a huge part of Fathomless, they just turn up at the end, and I liked how they tied into the story. In the first book, Sisters Red, which is based on Red Riding Hood, we’re introduced to the Fenris and the myth, they’re created from the Seventh Son of the Seventh Son, but there’s no explanations of where female Fenris come from, and it’s explained in Fathomless, which is great. I like that Jackson Pearce has very clear control of her story and where she’s going, it’s impressive.

I liked also that the Reynolds family sneaks its way into all the stories even though they’re only the main characters in one of the books. In Fathomless Celia and her sisters are the youngest Reynolds kids, related to Sam from Sweetly and Silas from Sisters Red. And Lucas Reynolds shows up in Cold Spell, which is great, I don’t know why I like it so much, it’s just nice to see how different they all are, and how their experiences growing up in the Reynolds family have been. Anyways. I like that. It was a bit problematic that I read the first two like two years ago, so when Lo was introduced I felt like I knew her name from somewhere, and if it had been like a week since I read it, I would have remembered where I knew it from. Anyways, the Internet is my friend.

I like the mermaid mythology. They’re not really called mermaids, they’re referred to as ocean girls, and they are these ethereal, beautiful, strong, terrifying girls. They go up to the surface and sing at boys to get them to love them, so they can take their souls and become human again. And yeah, I liked the mythology, it was really good.

It’s… they’re fine. They’re not great literature, but they’re good retellings, they’re sweet stories, they’re pretty predictable, but they’re fine. They’re all essentially the same story, they’re very formulaic in a sense. A young girl, or two, has a friend/sibling/person they love. That person is in danger, or something happens to them, young woman goes to save/help said person, solve the problem, and they generally learn something about themselves, and grow. Which is fine. It’s completely okay, it’s a good choice if you were to pick a formula it’s not bad. Pearce’s main characters are flawed, and not perfect, but they have moments of self-realization, and they grow, and they become independent.

For instance, Ginny Andersen (nod to H.C. Andersen, originator of the fairytale), in the beginning of the book she’s very dependent on Kai, she has very little agency. She wants to be with Kai, her plan is to follow him where he wants to go, and just be this ancillary thing in his life, and doesn’t have a dream of her own. She’s a bit of a Bella Swan, she’s clumsy, she just rambles right into trouble, because she just has to save Kai, and can’t wait for more capable and clever people to help. But she grows a lot, she becomes stronger, and while she still wants to be with Kai, she learns that she can be on her own, she can survive without him, and that she can stop him if she has to. Which I appreciate. In that sense she’s not Bella Swan, which is nice.

The stories are a lot about growing up and breaking away from the things that you think you need to sort of cope with life, and learn that while they want those things, they don’t need this thing. Anyway.

I was a little disappointed that the last story didn’t include the people from the previous stories. I felt like in the Christmas scene Scarlett, Rose, Silas, Samuel, Gretchen, Ansel and the triplets, or at least a couple of them, could also have been at Lucas’ house, but no. I mean, it would have had no bearing on the story, I just wanted it, because I’m me. I guess they are more sort of companion novels than a series, but Lucas kept mentioning Silas, and I was like, bring him in, bring Rose and Scarlett in, they can actually fight the god damn super werewolves. So that just bummed me out a bit.


I feel like that’s the end. I don’t feel like it was very coherent, my review, but that is me. They were okay. I liked the conclusion. Also, I finished a series, so go me. I can do things. They were okay. It’s nice. I’ll end it now.