A Tale of Two Novellas: Goddess in Time and Pretty in Pearls by Terra Lynn Childs

Novellas are the thing it seems in traditional publishing these days.  Everyone and their mother who has a somewhat successful series or a series if we’re going to be honest publishes a novella.  Sometimes it’s a fan service and sometimes it’s so obvious their milking their cash cow that the reader just wants to grown after they read a hundred or so pages of dribble.

Tera Lynn Childs has written several series.  And naturally, she’s decided to write a couple of novellas as well.  Since usually when I review a novella, the review is abysmally short (because there’s not much to review about a hundred pages) I decided to make this a double review.  What is going to be severally odd about this double review is that I’m going to give one of these novellas drastically higher than the other.

 

I actually liked this novella a lot.

I’ve always been a big fan of Tera’ Oh My Gods series and was sad that it ended when it had so much potential.  Luckily, she was given the opportunity to carry the story on in a novella.  And I do think this is one of those rare exceptions where the novella actually worked.

The storyline and history behind Nicole’s origins is actually quite good.  I liked reading about that, as for her quest to gain the power to go back in time.  The descriptions of the various gods palaces worked quite nicely and I liked the weird maybe nods to Tera’s other series that were put in these scenes too.  It’s sort of cool thinking that maybe all of Childs books connect, but its not done in an obnoxious Cassandra Clare type of way. There’s still an air of mystery about it where they may or  may not be connected.

The fact she continued the story with Nicole instead of Phoebe was also a nice change of pace.  Unlike the other novella of Childs where the change of narrator actually turned out not to be a good thing, since her character was also featured heavily in the first two books.

The biggest strength, as I said before, was probably that Childs stuck to the good old reliable quest formula.  Honestly, for a novella you sort of want to be formulaic because it helps with the limited amount of plot space.  The only problem was that once the actual getting time powers quest was over, the latter half of the book seemed paced ridiculously fast.

Overall though, I don’t regret getting this one.  It might be cheesy and predictable, but it was an interesting read.  In general, I like that Tera doesn’t take such a dark take on  Greek Mythology.  While I enjoy books such as Antigoddess and Everneath, sometimes having a light hearted take out of something can be refreshing.

Overall rating seven out of ten (a solid B).

 

Oh, boy.  As much as I enjoyed Goddess in Time, I can’t say that I enjoyed this one.   I will give it props for one thing though, I like how the title plays on one of my favorite  films.

Okay, I said my obligated one nice thing about this novella.

Dear freaking lord.

Did I skim this series?

If the world building from this one is any indication I have.

Which makes me so freaking mad because I have recommended this series to a lot of people and now I’m just getting icky feelings from that.

I’ll admit, the Fins series has always been my least favorite series by Childs, even though I love mermaids (thank you Prince Eric).  There was always something that was just very immature about the series.  For awhile I thought maybe it’s just because the books were targeted at a younger audience, but it’s YA.  Just as YA as Tera’s other books, but they just seem younger.  And the main character is just so dumb in the series.  So, I thought maybe reading  a novella in her best friend’s POV might not be a bad thing.

Until I found that Peri is worse than Lily and likes jackasses to boot who’s name sounds like it’s an acid reflex drug.

Oh, yes, Prilsoec, you’re so sexy when I take you to keep myself from throwing up my lunch.  Okay, his name isn’t Prilosec, but Riatus is almost as bad if you think about it.  Seriously, you really have to wonder about those mermaids and those names.

Though considering that they eat raw pizza dough it’s probably not that big of a stretch that they have horrible taste in names.

Yes, I said raw pizza dough.  Because there’s no other explanation how a pizza parlor operates under the sea since you can’t very well have an oven in the deep blue sea (really hope they have good plumbing). Much like you can’t give yourself curls under water too.  Don’t believe me, watch Elle Woods’ excellent cross examination.

And why do mermaids need dresses?  I mean, that fabric has to get heavy under the sea.  Ariel certainly slipped off that dress of hers pretty fast.  Though King Triton seemed to give her one later on that she had no problem walking in, maybe that’s the material Perry’s mom invested in.

All in all, the biggest problem I had with this one was that it was just stupid and there was nothing really that great about it that made it stood out.  Perri was blah as can be, unlike Nicole who I loved in Goddess in Time.  She falls prey to lots of YA tropes and the plot is just droll.

The basic plot good girl falls in love with another bad boy with a record.  But this one is a merman and he lacks the requisite tattoos.  Big freaking deal. We don’t even really know why the dweeb is in jail (probably for causing too many side effects for people who take that particular brand of acid reflux medicine).

Overall, it really wasn’t worth the two dollars.  I don’t think I got anything out of the book except for maybe a couple of eye rolling moments and some really strange thoughts about mermaid food poisoning.

If you’re a fan of the series, stick to the original books.  I’m still recommending them, even though I’m more reluctant about it than I was before.  I do think for young fans of the genre, it’s something safe to read.  However, it (and particular this bonus) are filled to the brim with cheese.  And while I used to be able to handle cheese, I just can’t these days.

Overall Rating: Three out ten (D).  Hey, but it’s the first book of the year to at least pass so that’s something.

 

 

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