What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? Five years after the (twisted) events of the film, Ariel is now the queen of Atlantica, and Ursula is running Eric’s kingdom on land. But when the sea witch threatens Atlantica once more, Ariel finds herself returning to a world (and a prince) she thought she’d left behind forever.
Liz Braswell is far batting 2-0 for me in her Twisted Tale series (otherwise known as Disney sanctioned fan fiction). To the point, where I was at the point of not even bothering with these books anymore. Because they’re all sort of pathetic.
Only thing is, I really was obsessed with The Little Mermaid when I was a kid and as I grew up I couldn’t help but realize how stupid and incredibly lucky Ariel was. This premises sort of was like my ideal fan fiction BUT Liz Braswell was writing it so my hopes weren’t up.
I’ll be frank, it exceeded my expectations but it still wasn’t a good book.
If you’ve seen Linday Ellis’s review of the Disney live remake of Beauty and the Beast many of the things she points out that failed with that movie were similar failures that this book had. Most notably, it tried to correct with much epic failure the problems the movie.
I.E. that Ariel is a lovelorn idiot.
How is this fixed? We are told Ariel is now a powerful queen who wears her hair in braids and that’s pretty much it. Just FYI, Ariel wears her hair up in Little Mermaid 2 and is even a bigger idiot in that movie.
And forget about development with the Eric/Ariel relationship. They pretty much want to just shag each other without getting to know each other. Much like in the movie. Except Ariel wears her hair up….oh, wait Little Mermaid 2.
And speaking of sex, you know being married for at least eight or so years that Vanessa (Ursula) and Eric had to consummate their relationship, but this is never even addressed. But still, I know I couldn’t help but think throughout this entire book how Eric was feeling about having sex with an octopus for the past eight years.
However, there were so many dumbfounded boneheaded idiot parts about this book that I was just shaking my head over.
Like, the ruling of Eric’s kingdom. His parents are still alive, yet Ursula is still able to make all the military decisions and the kingdom just goes for it…Or for that matter, if Eric and his parents are still technically the rulers how is Ursula pretty much usurping the kingdom with no magic and then gets afraid of the marriage contract. Or if Ariel is using the power of the triton why is she still so weak, except putting her hair in a bad ass bun? And why is her punishment to be queen most people want to be mother fucking queen? And for that matter why send the mother fucking queen to clean up the mess, you’d want to protect her surely there’s some sort of mermaid CIA or something? Save for the annoying OC seagull character that Braswell brings on because I guess she wants to make it her own….And again, how come Eric didn’t realize Ursula was an octopus when he had sex with her, because based on the conversation they had about producing an heir you know they had to at least copulate once….
Ugh, writing this paragraph just frustrated me. But as you can see from it, this book was just full of plot holes. I wanted to take Braswell out of the story and rewrite some of the aspects myself. That is how frustrated I got with it.
Still though, a part of me enjoyed it because…nostalgia goggles?
I mean, if you took away the crap plot holes and the bad characterization there was potential here. It was a contender. I just…Braswell just makes me angry.
I really wish Disney would try to hire other YA authors to take some these stories. To be fair, this was an improvement than the previous installments I read. But that’s not really saying a lot.
Overall Rating: If I think it’s a D. If I’m being generous maybe a C. It kept me entertained at least.