Synopsis from back of book: Fred the mermaid has taken the bait and chosen Artur, High Prince of the Black Sea, over human marine biologist Thomas. And just in time. The existence of the Undersea Folk is no longer a secret, and someone needs to keep them from floundering in the media spotlight. Fred has all the right skills for the job, but not for when her real father surfaces and his presence complicates matters even more.
As civil war threatens to sink the merfolk, Fred can't stop thinking about the landlubber she left behind...
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, a Jove Book published by The Berkley Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2008; received through Paperback Swap in 2011.
My thoughts: It's been awhile since I read the first two books in this series, and at first I was thinking I might need to reread them in order to follow along. But it didn't take long to get my bearings and get engrossed (plus the author included a one and a half page “The Story So Far” which helped).
Not a whole lot actually happens in this book. Fred is reluctantly renting a four bedroom house on the beach in Florida (“And what do I need four bedrooms for? You know what that'll mean for me? Drop-in guests.” pg. 3), and acting as an ambassador for the Undersea Folk, who came out to the world in the previous book. Sure enough, one by one those extra three bedrooms start to fill up as Jonas, Thomas, Dr. Barb, and – surprise, surprise! - Fred's biological father show up on her doorstep.
In between Jonas dragging her around town to cake tastings and fittings for his wedding to Dr. Barb, Fred becomes engaged to Prince Artur, gets to know her dad a little, moons over Thomas (who I much preferred to Artur), finds herself liking Tennian the mermaid even while resenting her for stealing away Thomas, and meets Tennian's friend Wend who she can't quite figure out.
Then the king comes to her home to ask Thomas to ask his retired Naval captain father for help – many merfolk have disappeared over the past year, and he (diplomatically) suspects the government might be involved somehow. And when we found out who was behind the disappearance of the merfolk – well I'll just say I did not see it coming and was just as shocked as Fred and her friends.
I love Fred. She's sarcastic and argumentative and funny. Jonas is also very funny. Really, I love just about everybody in these books. I especially liked the chapter with Thomas' father, who I was prepared to dislike due to their almost non-existent father/son relationship. And I love the gorgeous covers on all three books.
|Sleeping With the Fishes|
|Swimming Without a Net|
FISH OUT OF WATER was a fun, quick read, and I really wish there was a fourth book. Queen Betsy of the Undead and... books has gotten somewhere like 15 books (I've only read up to around book 9 or so), but Fred has so much more substance to her than Betsy, I'd much rather have more Fred.