Published: January 15th, 2012
Genre: YA Mystery Adventure
Recommended Age: 11+
“Yesterday morning, local boat-builder Mr Roger Trevithick was found dead at the foot of the cliffs on the Zennor Coast…”
When Stef Brightbay goes to visit her Aunt May in the village of Zennor in Cornwall, she expects to have an uneventful trip. But when her mother persuades her to research their family history and she begins to uncover a tragic event that took place there in 1812, she is determined to find out more. She also learns of the local folklore; the legend of Matthew Trewhella who was enticed to his death by a beautiful mermaid.
Why is her aunt so uncommunicative? What secret is being hidden by a strange local family who seem to want to put a stop to her investigation? And even more mysteriously, why are unusual things happening at her aunt’s cottage?
With the help of sea-salt fisherman Arthur and his faithful chocolate Labrador, Stef pieces together the past and realises that a frightening parallel is unraveling in the present day. Will they be able to take action before it’s too late?
About the Author
Melissa Davies is a young author who has to date released 3 books available for the Amazon Kindle. She has always enjoyed reading and writing, and loves to craft short, fast-paced adventures which are particularly aimed at young adults aged around 11 or 12 and upwards, but they have also been enjoyed by adults of all ages.
Her premise is to write stories which she would want to read herself. She feels strongly that people shouldn’t be put off reading by books which try to be too literary and obscure, so instead she focuses on the story itself, making it engaging and exciting, rather than worrying too much about using as many long words as possible. However she also refrains from including drugs, sex, swearing or excessive violence because she feels they take away so much from the plot.
Her other hobbies and interests include animal rights, veganism, healthy living and yoga, and she hopes to spend more time on creative writing and improve her work in the future.
In The Song of the Mermaid, Stef journeys to her aunt’s home on the coast of Britain to help her aunt recover from an injury. While there, she begins researching her family tree and is intrigued by a death in her family line in 1812 that was blamed on mermaids. As she researches, bizarre things begin to happen and Stef realizes the past may yet affect the present.
The Song of the Mermaid, by Melissa Davies, surprised me. The end of the mystery was not entirely what I expected, but the book was still lovely. Mysteries are not the main thing I read, but it was pleasant to read this one because it held my attention and brought in one of my favorite fantastical creatures. I enjoyed it and may read Melissa’s other writings in the future.
One thing I liked about this book was its ability to make fun of itself. Several times, the characters compare what is occurring to common plot-lines in books and movies, thinking that it was almost predictable or cliché. That, in my mind, makes anything in it that was cliché or predictable somewhat enjoyable and made me like the book better as a whole.
Another thing I enjoyed was the descriptions of the town, Zennor. The way the town was portrayed made it seem like a lovely place to visit as well as a relatable one for me, who grew up in a small town.
The research Stef did on her family tree made me want to do a family tree of my own.
Also, there are two notes I would like to make. First, The Song of the Mermaid was written using various British phrases and spellings of words, which my make some readers think those words are misspellings even though they are not. Second, there are several curse words used throughout the book. They are not used too frequently, but they are present even so.
Overall, The Song of the Mermaid has many enjoyable things about it. It impacted my life by making me decide to research my family tree and perhaps write a children’s storybook. And, it was an interesting read that held my attention. I would recommend it to others.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.