Daughters Of The Sea Tells The Story Of Mermaid Sisters Who Are Separated At Birth By A Storm And Go On To Lead Three Very Different Lives Book Is About Hannah, Who Spent Her Early Days In An Orphanage And Is Now A Scullery Maid In The House Of Rich, Powerful Family She Is Irresistibly Drawn To The Sea And Through A Series Of Accidents And Encounters Discovers Her True Identity Hannah Realizes That She Must Keep The Truth A Secret But She Also Knows That Soon She Will Have To Make The Choice To Be A Creature Of The Land Or The Sea I just finished this book I really liked the writing I could step into to a whole different world while reading this book a world of 19th century America, maids, love, ocean, and wishes. So, what s with the demonic cat and the strange bond with the crazy eldest daughter And what about the two vases Are they some sort of portal And does she really play the harp naked that night or did the author just forget that she told us Hannah likes to sleep naked because her sheets are softer than her nightdress And the painter, does he regularly go after 15 year old girls You know, for all the questions the author brings up and doesn t bother to answer, the plot is spread thinly There is plenty of space that could have been used to develop some of the ideas that pepper the book but are ultimately left to wilt Oh, and the main character gasps a lot And draws in her breath sharply A lot A lot a lot Basically, the book has a useable idea that it doesn t bother to develop so that the bits that kept me reading never bloomed Oh, and the ending was lame It just stops Yep If you want a very fast read that drags along and doesn t demand anything of you other than suspending your deductive mind , maybe you ll enjoy it For me, I think it ended up just being a waste of time. WARNING This review contains spoilers, very general or from early in the book, in the penultimate paragraph.This book was so odd kind of like Upstairs, Downstairs with mermaids Which could be really cool, if the plot had lived up to the world building Instead, it felt like the author wanted to show off the research she had done on the life of domestic servants in the late 19th century, and leave the supernatural elements as an afterthought The result is a book that doesn t feel at all driven by the heroine s personal struggles, most of which get resolved without her taking action Hannah Albury is a fifteen year old orphan in 1899, who is sent into domestic service Her first position is to be in Kansas, but when Hannah is sent away from the sea, she becomes ill, itching all the time, and with crystals forming on her skin She then ends up in a position as scullery maid in Boston, in the household of the wealthy Hawley family Hannah must learn the ins and outs of domestic service while trying to figure out her own nature, dealing with the mental instability of the eldest Hawley daughter, and the attentions of the mysterious artist, Stannish Wheeler, who may know about Hannah s nature than he s letting on Hannah Daughters of the Sea is clearly designed to be a genre bending work, straddling the lines between historical and supernatural fiction I ve read many a novel that blends those two genres successfully, and it s a combination that I usually enjoy The problem with Hannah is the other lines it straddles, such as the line between Children s and Young Adult fiction Although Hannah is a teenager, and there are romantic scenes throughout the novel, to me this felt like a book written for younger readers than the typical young adult novel This is partly due to Lasky s reliance on telling rather than showing the reader the details of Hannah s daily life, which leads to the book crossing another line between fiction and non fiction Now I m not saying any of the characters are real or that the events of the story really happened it s just that the book read at times like those books shelved in children s non fiction, with titles like If You Lived in the Middle Ages or I Was a Suffragist In other words, books that use dramatization to educate kids about history, rather than books focused on telling a story, albeit one set in historical times.I d like to close this review by discussing character and conflict as it plays out in Hannah Daughters of the Sea I didn t really have an issue with Hannah herself, except that she didn t do much to solve her own problems Then again, she wasn t given a chance to For example, when Hannah is too old to stay at her orphanage, the cruel matron Miss Pringle sends her on an Orphan Train to Kansas, claiming Hannah is unsuited for domestic service, the kind of job that would allow her to stay in Boston In Kansas, since she is away from the sea, Hannah gets ill and ends up having to go back to the orphanage Logically, she should have to convince Miss Pringle she isn t unsuited for domestic service, so she can take a job in Boston But surprise Miss Pringle is gone and has been replaced by the kind Mrs Larkin, who has no problem with Hannah performing domestic service Hannah gets what she wants without having to do a thing Likewise, when she is working in the Hawley household, Hannah has some unfortunate encounters with the oldest Hawley daughter, Lila Lila is an interesting character, at first imperious and controlling, but gradually becoming unhinged and a threat to Hannah personally and to the household tranquility in general So Lila has to go Then she comes back Lila is sort of an antagonist in a box Lasky gets her out when needed to stir up trouble, then puts her away again Hannah s social status is far beneath Lila s, and it would be fascinating to see her negotiate this imbalance while standing up for herself, but she doesn t Despite its supernatural elements, I d recommend Hannah Daughters of the Sea to fans of historical fiction rather than fantasy The fantasy elements are introduced, and will hopefully be explained in further installments of the series the historical background, however, is detailed and interesting And I do like that domestic service is painted as, not glamorous or exciting, but a job one could live with, and have the prospect of promotion as well The setting is rich, some of the characters quite likable, but the plot utterly lacking in suspense Please note I didn t say accurate I know too little about the time period to make that claim Don t have time to write a full review I probably will later.In short though, this book is really slow and dull The characters lacked any luster for me and the most unique ones were introduced at the end The main character, Hannah, was boring, too innocent, and just not easy to relate to Plot wise, it was awful I knew the ending before I even read the book, simply based on the description There s no guessing involved at all The only interesting part is the younger girl in the house that Hannah works at, with her creepy cat But, even that doesn t make up for the fact that the book is incredibly slow, and the whole thing leads up to an event that the reader should know is going to happen no matter what There were a few characters and ideas that the author could have expanded on to make the book actually interesting, but she didn t even do that much Honestly, I can usually find something in a book that I liked There wasn t much in this one I finished it with a gut feeling that I had wasted my time and money on the novel My advice is to not pick this one up I have no clue why it s a Young Adult book If anything, I would put it in the children s section as younger kids are the only ones that might find this interesting If you want a mermaid story, go read Siren by Tricia Rayburn or Mermaid Park this isn t exactly ABOUT mermaids, but it seemed to satisfy me when I was younger and extremely interested in them by Beth Mayall Apparently there s a sequel to Hannah out Hopefully it s better than this I personally don t intend on finding out.