After having read both Fred the Mermaid books, I've come to the conclusion that I won't be reading any more of Ms. Davidson's books. This series is poorly written - in her acknowledgements the author herself writes, "As I explained to my editor, 'I got nothin'.' I got to the end, it was done, the story was told, and I was on page 200." The main character, Fred, is impossible to relate to (regardless of her being a mermaid) and equally impossible to like. The entire cast of characters is like a parade of stereotypes: the workaholic sexually repressed boss, the metrosexual best friend who everyone believes to be gay, the geeky co-worker who also happens to be a millionaire from writing romance novels, the testosterone-laden suitor who wants to make Fred his princess, and the hippy-dippy mom who's stuck in the '70s. The dialogue is forced and the story line weak. This was my opinion after reading Book 1, and now after giving the series and author a 2nd chance with Book 2 - my opinion has only been reinforced. Don't waste your money or your PBS book credits.
I think that MJD is spreading herself too thin. This was a very, very, very light read, and I'm not even sure I much *like* Fred. I will not be in such a rush to get the next book... because of COURSE there's going to be another book. I enjoyed her Alaska series more than this one, and I adore the Queen Betsey Books.
Good book, not quite as good as the first book. I think Fred is a little bit TOO b--chy, I know crankiness is her thing, but I really don't think anyone THIS cranky would be tolerated like she is by the other characters.
Also, isn't this a romance? Why is she so, well, "eh", for lack of a better term, about the love interests. I actually get the feeling she doesn't really like either of them all that much. Sexually attracted, yes, but not really into them.
I was a bit disappointed in this book. Fred wasn't her usual self. And I have to agree I think MJ is spreading herself to thin. She wrote in this book that it was originally 200 pages long and I believe it should have stayed that way. They storyline was a bit drawn out throughout the book and if you're looking for a love scene..there's only one, and it's about a page long..not detailed at all.
Though I liked the first book a lot more compared to this one, I believe that the third one will be the best after the ending of this book. This book is kinda like the boring movie that you have to go see in order to understand what happens in the next one, which you know will be action packed. So that's what I have to look forward to. I believe the third book will be awesome! *crosses fingers in hope that it will be..because it should be..and if you read the book you'll understand why*
Overall, I liked this book. It wasn't as good as the first one, but at least it had some closure and even the author could admit she had fallen a little short story-wise. I'll keep reading more stories by this author because I love the sarcasm in the main character. There ARE really people like this, and we love them for who they are because we love their brutal honesty instead of the "fake plastic smile" they bestow on people who drive them and others nuts. The book is an easy and light read but that's what I was expecting from the reviews I read and so it didn't disappoint me.
I love most Mary Janice Davidson's book, this one is zany and quick. If you want something quick and funny to read than she is great for that. However if you are looking for something with a bit more "meat" to it her stories generally take me all of 2 hours to read.
Fred the mermaid is back in this sequel to "Sleeping with The Fishes". She is called by The King of the undersea folk to a "plagic" to help the undersea folk decide if they should go public with their existance. If that's not hard enough, she still hasn't decied who she wants more-Artur the High Prince, or Thomas, the marine biologist. This book was even funnier than the first!
I do enjoy the Fred the mermaid series from MJD even though Fred is essentially Betsy the vampire with fins. First of all, these books don't come out in hardcover first so there is no waiting period for them to finally show up in paperback. I do like MJD books but not at $20 for a hardcover I'll read in an hour.
On to the book. I'm a sucker for anything mermaid and I do like the way MJD has her mermaid world. But Fred herself doesn't seem to care much about anything really. That really bothered me especially in the end when she finally chose who she wanted to be with. That was nice when most series draw out the romantic interest for book after book. Forever swapping one guy for another with the heroine forever flitting between them. So back to the end. I won't give it away because I hate when people do that but suffice it to say Fred's reasoning for picking the guy she does was the face that she never liked the other guy anyway.
Huh? It seemed like in the previous book the guy in question was the forerunner, ahead by a little bit in the race to win Fred's heart. But here Fred casts him off saying she never liked him much anyway. That was my biggest issue with this installment. Hopefully the next book is better and Fred decides to care about... something.
When I first read "Sleeping with the Fishes," the first book in the "Fred the mermaid" Trilogy I thought it was very cute and was in love with the characters Davidson had created.
"Swimming without a net" however, lacked a lot of the previous charm of its older sister. I was excited to learn from the back cover that Fred was going to meet more of her fellow Undersea Folk, but I was kind of disappointed. "Swimming's" biggest downfall was its lack of a solid plot. Essentially, Fred meets a lot of other merpeople, debates her relationships with Artur and Thomas endlessly, and... that's about it.
The major theme of the book was that all the merfolk came together to vote on if they were going to reveal themselves to the "bipeds" or humans.
Without going into too much detail, the ending was predictable and just as corny as the reader was led to expect.
Plus, I didn't get the title. Not once was there a "net" mentioned. Literal or figurative. The characters were still cute, and it was a superfast read to be sure, but I dunno it just didn't make the leap into the four-star range for me.
I don't remember whether it was this book or the first (sleeping with the fishes) that I read but I couldn't get past the first couple of pages. Ick. Maybe I should have given it more time to get better...
This one was even better than the first. I loved the whole craziness of it. It was extra silly. I just love the absurdness of the story line on this one. Having the mermaid king quoting a rather over the top HBO series always got a giggle out of me. The end will leave you going OMG I NEED THE THIRD BOOK NOW!
Fred the mermaid is one quirky and always aggravated girl. She has a bit of an attitude problem and she uses humor as a defense. She has two men fighting over her, Dr. Thomas Pearson (an oceanographer) and Prince Artur (a royal of the Merfolk). The Merfolk are having a huge gathering to decide if they should reveal themselves to the humans. Fred is invited for two reasons: 1) the Prince is in love with her and trying to convince her to be his princess; and 2) Fred lives on land and has a unique perspective on their dilemma.
This series is enjoyable and a very quick read (I read it in less than two hours). Fred - eccentricities and all - is a fun character. I'm not sure if I like Artur as her husband since he is demanding and bossy. I'll have to read her further adventures too decide.
Although I LOVE MJD, Fred's story has been my least favorite. Not sure why. Definitely have preferred Betsy and the werewolves. However, that being said, I went ahead with the second book to tie up the storyline, and it did.
As a unique combination of half mermaid and half human, Fred is asked to testify as the mermaids hold a tribunal to determine whether or not they should out themselves to the land dwellers without fins. A merman prince who has the hots for Fred is in attendance, as is her human love interest and fellow aquarium worker Thomas. Fred struggles to decide who is right for her, while she also struggles to keep the guy's attention off of the hundreds of other topless mermaids attending the meeting.
Swimming Without a Net is a light and funny book which could be finished in one sitting. The writing is snarky and funny, and contains some LOL one-liners. I enjoyed it more than the first in the series, and am looking forward to the third installment.