Walking on Knives

The little mermaid has no idea that as she makes her way on land, she’s being watched over by the sister of the very witch with whom she made her bargain. She has no idea that the witch’s sister is falling in love with her.

When the prince decides to marry another woman, the little mermaid’s secret helper offers her a chance to live. But the price may be too high…

This is more like a long blog post than even a short novel so you could read through it at a stop light although I don’t advocate trying to read in the car unless you’re a passenger. It’s definitely a different approach to the Little Mermaid tale which seems to be making a resurgence in popularity lately. The author didn’t seem to want you to connect to the characters because they were kept very impersonal and one dimensional. I guess they figured you’d transfer your feel good emotions from Disney onto this so why should they go through that extra work to make you like theirs on its own merits?

The author captured that same sense of beauty and tragedy found in Anderson’s story but unlike the original Chhabra’s writing style was hard to follow or even like on a gut level. When I finished I just felt very confused and completely unsure of what I had just read; like I was missing some central tenet that would make the romance understandable. I’m even having trouble writing the review just because I feel like I spent my time staring at a page of words in a foreign language which I’m expected to translate for the world at large but can’t even translate for myself.

I’ve never used the word ‘hate’ in a review, far as I can remember at least, but I hated – no I ABHORED – how sex was portrayed in this story. It opens up with a rape scene, the little mermaid, that beautiful, voice like an angel, flowing hair, whose best friends with Flounder cause you know that’s the image you have in your head when you start this, gets raped. WTF?! How is that necessary AT ALL to this story? Especially in 2017 with how women are already degraded globally why was it necessary to do this? Unfortunately that’s not the only scene that’s going to leave you thinking the author has some serious hang ups about sex and needs to work them out on their own time and not by degrading a beloved Disney icon – yes I know she was Anderson’s first but really it’s Disney’s we all think about first.

Thank you for putting this image in my head so now I can’t watch The Little Mermaid the same way ever again with my daughters.

Thank you to Netgalley and Less Than Three Press for allowing me to review this book.

*synopsis and pic from netgalley.com


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