Book number two in Sibéal Pounder’s Bad Mermaids series plunges reader right back to where the opening volume ended. Mermaids Beattie, Mimi and Zelda together with Steve the talking seahorse are stuck onboard a ship heading at breathtaking speed for the legendary Crocodile Kingdom. Above the water we have Paris Silkensocks, a character introduced briefly in book number one and who now enters the story properly. Ice-cream seller and gadget queen, she has uncovered a plot to destroy the mermaid world. The journey involves a series of mix-ups, errors and close-calls, but the wit and humour of narration and dialogue keep the tone light and fun.
The setting is the underwater kingdom, a world described in intricate detail but the real magic of the book is the female-led cast of characters. The three mermaids remain the central focus; their friendship enables them to save the day and have fun along the way. Of course, no fairy tale would be complete without an utterly vile villain and Susan, mother of Paris, does not disappoint. Paris may frustrate at first but, determined to right what she has done wrong, by the close of the novel she redeems herself.
Pencil illustrations of key scenes, maps, advertisements and newspaper cuttings widen the reader’s experience and immerse readers ever deeper into the mermaids’ underwater world. A fun read that ends setting the stage for another tale that will delight readers from 8-10.