Novella Review: Pretty in Pearls by Tera Lynn Childs

Rating: 3 stars
Pub Date: January 7, 2014
Publisher: Harper Impulse
Genre: young adult paranormal romance (mermaids)
Format/Source: ebook, bought from Amazon
Status: novella, book #3.5 of Forgive My Fins series

As Princess Lily’s emissary, Peri works hard to make sure her best friend knows all the goings on in the underwater kingdom of Thalassinia. The upcoming Sea Harvest Dance means plenty of fun for them, too, including shopping for jewels, trims, and dress making supplies. Peri especially loves the pearls she finds at Thalassinia’s marketplace—and she might be falling head over fins for Riatus, the thoughtful pearl trader who looks like a dashing pirate.

When Lily realizes her friend has a crush, she is determined to help them get together in time for the dance—except her matchmaking efforts backfire, sweeping Peri into dangerous depths and tangled in confusing tides. Should Peri give up on Riatus and find a different date to the Sea Harvest Dance, or will they finally find a way to float along the same current?


Almost exactly one year ago, Tera posted a bonus Forgive My Fins story on her blog. It was a tiny story, less than 1000 words, that had been written for a mermaid magazine. The magazine ended up not materializing so Tera posted it to her blog instead. This story told of the meeting of Peri, Lily's best friend, meeting a charming Captain Jack-esque merboy at the pearl stall of the Thalassinian market. Tera asked readers if they liked the story and wanted to see more of Peri and Riatus. I remember responding with a resounding YES. Peri was always one of my favorites in the FMF series, and I loved the slightly roguish Riatus. When I met Tera and her editor Sarah at TLA a couple months later, I admit I all but begged them to write the entire story. Now, nine months later, I finally have my wish: a full "Pretty in Pearls" novella!

There are just a couple slight differences between the original story posted and the newly published "Pretty in Pearls," namely that Peri and Riatus knew each other as kids, whereas before, they were newly met strangers. I think I prefer the original version because it makes for more drama, but I'm okay with the update because it makes more sense that they'd be comfortable...ish with each other more quickly. One reason I really enjoy this novella is because Peri is a wonderful main character. Lily is passionate and a bit impulsive, while Peri is more reserved and thoughtful. That doesn't mean she's a pushover, though! Peri may be quiet, but she's no doormat. She doesn't allow people to push her around.

Riatus is really interesting. I love his physical appearance, the way he is a little pirate-y. He's kind and clearly a loving big brother while simultaneously just mysterious and a little bit dangerous enough to make things interesting. That being said, Riatus is still a teenage boy (of the mer variety, yes, but still), and he makes some seriously stupid mistakes. I was so disappointed that he pulled the old give-you-distance-to-protect-you routine. That's honestly a terrible and far too common device, and thus, it has become a tired cliché. I much prefer the actual saving from an immediate threat. There's one scene where Peri has a really bad panic attack at a very dangerous and terrible time to do so. Riatus's response to her is so gentle, so unbearably kind. I definitely squeed a bit.

The actual plot of the story is straightforward, very simple. Riatus promises to message Peri about the Sea Harvest Dance, then doesn't. She spends the rest of the novella alternately attempting to figure out why or trying to slech the attraction she feels toward him. It's very cute and definitely matches the tone of the rest of the series, which is equally adorable and fun. I hope that if Tera decides to write any more stories set in the Forgive My Fins world, Peri and Riatus will be major characters because I'd love to see more of them.

Book Links:

About the Author:
Tera Lynn Childs is the award-winning author of the mythology-based OH. MY. GODS. and GODDESS BOOT CAMP, the mermaid tales FORGIVE MY FINS, FINS ARE FOREVER, and JUST FOR FINS (July 3rd, 2012), and a new trilogy about monster-hunting descendants of Medusa beginning with SWEET VENOM and SWEET SHADOWS (September 4, 2012). Tera lives nowhere in particular and spends her time writing wherever she can find a comfy chair and a steady stream of caffeinated beverages.

Author Links:

I've been holding on to signed copies of Forgive My Fins and Fins Are Forever since TLA last year, just waiting for a good opportunity to use them for a giveaway. Now is as good a chance as ever. This giveaway is open to the US & Canada and will end at 12 AM February 14. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ironically, as I was typing this, I noticed that Tera is celebrating her 7000th Twitter follower and is giving away seven signed copies of Just for Fins, the third book of the Forgive My Fins series. One of the questions on her Rafflecopter is which characters we readers want more Fins stories for, which is something I'm way excited about. More Fins stories? Bring it, Tera! So please, go check out her giveaway. You may end up with the entire trilogy!


  1. Good review! I love Forgive My fins a lot!! I love mermaid stories and this series is one of my favorites! Thanks for the giveaway! <3
    -Cali W.

  2. I haven't read the Forgive My Fins series but I would like to because I like that genre of books and I like Tera Lynn Childs books. Thanks for the awesome giveaway!!

  3. Fallon Vaughn -

    I loved this series. I couldnt put it down. I own the first 2 books but not the third and not signed. I love anything mythological and about the ocean. I even named my daughter Atlantis 11 years ago.
    Now on to my favorite character. I love Quince. He never gives up on Lily even when she disregards him. Thank you so much for this giveaway and i will keep my fingers crossed.

  4. I'd like to read these books because I love fantasy and mythology kind of books, and my favorite Disney movie has always been The Little Mermaid. :)

  5. Ah, I've heard that her mermaid series is appealing, but I still haven't gotten around tor reading it yet! Novellas can be chancy things, so it's good to hear you enjoyed this one. No need to enter me in the giveaway since I haven't started the series yet, though, but good luck to everyone else!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  6. I have not read this series yet but I really want to! My sister has and loved it! I love mermaid books and so does my daughter and we have both been wanting to read this series!!! Fingers crossed that we get these books!!! Thank you for your awesome blog and giveaway!!!

  7. Quince is definitely my favorite character. I loved seeing him go from a pesky next door neighbor to someone Lily truly loved and needed in her life.

  8. I read these such a long time ago I don't remember! I remember really liking them though, so I will probably do a re-read.