Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Goddess Of The Sea Goddess Of The Sea
by P. C. Cast

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jo Toon

Goddess of the Sea is one of a series of P.C. Cast's Goddess Summoning series, and is a fantasy romance. CC is a Sergeant in the US Air Force who drunkenly calls on the Goddess Gaea to revive her boring life. When her plane subsequently crashes into the Mediterranean, she changes place with a mermaid and is transported back to the year 1014, and just off the coast of Wales. Here, she becomes the Little Mermaid of the story, turned into a woman with a time limit on finding a human man to be her true love. But instead, she finds herself falling in love with a merman...

The story itself is a predictable romance, with only the overlay of a legend to give it the title 'fantasy'. The end point of the tale could be reasonably well predicted from about the eighth chapter (when all the major characters have been introduced), but then I expected nothing more from a romantic novel.

I won't go too much into the inaccuracies in the book; the coral grotto off of the coast of Wales can be explained by magic, and the description of the large creature that has made a mess being a raccoon can be explained by lazy writing (raccoons live in America, the UK has badgers or squirrels; P.C. Cast has, according to her biography, lived in Scotland, so she should know this...).

My big gripe with this book is the characterisation, which is pretty much non existent. P.C. Cast's introduction states “My heroes all have one thing common; they appreciate powerful women and are wise enough to value brains as well as beauty.” It is a shame that she didn't extend the same courtesy to the male characters in this book; they are pretty much all one dimensional, with their physical looks (almost all good) being their primary description (“she had just walked into a whole group of handsome fighter pilots...” “The man looked like a gorgeous statue brought to life...” “She wasn't used to seeing such a blatant display of male muscles and strength...”). Even one of the baddies of the piece, the misogynist Abbott (“a nice looking man, had his expression not been so pinched and hard looking), seems to have no purpose or motive apart from the utter hatred of women (and, in particular, beautiful ones), and the other, Lir, (“He would have been handsome, had it not been for his sneering expression.”) is only motivated by his lust for CC's mermaid body. Even our heroine doesn't ever become three dimensional to me. I don't even get a particular impression of her 'brains' to compare with her beauty.

So, if you like your romantic novels predictable, with descriptions of handsome men throughout to keep you company, then this is the book for you. However, if you prefer that the story has some depth and the characters live a little in your imagination, then pass this one by!

SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

Contact us by email at: