This is only the second book with mermaids I read since I was kid and I'm getting more and more fond of the whole topic. Between the Sea and Sky is wonderful tale of two young people with very different backgrounds which share the love for books. How can I not like this!
I like the fantasy world Jaclyn Dolamore creates. It's described very detailed, which made it super easy to follow the story but still left enough space for my imagination. I loved the undersea, the village with all the mer people, their traditions, the dances, stories. The author uses traditional fairy tale elements to create a very unique mer world. With an interesting and loveable main character Esmerine, which is not the belle of the ball. She is a bit shy, a lot more introvert than her older sister Dosinia, she loves books and can actually read. Something very rare and not necessarily good between mer people, as books degrade in the sea and all the mermaids/mermen are suspicious of land things. The day after Esmerine became a siren, and therefor swore to protect the sea from the people above, her older sister vanishes. Only Esmerine is willing to actively find out what happened. She leaves the sea and goes to the city to find her sisters and bring her back.
I loved Esmerine's curiosity, generosity and bravery. How she is willing to suffer (every step on land hurts her) to make sure that her sister is all right. In the beginning I didn't like Alandare or Alan at all. He was pompous, ignorant and rude, but at the same time he helped Esmerine to find informations about her sister. It was very contradictory and therefore intriguing. I loved that Alan is a winged man. I never came across this kind of species in any fantasy literature before. Later, after he explained to Esmerine why he behaved like an ass, he moved heaven and earth to reunite the two sisters. He is a very good friend. I liked reading about their shared past, their adventures past and and the one they undergo to solve their quest. There were these calm moments when they become friends again and then even more. The romance is very tender, a bit sad (What can come out of love between a winged man and a mermaid?) and so very sweet. I was almost heart-broken. I very much felt for them, when they realised that they still like each other a lot but that this situation is so very impossible. Especially Alan's character was amazing, he clearly loved Esmerine and there could be a way to be together but he doesn't want to take away her choice. So very noble and loveable and adorable...
I enjoyed the pace of the story. Especially with full fantasy you need some time to understand what's going on. The plot was well constructed. The further you read the more informations were revealed and quite a few twists kept me on my toes at the end. I'm also fond of this book because it's not the start of a series. There is full closure to the story and I will admit I was happy with the end, which I never ever suspected while still reading.
Overall I very much enjoyed this book. It's like a fairy tale, which I love. The characters were sophisticated and the plot was fascinating. I will definitely look out for other books written by Jaclyn Dolamore.
*** ARC courtesy of NetGalley ***