Book Review: MaryJanice Davidson’s Swimming Without a Net

Posted February 25, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: MaryJanice Davidson’s Swimming Without a Net

Swimming Without a Net


MaryJanice Davidson

urban fantasy that was published by Jove on November 27, 2007 and has 271 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Bite

First in the Fred the Mermaid urban fantasy tale of a mermaid who has discovered her own.

My Take

Davidson is definitely creative with all her tie-ins and cultural collisions. I enjoy this series in spite of the extremely anti-social, crass, rude, emotionally immature Fred. It’s like watching a train derailment. Mostly without the blood. Fred does get irritating fairly quickly with her wanna–don’ wanna with Thomas and Artur. She’s literally kicking and screaming at them to leave her alone and bitches and whines when they do.

I gotta confess I’m confused about what the deal is that Sam Fisher [Fred’s blind date] is proposing?? I wanna see how Thomas has fit a double bed inside a submarine. Actually, I want the submarine. How cool would that be flitting about underwater for hours, days!?? And it is way too funny to read how the High King is receiving his motherfuckin’ education on fuckin’ air breathers via Deadwood.

Surprisingly, Fred was very mature in her speech to the Pelagic about the primary question before the Undersea Folk, presenting the positive and the negative on their coming out of the treasure chest to the surface dwellers. It certainly has a salubrious effect on interaction between Fred and the Undersea Folk.

Okay, that is just rude. Jonas and Dr. Barb in Thomas’ URV bed.

The Story

It really starts when Tennian and Kertal show up at Fred’s Boston apartment with orders to drag Fred off to the Pelgaic conference. A conference that takes place in a few days, but which Thomas has known about for months. Thomas. The full-human.

A conference where Fred learns the truth about her father. The night of her conception. Why most of the Undersea Folk want nothing to do with her. Except. Tennian likes her choice of friends.

A conference where Fred displays a wide range of maturity levels from her lack of emotional maturity as she sets two very nice guys up for the fall to the total intellectual maturity of presenting both sides of a controversial, life-changing issue.

It’s also the super-secret, for Undersea Folk-only, conference where the only two full-humans are Thomas because Artur must not prevent a rival from romancing the woman he wants, and Jason who is there because Fred needs her hand held. Until Dr. Barb shows up and freaks Jason and Fred out.

Until Fred figures out the right answer for King Mekkam and the Undersea Folk.

The Characters

Fredrika “Fred” Bimm is a marine biologist with a particular a-fin-ity for her work. Her mom, Moon Bimm, is happily married to Sam. Ellie is a foster daughter whose dad Fred is planning to “chat” with. Fred learns her own father was (is?) Kortrim.

Jason Carrey is Fred’s best friend and a chemical scientist obsessed with hair products…well, he does work for Aveda. He’s also doing her boss, Dr. Barb.

Thomas Pearson, a.k.a., famed romance novelist Priscilla D’Jacqueline, marine biologist, and medical doctor has been working on his fellowship and designing his URV. Artur is the Prince of the Black Sea, the heir to the Undersea Folks throne. And he’s in love with Fred. His father is Mekkan, the High King.

Tennian and her brother, Kertal, show up in Boston to drag Fred to the Pelagic. Turns out Tennian is a revolutionary thinker, an Air Breather while her brother is Traditional.

The Cover and Title

The cover is mostly a bright green with a splash of cobalt blue on the bottom of this sea as a fishing net begins to close in on the transformed Fred with her glittery green tail and the shell bra I doubt she’d ever wear while colorful little fish swarm around her.

Yes, Fred is definitely Swimming Without a Net as the Undersea Folks are quite hostile to her.