Braswell (Once upon a Dream, 2016, etc.) picks up this epic fairy tale five years after Ariel and Eric lose to Ursula.
Imagine that Eric and Vanessa do get married: Ursula’s nautilus shell necklace never breaks, freeing Ariel’s voice, and since she cannot sing, Eric remains entranced by Vanessa. King Triton steps in for his daughter and becomes Ursula’s prisoner. Ariel returns, mute, to Atlantica to rule in his stead, believing her father to be dead. When Scuttle the sea gull gets a lead that King Triton is alive, Ariel returns to the surface in hopes of finding her father and restoring him to the throne. Nothing goes to plan, but with the help of her friends she attempts to put an end to Ursula’s evil plans. Ariel and Eric are still ridiculously moony-eyed over one another, and some details are somewhat far-fetched even for a fairy tale, but lyrical nods to the music in the movie as well as quippy dialogue (and the nostalgia factor) make this a magical read. The characters are fleshed out with more background, showing how their experiences have shaped them. With one minor exception, all characters are assumed white.A fun, quick read that returns Disney fans to a world of characters they love. (Fiction. 13-18)