Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Publication date: May 6th 2014 (first published May 1st)
Publisher: Disney Press
Number of pages: 320
Series: Waterfire Saga (1#)
Genre: YA Fantasy/Mermaids
Source: Received in exchange for review. This is my honest opinion.
The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin’s arrow poisons Sera’s mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin’s master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world’s very existence.
Deep Blue: A good start to the Waterfire series.
To be perfectly, completely and utterly honest, I was a little bit disappointed by Deep Blue. I had been really looking forward to it. The cover was gorgeous, the premise sounded fantastic and I have ALWAYS loved mermaid books. But it seems I have more issues as opposed to the positive things to discuss about this book.
My first and probably biggest problem, was the terminology used. It seriously made me wince and made me quite skeptical. Sometimes it was ok, like I didn’t mind (even quite liked) the term ‘merl’, but other times it was a bit…lame. Like at one point (10%), it says “branches of their family coral” instead of family tree. The reason why I have such a problem with this is because I don’t see how they can have all these human things and sayings that they couldn’t possibly have known, unless they had a lot of contact with humans. Which supposedly they hadn’t.
Another problem I found, was that there was a little too much description, particularly at the beginning. There were just too many adjectives in one sentence and it took away from the story.
But I did like the idea of the story. Minus the vocabulary, this is probably one of my favourite mermaid interpretations that I have read so far. I have read another under-the-sea book with tie-ins to Atlantis but in this sense I liked Deep Blue better. The Atlantis tie-ins gave us the mermish mythology and was really very important for the story.
Also on the topic of the mermish mythology, I liked the bits with the Ieles because they were definitely something different and added a lot of mystery to the story.
My favourite part was a certain scene with a mirror and a bad guy (without spoiling it) because the describing worked very well and I love historical stuff like that.
I’d say that the story moved along fairly quickly – the pacing was pretty much spot on for me.
I think that I will probably continue on with the series because there are definitely some questions I really want answered, mostly concerning Mahdi and her mother. I have fairly high hopes for a pretty cover, Deep Blue set the standard pretty high.
All in all, this was a good start to the Waterfire series and if you like mermaid books, I’d definitely recommend this to you.
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Goodreads author bio:
Jennifer’s first novel, The Tea Rose, an epic historical novel set in London and New York in the late 19th century, was called “exquisite” by Booklist, “so much fun” by the Washington Post, a “guilty pleasure” by People and was named a Top Pick by the Romantic Times.
Her second novel, A Northern Light, set in the Adirondacks of 1906, against the backdrop of an infamous murder, won the Carnegie Medal, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Borders Original Voices Award, and was named a Printz Honor book. Described as “rich and true” by The New York Times, the book was named to the Best Book lists of The Times (London), The Irish Times, The Financial Times, Publishers Weekly, Booklist and the School Library Journal.
Revolution was named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus, School Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and was nominated for a Carnegie Medal. The audio edition was awarded an Odyssey Honor for Excellence.
Jennifer lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, daughter, and three rescue dogs.