Series: Waterfire Saga #1
Published by Disney Hyperion on May 6, 2014
Amazon • Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Goodreads
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.
Hello, my lovelies! Well, I’m off being a very busy bee at BEA currently (Are you also here? Do say hello!). But I have an exciting international (!!!) giveaway today for one of the most hyped Spring 2014 releases! Let’s take a look at my thoughts:
This book was such a surprisingly light read. I was expecting a dark, fantasy epic based on the cover and description, but this one reads much more like MG, and a very light MG at that. For instance, there were a fair amount of puns and lingo that I thought veered toward the very silly. Currency is “currensea” and a girlfriend is a “merlfriend.” Candies are “bing-bangs” and “zee-zees.” I think your mileage on this book will definitely depend a good amount on your tolerance for this. Mine was not very high.
I do appreciate the obvious thought and depth that Donnelly put into the worldbuilding, but it read as infodump way too often for my liking. It’s a shame because there is a richness to the depth and detail here, almost bordering on eerily atmospheric, but the dry delivery keeps it from ever striking that chord. The characterization also fell a bit flat. The personalities of several of the girls seemed to be indistinguishable and there wasn’t a large amount of growth from the MC. Plot wise so very little actually happens for such a long book. It reads as one long, protracted setup for the actual adventure to begin in the coming volumes. Le sigh.
One of the things that I truly did appreciate here is the theme of sisterhood and the positive portrayal of strong female friendships. The society in this world is also matriarchal and I always enjoy the subversion, especially in fantasy worlds, of typical patriarchal culture. Additionally, each of the 6 mermaids on the quest are from different and varied parts of the globe. Points for diversity and the theme of unity.
So there you have it. I do find with these sorts of books that I’m always so curious to see what my reaction will be. When I see a much hyped book receive a less favorable review it ups the intrigue for me, you know? This is certainly a title worth checking out if you like MG fantasy, enjoy very light, “bubblegum” fantasy, or you find yourself intrigued by the diverse mermaid sisterhood.
Win an ARC of Deep Blue!
As you can see, I had rather mixed feelings about this book, but it definitely has positive attributes, and we always say you should try things out for yourself to see if you like them. Thanks to our friends at Disney-Hyperion we have an advance copy for you to win!
All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment below telling us why you’re excited to read this title. This contest is international, and open to all readers aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. See entry form for complete rules. Good luck!
An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this mini-review.