Monday, 5 May 2014

Review: Deep Blue & Giveaway

Deep Blue

Publication Date:  May 1st 2014       




Waterfire Saga is an epic new series set in the depths of the ocean where six mermaids seek to save their world.
Written by Carnegie Medal winning author of A Gathering Light, Jennifer Donnelly.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos.

Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents' death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world's very existence.



So, Mermaids don't float my boat. You know, I wasn't really all that into The Little Mermaid, and Ariel in Once Upon a Time annoys the hell out of me. So yeah, I can't say I like or read about them much. That being said, Deep Blue just had something that completely captivated me.

Though, I do have to say the first fifty pages were a little slow and our MC was a little whiny, so I just thought here we go. But now, once the game gets rolling, Deep Blue hightails into the sea and the dark dangers of treacherous waters. The world-building is good, we have a history and how the destruction of Atlantis became the beginning of the Mer and this heightened view of this underwater world, and how the separate kingdoms became. The way it's written is gorgeous, it flows well, it's visual and makes even the grossest food combinations and crustaceans sound appetizing. But?

But, it was a little overwhelming  with so many names and places and backgrounds and their customs... it's a little heavy on the information dump and it doesn't ease you into it. So I'll be honest, even finished and having the story as a whole, I am still confused. That said, I didn't question the world.  By the end of it, while I have questions, I don't have questions about the Mer and I'm not questioning believability of it.  
Our main character, Serafina has a lot on her shoulders, and I will say I didn't like her at first. She was whiny, a little over dramatic and a little too much...with everything. She was stubborn, annoying, a little self-centred, but mostly she's just scared. Scared of not being a great leader, insecure and because of who she is, her people mer,  we have some who want to cut her down.  Serafina has a nightmare, that produces a prophecy about six Mer witches the Iele  that shouldn't exist, and to everyone else, are a scary story to tell and don't exist. As the story goes along, what she has to overcome and fight to survive with all that she's lost, she grows. She grows but it's a slow progression and she is still a little too 'poor me' for most of it. But it's there, and we have a stronger character that becomes who she was afraid to be.

I loved the friendships in here, it's more of a focal point than any romance (which, apart from the beginning- we don't have any of) and it's one of the best things about Deep Blue. Friends stick together, and while Serafina goes through what she does, she isn't alone because Neela's going through it too, and they are both there for each other. We're also introduced to new characters along the way, and five other very important characters that are central to the story (but not in the first of the trilogy much), who they welcome with open arms. It's very sisterly, and their interactions together show that. They really connect.
I don't know if Deep Blue was supposed to be intentionally funny, but it was. It's the obvious altered things that we say, you see. It's ofishiall. The underwater realms money is called  currensea, when a mermaid says the wrong thing, they put their fin in their mouth. There's little bits here and there that had me laughing.

Deep Blue though maybe a little heavy on the information, is very detailed, and we have an amazing view of the underworld and their lives, their food, their bonds. It's very effective visually, and for that alone, I can't wait to see what he next instalment has for us.
~A proof copy was provided by Hachette Childrens in exchange for an honest review~

You can enter the giveaway here.
Rating: 4/5