27 May 2014

Deep Blue

by Jennifer Donnelly
Series: Book #1 Waterfire Saga
 Disney Press
Publication Date:
 May 6th 2014
Number of Pages: 
 Local Library
Goodreads Summary: 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.

My Rating:

This is the first book in a new series and it fell short of my expectations. We have what seems to be varying POVs through the story but they sometimes vary within the same chapter and when this happened, it startled me and got me out of the story. 

Our two "main" characters are princesses, Serafina & Neela. We start our story out on the day of Serafina's Dokimí:

"Greek word for trial; a ceremony in which the heir to the Miromaran throne has to prove that she is a true descendant of Merrow by spilling blood for Alítheia, the sea spider. She must then songcast, make her betrothal vows, and swear to one day give the realm a daughter." - Deep Blue, 332

Off the bat, you will notice there are MANY characters to keep straight. We have seven "realms" or kingdoms, we also have bandits and other tribes. There is also a lot of vocab words, so many in fact that the author provides a glossary at the back! 

One of these vocab words, Bloodsong, made me laugh since it was eerily similar to how memories are extracted in Harry Potter! 

This is a nice fantasy adventure that features a strong (albeit a self-doubting) female character.

"She had to do it. She had to put her pain and loss aside and exchange vows with a merman she couldn't even bear to look at, in order to save her people from a war. That's what her mother would do, and that's what she would do, too. I always disappoint her, Serafina thought, but tonight I won't. Tonight, I'll make her proud."  - Deep Blue, 77

Her kingdom is ruled by a woman (a Regina, which is Italian for Queen) and the man pretty much is there for looks, 

"There was no re, or king, in Miromara. The regina was the highest authority. Males could be princes of the blood if they were sons of a regina, or prince consorts if they married one." - Deep Blue, 79

Serafina's mother, Isabella, is a strong role model and I liked this reversal of roles between women and men. I can see Serafina growing into herself as the books progress. I also appreciated the emphasis more on the girls' friendship rather than boys and love interests. Yeah, there is a little bit of it (I mean Serafine was going to be betrothed!) but it is not the point of this story. 

The main reason this book didn't receive more stars is the fact that I don't think we progressed the story much. There are still many questions to be answered and the girls' quest just began at the end. I feel like there could have been much more. 

I am going to read the next book, 
Rogue Wave, but it isn't due out until January 2015. This series definitely has potential and I am curious to see if we stick with Neela and Serafina's POV or if we will "hear" from some of the other girls in the group. (The summary given does sound like we will still focus on them). I want to hear more of the other girls backgrounds and I need to know Astrid's secret! 

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