Published: 4th July 2011
Number of Pages: 352
Book: For Review From Bloomsbury*
Genre: Paranormal, Fantasy, Mythical, Magic, Romance, Action, YA
Recommended Age: 12+
Contains: A Fair Amount of Violence, Few Deaths, Some Swearing
No Alcohol, Drug References
Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her Californian home and hang out with her boyfriend. But Tempest is half mermaid and, as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide if she really does want to stay on land or if she wants to give herself to the ocean like her mother did before her.
When she meets Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities also hint at an other-worldly life, the lure of the sea becomes too strong and Tempest finds herself in the midst of a battle for survival. The entire ocean’s future hangs in the balance.
Is she brave enough, and strong enough, to help save everything?
Tempest’s mother, Cecily, left when she was ten, disappearing into the ocean without so much as a goodbye. Cecily left behind a daughter, two sons and a husband. She also left letters. Tempest knew what her mother was because she’d seen that beautiful emerald tale: her mom was a mermaid. But Tempest didn’t know why she left. All she knew was that when she turned seventeen, she would have three months to choose between the land and the sea. And as that birthday dawns, Tempest is feeling lost. She doesn’t know why her mother doesn’t come to help her through the change, as she promised. So many things are happening to her, and she hates it. She hates what she is becoming. So when the fate of the ocean falls under threat, will she be strong enough to make the right choice?
I’ve never read a story about a mermaid before. I guess I saw them as being a little too-young, mainly based on my view of Disney’s Little Mermaid. But after reading Tempest Rising, my idea of the mermaid has completely changed. The mythology Tracy Deebs used was just amazing. There was a darkness ‘under the sea’, mainly in the form of a sea witch with a “god complex”. Then there was the three-month choice, something I’d never even considered. It was all so new, so refreshing and so different. By the end I had made up my mind: I want to be a mermaid. Forget vampires, werewolves and angels: I want to be a mermaid!
Tempest... my heart literally broke for her. She had to choose the sea and her mother or the land, her father, brothers and boyfriend. No seventeen-year-old should have to make that kind of choice (even fictional ones). Then there was the damage left over from her mother’s leaving. Every time she was bought up, I felt Tempest’s pain, as well as her anger. And then Tempest finds herself turning into what she blames for taking her mother away. She really didn’t deserve what was her terrible burden from birth. It just wasn’t fair. But Tempest... she was strong, caring and brave. I connected with her, related. She was so amazing, and I wish I had half the strength she does. She was just an amazing lead girl, who could look after herself – which is, as you probably have guessed by now, what I like in my female protagonists – and others.
The other characters were just as vibrant. The sweet, albeit slightly controlling, boyfriend Mark. The loving father, whose scenes with Tempest left my eyes moist. He was just so understanding, willing to give up his daughter if it meant she would be happier. Her adorable little brother Moku, and the tough- teenage brother Rio, who was a sweet little boy on the inside. And then there was Kona. I loved his intensity, his sense of humour... Yes, lots of brilliant characters.
But what truly made this stick out was the underwater world. So... intense, so real, and so well thought out. I wanted to live down there, in that place Tracy Deebs created. Hence the sudden wish for a tail. There was action, magic, adventure, romance and surprise mythical creatures I’d forgotten all about. Plus, for Dark Romance lovers, there’s a little bit of a love triangle in there.
Once again, for the third review in a row: Let there be a sequel! I want to know more about Tempest and this amazing world. It’s all just... magical.
4½ Out of 5
4½ Out of 5
Read this book if you liked:
Forgive My Finsby Tera Lynn Childs
Siren by Tricia Rayburn
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
* This book was received from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review