Friday, May 6, 2011

Book Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well.

And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance. (From Goodreads)

I'm going to attempt to make this review as free of spoilers as I possibly can.*

It's no secret to Tempest that she's half-mermaid. Her mother was open about it, her father thinks it's a gift, but Tempest sees it as the thing that broke apart her family. So, when she begins to develop mermaid characteristic (i.e gills), she has a bit of a meltdown. It's justified, since the first time she begins to change she goes from surfing to almost drowning. She's attempting to live a normal human life, including a romance with Mark, despite knowing that she'll soon have to choose between her life on land, and a life in the water. When Kai shows up, it becomes clear who she's really meant to be with. There was a bit of a love triangle, but her relationship with Mark didn't really stand much of chance. She does try to cling to it, much like she does to her human life, but it was obvious that she shared something deeper with Kai. I won't spoil too much about who Kai really is, but I can say that it came as quite a surprise.

Tempest played the role of mother to her younger brothers, so that made her attraction to the sea bittersweet. She still deals with the abandonment that she felt when her mother returned to the sea, and refuses to do the same thing to her brothers. Avoiding the water is painful, too. Especially since every time she tries to resist, it seems like a certain sea witch shows up to try to lure her in. I thought that all of these struggles combined to make Tempest an extremely well-developed character.

The beginning of the book deals mostly with Tempest's human life, and relationships. Her relationships with her family, friends, and lingering resentment about her mother take center stage. While I really appreciated being able to get into her head, I think I was expecting more of her time to be spent in the water. The tension built up, but I was hoping that she would get to explore more of the undersea world.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of the world that Deebs has created, so I'm crossing my fingers in hopes of a sequel.

Tempest Rising
By Tracy Deebs
Published by Walker Books for Young Readers
352 Pages
Release Date: May 10, 2011
Received for Review
Rating: B

Check back later today for an interview with the author, and a contest


Amber said...

Thanks for the great review! This sounds like a fun summer read and I love the idea of her being torn between her family and her human life) and the sea.

Sam said...


Vivien said...

Sounds like a promising start :) Hopefully she'll be able to continue.

Bookish in a Box said...

I'm not a big mermaid-book fan, but this sounds like a really neat take on it. Great review!

Tales of Whimsy said...

O sounds good!

Unknown said...

Great review! The book sounds really good.

ereader89 said...

I received a sample of this in the mail last week and since I've read it I've been dying to read it. Great review!

donnas said...

Great review. Thanks for sharing! Been reading a lot about this one and am looking forward to getting to read it.

Julie said...

I like the fact that she's a surfer and a mermaid. That's a unique twist! There sounds like a lot of fun relationships in this book. Great review :)

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