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Monday, 14 November 2011

Irena's Review: Tempest Rising

Author: Tracy Deebs
Release date: 4th July 2011
Genre: fantasy/ mermaids/ young adult
Target audience: 12+
Publisher: Bloomsbury

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.

Rising Tempest was the first novel about mermaids I read (excluding the bitter sweet fairy-tale by Hans Christian Andersen, 'The Little Mermaid'). I am happy to report that the reading experience didn't disappoint.

Tempest Maguire has been drawn to the sea her whole life. She is a very talented surfer, has a surfer dad and surfer friends, not to mention an on-and-off surfer boyfriend. Everything in Tempest's life is connected to surfing the waves and to the mystical pull of the sea. But Tempest is also afraid that the sea will claim her and take her away from everything and everyone she knows and loves, for Tempest is the daughter of a mermaid and destined to become one herself, a destiny Tempest desperately tries to avoid. One day, when she has a surfing accident, things change dramatically for Tempest and when she meets Kai, a mysterious surfer she is instantly attracted to, she knows she must make the final choice.

Deebs paints a vivid picture of Tempest's life on land and at sea. The reader is always aware of Tempest's feelings, her struggles and her desires. She is a normal teenage girl, on the tomboy-ish side, having to deal with extraordinary difficulties. She is a beautifully outlined character, with obvious personal traits and very reasonable doubts. It is easy to understand why she resents her mother and why she cannot accept her alter ego - that of being a mermaid. It is also clear why Tempest loves the sea and why a part of her would like to be claimed by the water. Deebs' language is lyrical and descriptive, as well as clear, which greatly assists the reader in picturing the characters and their worlds.

The underwater world of mermaids, selkies and powerful mythical sea witches is truly beautiful and attractive. I am not much familiar with any mythology related to the sea or underwater life, but I can still claim that Deebs created a great world. I loved the ways of the merpeople and other sea creatures, involving their looks, powers and the true importance of a mermaid's tail, one of my favorite aspects of the mermaid mythology. One might imagine that their world is only bright and beautiful, but the author created a strong darkness to balance the beauty. The nemesis in the novel is a truly frightening creature, well crafted and intriguing to contemplate.

There is a lot of action in the novel and it is very intense, as well as not always for the faint-hearted. Again, there is a balance, as there are just as many fun and romantic moments, as well as some delightful, intimate family moments. Family is of importance in this novel.

For me, the novel was a great read. I was slightly disappointed by the ending because after the great and well-measured pacing that allowed the characters and the action to evolved, the ending, or rather Tempest's decision, seemed rushed. It might have been better to leave it for the sequel. However, the stage is set and the possible future events very promising, indeed. I am very much looking forward to the next installment.

This is a novel perfect for lovers of fantasy. It features romance, humour and action, with a spice of drama and an abundance of fantastical creatures. It certainly takes 'The Little Mermaid' to a whole new level, which you will enjoy immensely.

Becky says: Thanks for the review Irena. I tried to give this one a go myself but I found that the voice just didn’t feel comfortable for me. I’m really glad you enjoyed it and that it complimented your love of the Little Mermaid fairytale.
Both our thanks go to Bloomsbury for sending the book to review.


Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! I really wanted to read a mermaid novel, and I'm glad I had such a great start.

Blodeuedd said...

I have seen a lot of mermaid books around lately, none seems to have gone really big though, strange cos they sound fun

Bookworm1858 said...

You know, I'm just not that interested in mermaid stories-maybe because I'm not a big fan of the ocean?

However this does sound like my kind of book: fantasy, romance, humor, action, drama-I love a book that can blend those elements into one whole.