Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1) by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)
Title: Deep Blue

Series: Waterfire Saga #1

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Publication date: May 6th, 2014

Published by: Disney Hyperion

Source: From publishers via Netgalley for review

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Buy it: Amazon | Book Depository


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: ★★★☆☆

What caught my interest about Deep Blue was the cool concept of mermaids with magic who are basically underwater witches. I mean, how cool is that? Plus a princess who goes out on an adventure to recruit other mermaids to save the underwater world? Yes please! It sounds like a fantastic adventure! Unfortunately, it was not executed as well as it could have been and it definitely was not what I expected, which is not always a good thing. But I do feel like it had potential!

Furthermore, it was just a very odd book for me. It's like it couldn't decide what it wanted to be! All those puns, oh my! This book went overboard with the "merlfriend" and the crazy "catfish" lady... seriously, wow. I few puns here and there are okay, but this book had one in almost every single page! I feel like it was trying too hard to be funny. But on the other hand, the overall voice of the book was very serious. So, this book = too cheesy to be serious, and too serious to be funny, which resulted with me = confused.

And then there are the characters... they weren't too exciting. The main character Serafina was... meh, kind of bland and not very intriguing. The one character that was more likable was Sera's best friend Neela. She was very bubbly and fun and I loved her quirkiness!

Another thing, all the new terms to remember!! It was so hard to keep up with them, especially since this is a new world that I am not familiar with. And same goes with all the geography. However, I did spot a hardcover book at the store the other day and I noticed that on the inside flaps there are maps of the underwater geography, which I think will be very helpful.

The story itself was interesting enough, but very slow moving at times, especially towards the beginning of the book. I do admit, however, I really liked the mythology pertaining to this world... I thought that was very interesting.

Overall, I thought this was an okay read. It was very interesting, but unfortunately, was not executed as well as it could have been.

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If not, what do you think? Does it sound like something you might want to read? Leave me a link to your review or comment below! :)


  1. That's the downside of reading an arc, lots of things that we'd see in the finished copy, we don't get. I'm surprised by the reviews I've seen fort this book. Jennifer has written some amazing adult fiction books so it's hard for me to believe her YA wouldn't be as good.

    1. I have not read her other work, but I have read other reviews on this book and I keep reading the exact same thing! I'm surprised as well, even though I am not familiar with her other novels.

  2. This was a bummer for me. I have loved Donnelly in the past. I just found this to be rather juvenile and that is my biggest pet peeve with mermaid novels. They can be for older audiences as well!!

    1. That's a shame :( If you are looking for a good mermaid book that is NOT juvenile I highly recommend Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown!

  3. I'm not very interested in mermaids books usually, and your review corroborates what I've seen on other reviews, that the puns are too silly and the tone is a bit too serious but juvenile... Oh well!
    Great honest review, Lili!

    1. Thank you! You know, I actually find it hard to come across a good mermaid novel, but there are a few out there that I like :)

  4. I'm glad I bought this book used because now I'm hesitant to start reading it. Hoping I'll like it well enough.


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