Series: Waterfire Saga #1
Published by Disney-Hyperion on May 6, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.
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
Deep Blue is the first book in the Waterfire Saga, it comes on fast setting up an undersea world. Mermaids rule the oceans and dislike the dreaded human “Terragogs” who pollute their waters and over-fish. Something awful is starting to stir in the depths. Evil is attempting to unleash an ancient foe from an icy prison. Six teenage Mermaids will need to come together, overcoming their differences in upbringing and abilities, to fulfill a prophecy and turn back the tides of evil before it can destroy the world. Magic, evil, and adventure abound in this story.
Sounds amazing doesn’t it?
The story itself is amazing, however, to get to the story you are going to have to wade through the murky waters of tons of new terms, a staggering amount of family names, and political ties to sort through. Then there is the use of Latin, which the author throws in as the Mermaids language. It definitely makes for a difficult start to get through. I am sure the Author has lost more than one reader to the mess that is the first three chapters.
A few hints on how to overcome the chaos.
1) I have encountered a lot of Latin between my legal studies and my science classes, it didn’t bother me at all, the author also always translates the Latin in the next sentence and it’s always italicized. So, just skip over the Latin and read the translation of the words. This is if you don’t like the Latin and find them impossible to pronounce, or if they just start to turn you off.
2) Skip names and family connections that aren’t used often, you will get friendly reminders when they show up again, don’t stress it.
3) The terms, they get easier as you go and really don’t make much difference in the story so don’t worry… Just keep reading.
Doing it Disney style
The world building itself is terrific, you can really see the world come to life. The characters have the feel of Disney to me and the overall book has that same Disney magic to me. Even through the darkest parts there is a lighthearted playfulness between the characters that definitely makes the book suitable for the target audience of young adults. Actually more on the young side I’d say, and that is of course assuming they can get through the rough reading in the early chapters. I will say that it’s nice to see something coming from this publisher that I won’t mind reading to my little girl when she’s ready. The females are strong, capable, and well rounded characters. There is no sit and wait for Prince Charming to show up and save my tail nonsense. And love at first sight? Not a wink of it. Refreshing from Disney. My twins wanted to hear about the story and by the end of my recap they were asking if they could read the book next. The other nice thing to see was a certain amount of girl power. The realm is essentially ruled by queens, making it a matriarchal society. The main characters show growth in character, and wisdom and maturity as the book progresses. I am imagining the characters will only continue getting deeper as the story continues in the next book.
All around Depp Blue is a fun read, lighthearted with an epic feel. I would recommend this book with the above disclaimers about getting through the beginning and getting used to the flow of the book. I think a 9 year old would either just not stress over all of the language as much as us avid readers, or would need help not to drown and give up. I think I will end up reading it to my boys, who are 8.