For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Three Stars: A fun book with mermen and more!
Tristan is enjoying another lifeguard shift at the Coney Island Beach. He watches the sun kissed girls in skimpy bikinis and sunglasses parading up and down the beach, a catwalk for the lifeguards. His eyes dart over them, but in reality he only has eyes for one girl, Layla, who just happens to be his best friend and has no idea of his feelings. The lazy afternoon is interrupted without warning when screams pierce the air. A giant wave is headed toward shore and in its wake are hundreds of screaming beach goers. Tristan looks out at the dark water and sees a pair of arms struggling in the water. Without thinking, he runs toward the water despite Layla's frantic screams. He plunges in, only to find the current is too strong and the victim yards away. The behemoth wave crashes over him, and he fades into blackness. Three days later, he awakens on the beach to the joyful squeals of Layla. His return is miraculous! Yet, where was he for those three days? Why does he remember nothing except a woman with white hair and vicious teeth, and a shark? It seems that Tristan's mother has been keeping some secrets from him. Secrets that will change everything, including his future and those secrets lie in the Vicious Deep....
What I Liked:
- I appreciated reading this one from a male's perspective. There are not enough male point of view books in the YA genre, so I am always pleased to find a male narrator. Tristan is funny and courageous as well as a typical male, in that he doesn't always make the best decisions when it comes to dating and he is overly concerned with his male parts. I also enjoyed that he is a merman, which again is not something you find in the sea of books.
- I liked that this book presents a complex story line. It has numerous storylines: Tristan discovering his true identity and battling for his chance as a ruler, Tristan's unrequited feelings for his best friend Layla, the challenging quest in order to become the sea king, avoiding the dangerous sea witch and Merrows....these storylines blend into an action filled story line.
- I enjoyed the romance in this one. It consists of two lifelong best friends who obviously have feelings for each other, but neither party has expressed or acknowledged their feelings toward the other. Thus, you get a romance with smoldering tension that leaves the reader anxiously waiting for that pivotal moment that changes everything and for the sparks to start flying. No insta love or love triangles in this one!
- This book has may memorable characters that are just as fun and entertaining as the protagonists. I especially enjoyed Marty, the mysterious boy who is not completely human. This book is full of great memorable characters. The Sea King is also fascinating.
- I loved how the incorporated the sense of smell into the book. She cleverly uses it to describe feelings, I liked the additional sensory experience in her writing. It was certainly unique and refreshing.
And The Not So Much:
- My biggest complaint for this book might seem petty to some of you, but to me it was like nails across the chalkboard every time I encountered this flaw. What was the offender? This book on countless occasions uses the phrases "I go" or "he goes" or "she goes" instead of saying I said or he/she said. It is not grammatically correct to use this slang and I was absolutely shocked to find it in this book. I cannot believe a professional editor let that slide. I also found the phrase "and he/she was all" annoying along with the constant use of "bro".
- I was a bit disappointed that Tristan's mother and her history did not play a bigger role. This seemed like such an important piece of the story. How does a mermaid fall for a land dweller and what are all the repercussions? Too much of this was left out and glossed over. I truly wanted to know all these details.
- This book has a complex story line with many conflicts and plots playing out, the problem is that almost none of them are resolved by the end of the book and the reader is left with another big fat, dreadful cliffhanger. A big let down!
The Vicious Deep is an entertaining and action packed read that follows a young man as he discovers the shocking truth of his heritage and the subsequent consequences of being a Merman who is in love with his best friend. If you are looking for a mermaid book that is a bit different give this a try. Tristan is a likeable hero who will make you laugh with his antics. Look for the follow up: The Savage Blue, January 2013.
"Her lips are warm, like leaning your face up at the sky and wishing the sun would kiss you, and it does. It really does."
"Sometimes I'd tell her she and Dad should've tried for a daughter, and then realized I was telling my parents to keep having sex."
"The smell of disappointment that's coming from her---crushed flowers and dew and the fog before it rains."
"I don't need a sixth sense to describe the way she smells today, like sunshine in this terribly cloudy day."
"My heart feels like a Hacky Sack in use when she says Layla's name."
"I can sense her near me---lavender and salt and crushed flowers, sticky between her fingertips. She loves me not."
"The ground beneath us glitters. The river ends in a waterfall that falls like silk against the boulders."
"I can smell Layla's wonder, her own blend of blooming flowers."
"When you grow up without grandparents, it's like you're missing a link to a past you didn't even care you had until you have to sort through it to understand who you are."
"I'm half human. Not half stupid." Most of the time."
"I don't like my girls with a side of crazy, thank you."
This review and quotes are from an ARC copy I received in exchange for an honest review. I received no compensation and all opinions expressed are my own.