Book: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Cordova
Summary (from GoodReads): 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.
Characters: I liked the relationship between Tristan and his best friend / love interest. It's complicated (isn't it always) because they've been best friends since they were kids and Tristan totally broke the heart of her best girl friend. But... they cared about each other deeply, not just in that all-consuming teen-angst "Hey, I just met you and this is crazy" sort of way (side note-Carly Rae Jespens's album is fabulous). I liked that the girl was always trying to save the guy, even though the guy was the supernatural, and that whenever Tristan wanted to save the girl, he couldn't. The end left me a little confused on where they stand, but I am interested in seeing where this goes in the future.
I found the other characters charming. Tristan's mom and dad were particularly interesting. They cared about each other and their son and I loved seeing their successful marriage, since Tristan's mermaid mother had given up the sea for love. Curt and his sister were fun to watch, as they were quite literally fish out of water. Tristan's ex-girlfriend made me really sad. I hope she is in future books, because I want to see her learn to love herself and have a happy ending.
Plot/Pacing: This book moved really fast and I was really into it... until the last third of the book when I thought, "There is no way this is going to wrap up by the end of the book." And it didn't. This may not be a deal breaker for some readers, but I was really disappointed that there would be no resolution and the stopping point seemed arbitrary. I mean, the book was really fun, but that was a HUGE deal for me. Also, there is a character who dies at the end and it sucks, because he's great, but I wish I had gotten a little bit more emotionally connected to him and then been given some time to process the death at the end of the story. Still, I'm interested in seeing how things play out.
Moments I Loved: Tristan bemoaned the fact that his mother couldn't have been a more manly mythical creature and also freaked out about where his, erm, man parts went when his legs turned to a tail. Tristan makes the entire thing funny.
WTF Moments: There are these evil sea monsters chasing Tristan. However, they are incapable of surviving on their own and you learn that these mutant babies are abandoned and left to die by merpeople. In my head, I was thinking, the bad guy wouldn't have been able to create an evil army if the merpeople hadn't been heartless and cowardly...heartless for abandoning their not-perfect children and cowardly for leaving them to die instead of killing them.
Overall: While this book is a ton of fun, I felt cheated that there was no resolution. I think the series as a whole will have a higher rating, but for me, first books need to have their own arc and The Vicious Deep did not.
The Vicious Deep gets a FakeSteph rating of...
|And a half|