Hello lovelies! Today I am here with a book review of a novel I read back in early June which I unfortunately did not enjoy. I read this book as per recommendation from my blogging partner Brianna for a challenge we created (more on that in later posts!) Before I continue with this review, I just want to make it clear that this is only a personal opinion. I am sure many others enjoyed this book, but it simply wasn’t for me.
Title: Tempest Rising
Author: Tracy Deebs
Genre: YA Paranormal/Fantasy
Page Number: 347
Publisher: Walker Books
Reading Span: June 1, 2016 – June 5, 2016
Rating: * (one star)
Tempest is a surf-loving teenager living in California, spending her days in the waves with her boyfriend and looking after her family. On the surface, Tempest seems like a normal girl – but she’s hiding a huge secret. Mermaid blood runs in Tempest’s veins, and with her seventeenth birthday approaching, she must choose between everything she calls home and the powerful pull of the sea. Her choice is complicated by the arrival of a mysterious boy and the threat of evil lurking in the ocean’s depths.
This book started off pretty decent. The setting on the California coast mixed with the intrigue of the mysterious sea witch formed a solid groundwork for an enchanting mermaid story. The first sign that this book was going to go wrong for me was my lack of connection to any of the characters. They all felt extremely bland and I couldn’t find any uniqueness in any of them. There was virtually no development of any character in any way, and almost every single character fell into some kind of cliche or trope.
I also began to realize as the story went on that I really didn’t care for the author’s writing style. To be fair, it was written from a teenager’s perspective, but I too am a teenager and I found that it was still far too casual for my taste. Not only that, but there were several things said that rubbed me the wrong way. For example, the word “Eskimo” (an outdated term that can be offensive) was used, and another character talked about how piercings and tattoos disrespect a person’s body (um no?). These things wouldn’t have bothered me if they were to serve a literary purpose, such as helping the reader to understand a character’s mindset, but I couldn’t find any reason for these mentions. I also hated how Tempest’s boyfriend kept calling Tempest “my girl”. I mean, that’s fine, but you do know she has a name right? All these things are small details, but they just bothered me.
I found the plot had very little progression. Most of it was spent on teenager angst that I did not enjoy. It was repetitive and pointless and did nothing to move the plot along or increase my respect for Tempest. And then of course, I was greeted with the inevitable arrival of the charismatic, mysterious longer that Tempest finds herself instantly attracted to, and proceeds to drool all over him. I mean, after only knowing Kona for four days and having met him just twice, the instalove was already extremely strong. Not only that, but Tempest flitted between Kona and her current boyfriend, Mark, like it was nothing (followed by feelings of guilt, etc. etc). My already waning respect for her was completely diminished, and I began to lose interest.
The world-building was extremely lacklustre. It could’ve been an incredible, magical underwater realm filled with wonder, but instead there was no attempt to explain or develop the key details of the underwater society. The sea witch lacked any kind of depth, and was instead left to be your typical emotionless monster. I really wish more originality could’ve been poured into this story.
Overall, this novel was a big disappointment to me. I usually love stories about mermaids and the ocean, but sadly I had to continually push myself to finish this one. Nevertheless, if you choose to read this book, I sincerely hope you enjoy it! Sometimes there are just novels that aren’t for everyone, and in my case, Tempest Rising falls into that category.
Have a lovely day!