Monday, April 28, 2014

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Waterfire Saga #1)

Thanks to the Bailey Cove Library for my ARC copy of the book! I'm gonna keep this review pretty vague because the book isn't out yet and I'm sworn to secrecy (by my own moral code), but I'll tell you what I reasonably can.

So apparently, Deep Blue has been under literary construction for a while. Disney's publishing company Hyperion, the people behind this book, included a small little note in my ARC discussing how they went over the details of their mermaid mythology until a well thought out universe came together.

And for the most part, they do a pretty wonderful job. There's a distinct world flavor to Deep Blue, the first in a proposed series. The cultures and societies and the whatnot are well thought. But there are some flaws in logic. Why do mermaids sleep in beds if gravity isn't under the sea? How would they have books if paper can't survive underwater? Boxes of candy underwater? For being well thought out, the details are awfully weird.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the book though. Deep Blue shoots for Game of Thrones level world building, even though it doesn't always land there (and certainly doesn't contain the controversial elements), and is consistently entertaining. The word play might take some time to get used to (think the puns in Tera Lynn Child's Fins series), but once you get used to it, the blend of seriousness and humor works.

The characters are all well built. Sera is a princess of the modern world, willing to do what is right for the people, but also yearning to eschew the tradition that has plagued her all of her life. The story mainly revolves around her, however, the supporting characters are all awesome. The ensemble cast of characters are endearing, smart, and so much fun to spend time with. It's going to be a treat to see what will happen next if only to see them interact with each other more.

Deep Blue is an endearing, well-imagined, and sometimes thought provoking start to the series. It's good from middle grade upwards and I'm looking forward to future installments,