Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly – Review

May 28, 2014

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly is the first in the Waterfire Saga and tells the story of mermaid princess Serafina, who, along with several of her friends, is called to fulfil an ancient prophecy and prevent an untold evil from rising.  

What i liked

The worldbuilding.  There are not that many mermaid books around that I’m aware of – Anna Banks’ Syrena Legacy series excepted – so I found this a fresh change.  I loved the world Donnelly created, complete with languages and histories and mythologies.  The little fishy reference such as merlfriend instead of girlfriend were rather amusing.  

The pacing.  Donnelly keeps the plot moving along briskly with something always happening and a new danger to escape.

What I didn’t like

Bland characters.  While the characters were OK, and their mermaidness added some interest, other than that they were cookie-cutter YA heroines with little depth to them.

Generic plot.  The plot is your generic teens have to bind together to track down the McGuffin to prevent the Big Bad from doing what he or she wants to do.  So far there were no interesting twists to this.

The narration.  I started listening to the audiobook, but within a short time Bea Miller’s narration had irritated me to the point that I chose to continue in ebook format.  I don’t think she was a bad narrator – she did well in distinguishing the voices for the characters – however the voice she chose for the protagonist just grated on my ears.

Despite these gripes, the charm of the worldbuilding and the smart pacing was enough to keep me interested in the story.  I will certainly continue with the series.

I gave Deep Blue three and a half stars out of five.

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