I took a deep breath, held that scent in my lungs for long seconds as I tried to inhale the normalcy that made up his very essence. The normalcy I craved like a junkie with an open, aching vein.
Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. Besides the fact that I’d never seen this book at the library, I’m not specifically sure what it was about this book that grabbed my attention. The cover is gorgeous and the title is intriguing, but, whatever the case, I’m sure glad it did.
Tempest Maguire is nothing but a surfer at heart and all she wants to do besides surf is keep it steady with her boyfriend and help care for her dad and little brothers. Her seventeenth birthday is approaching, however, and because she’s half mermaid, unlike her peers, she is going to be faced with the decision to either stay on land or give into the ocean’s pull and leave everything behind. Tempest refused to go mermaid, but that part of her becomes more and more alluring when she meets the mysterious and otherworldly Kona. When Tempest is faced with dire circumstances, fate forces her hand and she plunges into a tantalizing underwater world that is both full of wonder and danger. Kona’s more than she thought, an evil sea witch is out to get her and Tempest may just be the key to peace underneath the roiling waves. Tempest Rising shared similarities with both Forgive My Fins and The Mermaid’s Mirror such as plenty of romance, mermaids and the focus of self-discovery. There also some hints of mythology similar to that of Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
Probably one of the biggest reasons I loved this book so much was because it was about mermaids. In my opinion, teen fiction needs to see a little bit more of these magical creatures and move away from the vampires and werewolves some more. Other than that, Deebs has written out a cast of characters that are all very likeable and hard to hate. Tempest is a strong heroine and very human also. She struggles with who she is just like any other teenager does growing up. Deebs portrayed this struggle well along with her journey of self-discovery to make believable and to varying degrees relatable for the reader. In Tempest Rising, Deebs has also defined a truly wonderful and beautiful world that would entice anybody to give up land to live in. She has also managed to create a world is both equal in magic and darkness. This story wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns and to that I’m thankful because it gave it more depth than your typical teen fiction does nowadays.
Although I loved this book to pieces, I was still able to find some fault with it. The plot felt a little bit predictable and cookie cutter-ish to me in some parts throughout. It also could have been developed better in some areas for sure. The ending, for example, left a few things feeling unresolved and, although they were brought to a conclusion, they could have used some expansion to clear a bit up. The ending also felt sort of abrupt and like the climax was missing something. It almost felt like Deebs put more effort into the beginning and then rushed to finish the book at the end.
In Tempest Rising‘s case, however, the pros out rule the cons which still makes this one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. I couldn’t put it down and it ended leaving me with a desire to know more. I’d suggest this book to anyone who’d like a refreshing read in teen fiction or who’s just looking for something good to read.