Friday, May 20, 2011

Tempest Rising ~ Tracy Deebs ARC review

Tempest Rising
Walker Children's
May 10, 2011
352 pages

Tempest Maguire enjoys her life--getting up each morning and surfing several hours before school at the beach across the street from her home, hanging out with her friends and on-off boyfriend Mark, and helping her dad with her two younger brothers.

But Tempest is half mermaid and she knows that with her seventeenth approaching, she'll soon have to decide between her human teenage life, Mark, her friends, her father, and her brothers Moku and Rio . . . . and leaving it all behind for a life in the sea as her mother did six years before.

Thanks to the letter her mother left for her, Tempest know the pull of the ocean will be strong, but just how much it will try to draw her in, she never could have guessed. Or just what will await her if she does decide to venture under the water.

Tempest Rising is different from many other mermaid books in that Tempest is not yet a mermaid, but also knows that she may become one. The reader gets to go along with Tempest as she comes of age as a half-mermaid and reaches the time when she has to make her decision.

It's nice to have an introduction to Tempest's human life, but with the undercurrent of 'she's part mermaid' still there. Surfing is a large part of Tempest's life--her father was a pro surfer--so it's not at all a struggle to have the characters near the water at any point in during the book.

Tempest's mother leaving to go be a mermaid--but not returning at all for unknown reasons which angers Tempest--puts a new spin on the absentee parent storyline and gives Tempest a big reason to not want to be a mermaid.

That there's much more to Tempest's struggle and decision that just 'live with my dad and brother's and be a real girl with legs' or 'go live in the ocean with a fin and scales as a mermaid' is what really makes this story enjoyable. It's complicated--and a complicated decision that isn't (at least all) sprung on Tempest in some big revelation, it's something she's been aware of forever.

The last quarter to third of the novel is probably the strongest--the point where you really just do not want to put it down, but also don't really want it to end. There are times in that same part of the the book where Tempest feels almost more like an adult character than a teen character, but not enough to really detract much from anyone's reading or enjoyment.

Tempest Rising is Tracy Deebs first YA novel and I hope she writes more, this one was a fresh take on an increasingly popular genre.


An author interview with Tracy Deebs may be coming . . . I will link it here and link to the review in that post if it does happen :)

thank you to Kate at Bloomsbury for my review copy of this book.

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