Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on March 7, 2012 | 2 Comments

Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy DeebsTempest Rising by Tracy Deebs
Series: Tempest #1
Published by Walker Books (5.10.2011)
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 352 pages
Source: Library
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2.5 Stars

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her-and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

My thoughts

I had a lot of mixed feelings about this book. It got off to a great start with the letter from mother to daughter telling Tempest that she would have a life-altering decision to make: stay human or become a mermaid. The letter captured my attention immediately and piqued my interest. I was thinking, What will she do? How will she choose?? But, I’m afraid to say that after that it was a downward spiral for me.

I didn’t like Tempest at all. She was melodramatic, selfish, and obtuse (after 2 bad experiences at the sea after dark – and a serious warning – she still goes back at night). For all of her power and hard-ass attitude, she was cowardly and weak-minded. Not to mention a hypocrite, condemning people (who will remain unnamed) for making decisions that she herself ends up making. Besides finding her irritating, she was way too fickle. She waffled between Kona and Mark the entire book. She was dating Mark and supposedly ‘loved him,’ yet enter tall dark and sexy stranger and she’s instantly smitten (cliche much?). And kisses said stranger passionately – even though she barely knows him – while still dating boy number one. Ew. And all that without barely a regard for Mark’s feelings, even though she knew it was wrong. Um hello, if you  know what you’re doing is wrong, STOP DOING IT.
And in case you didn’t know by now, love triangles are one of  my biggest pet peeves, topped only by instaluv romance. This book had both.

I didn’t really get the ‘connection’ between Tempest and Kona. Sure, they’re both from the sea and I get that, but I don’t think it should have escalated to the extreme it did in such a short time. It felt forced and completely unrealistic, and that was where Deebs really started to lose me. Then this:

More like the fallen angel I had first compared him to than the mortal I had fallen half in love with over these last few days.

Now, this was where she totally lost me. Let’s rewind that. Fallen in love with….over a few days? Really?? I wanted to throw the book at the wall. Whatever interest I had left at this point was lost. I stuck with it though, as I had already read 3/4 of the book. I was hoping it would have some redeeming quality I suppose, but the romance got cheesy after that and I found myself struggling.

His lips were soft and warm and they lit me up from the inside. I was glowing – I could feel it – but this time it had nothing to do with the water, with my so-called power, and everything to do with Kona. I closed my eyes and colors exploded against the darkness of my eyelids. It was like the finale at a Fourth of July celebration, like riding a roller coaster in the rain, like floating through meadows of beautiful, blooming things.

Ugh. Maybe that paragraph wouldn’t have bothered me so much without the buzzkill of the love within days line, but I found the entire scene nauseating. Maybe it’s just me.

I love books that I can really connect to, that I can feel every emotion of the protag as my own. This was not one of those books. There were really no shocking twists – the betrayer toward the end didn’t have a big enough part so it didn’t feel all that much like a betrayal. I think that part could have been played up a lot more. A major loss should have been shocking and a bit tear-jerking, but it wasn’t. I felt nothing – and seriously, it was kind of a big deal so I should have felt something – but nope. Nothing.

I really liked the idea of this one, just not the delivery. I love mermaids and I think the plot would have been great if Tempest wasn’t so disagreeable and I could make more of a connection to the characters. And if it were void of instaluv and a terrible love triangle. The setting was great and the idea of a prophecy and an evil sea witch were intriguing.

(Evil sea witch Tiamat, in my head. I just couldn’t help it!)

I think this book could have had great potential with better character development. I may still give Tempest Unleashed a try, who knows.

Plot: 3/5
Writing style: 2.5/5
Characters: 1/5
This was what really ruined the book for me.
World-building: 4/5
Pace: 3/5
Cover: 4/5
Overall rating: 2.5/5 starfish
Not overly impressive but still worth the read.
Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

  1. Hmm.. aside from the gorgeous cover, this book doesn’t seem to have anything new to offer. The beginning of this book (the letter from the mother, yadda yadda yadda) sounds awfully similar to at least a couple of other mermaid books that I’ve read recently. I’m glad I’ve read your review of this one, otherwise I would most likely buy it just for the fab cover.
    Thanks so much for your honest review!

  2. Like you, I initially liked the premise of this book, but parts of it really bugged me.

    “She waffled between Kona and Mark the entire book. She was dating Mark and supposedly ‘loved him,’ yet enter tall dark and sexy stranger and she’s instantly smitten (cliche much?).”

    YES!!! This was probably the part that bothered me the most. It drives me crazy when the main character pulls that “so-in-love-with-two” crap. I always want to scream GET A GRIP ALREADY! Lol.

    I was torn on my feelings for this book. I really liked the mythology and story idea, but the whole relationship aspect of the book drove me nuts. I think I wound up giving it a three in the end.

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