Book Reviews

Review: “Tempest Rising,” Tracy Deebs

August 17, 2011

I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: “Tempest Rising,” Tracy DeebsTempest Risingby Tracy Deebs
Series: Tempest Rising #1
Published by Bloomsbury on September, 2011
Genres: Mermaids / Selkies
Pages: 352
Source: Bloomsbury Australia

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.

Tempest Rising is a fantastic mermaid tale, full of enjoyable characters and a thrilling plot. Readers will fall instantly in love with Tempest and Kona.

I’ve been a fan of mermaids and selkies for a while, and only a handful of YA stories about them have been able to live up to my high expectations. I’m glad to say that Tempest Rising was definitely one of them. The plotline is fast-paced, intricate and the characters enjoyable. I was so sure I was going to give this story a five star rating, but unfortunately I felt the peak of the story didn’t live up to the rest of the book.

I only received this one in the mail yesterday but I decided to dive head first into it after wanting to read it for so long. Needless to say I almost read it in one hit. It’s just one of those stories that flows so well without the reader getting bored.

I want to start by talking about Tempest. As a main character, I think she’s great. She already know what she’s going to become and knows her mother’s heritage as a mermaid. This makes the transition into the action perfectly smooth, and refreshingly, all the awkward ‘discovery’ of her true nature is bypassed. There’s still a lot of self-discovery, however, but it’s done perfectly in time with the plot and the development of relationships.

I particularly enjoyed the romance between Tempest and Kona. It was easy to fall for them; quick but not rushed. Tempest and Kona’s feelings for one another felt validated and real, rather than forced and too convenient. Of course there’s the familiar elements we’ve all come to recognize within YA supernatural romances, but it’s not overdone in my opinion. I found myself enjoying their scenes together.

Kona was a great character and I’m thrilled that he was a selkie, which worked differently with the mermaid heritage that Tempest possessed. It was great to learn about their differences as well as the other creatures that lived in the ocean. Tracy Deebs really fleshed out her world and it showed on each page.

I don’t want to give too much away about the ending, but I feel it was a little anti-climactic. I was expecting a little more when the ‘final battle’ (at least in this book) rolled around about 80% into the book, but I was left feeling a little dazed. It was over too quickly with not much explanation. I still have so many questions; about Tempest and her mother, Tiamat, Kona and his family… but I guess it’s a good thing Tracy Deebs is coming out with another book in the series. Even so, I DO think the note Tempest Rising left off on in the last chapter could’ve been an adequate ending for a standalone.

I’m certainly interested in rejoining these characters and this world for a sequel, and you can bet I’ll be picking it up as soon as it’s available!

Recommended to: Fans of mermaid stories will enjoy this one. Also a great starter if you’ve never read a mermaid tale before.

About Tracy Deebs

Tracy Deebs is a pseudonym of Romance novelist Tracy Wolff. Tracy collects books, English degrees, and lipsticks. She has been known to forget where-and sometimes who-she is when immersed in a great novel. She is a writing and literature professor at Austin Community College.


  • Reply She Known As Jess August 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    I really enjoyed this but I have to agree about the battle; it was smoothed over pretty damn quickly for something that was anticipated by all.. will be buying the sequel though!! Ace Review :)

  • Reply Brett August 17, 2011 at 12:26 am

    You’ve been reading a lot lately :) Glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I need to read some mermaid books seeing that I like them in TV and movies. I might give this a try when I find some time.

    • Reply Brittany August 17, 2011 at 3:03 pm

      Definitely grab this one, Brett. I was very near a 5 star for me.

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