“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales
Quick & Dirty: A girl has to choose between a life as a mermaid and life as a human — which also means choosing which guy she wants to be with. Responsibility and desire battle inside Tempest but she can only choose one.
Opening Sentence: I was ten the first time I saw her.
Tempest Maguire knows her mother was a mermaid. She also knows that someday, she too will have to choose between land and the ocean. She just didn’t think it would be such a hard choice. Since her mother left her father and her brothers six years ago, Tempest only blames her mother for the hardships her family experiences. The only bright spots are the early morning surfing sessions with the guys and her on again, off again boyfriend Mark. But even those comforts are waning as her seventeenth birthday approaches. According to the vague letter her mother left, after she turned seventeen she would have to choose water or land. But the signs are occurring before her birthday even passes. A slip-up on a surf board turns into a call from the ocean. A couple of cuts on her neck turns into gills when in water. This all happens before Tempest’s birthday. But even weirder (although a lot more appealing) thing turns up. Kona (also named Kia in the ARCs — agh ARCs,) a strange surfer she meets on the beach in the middle of a raging storm, seems to know more about her than he’s letting on. As her birthday comes and goes, her draw to the ocean increases — and the danger it houses grows stronger. Tempest is still doubtful she even wants to follow in her mother’s footsteps. But then an awful disaster quickly changes her mind. But Mark will always be above on land waiting for her — while Kona holds her close down in the depths of the ocean. A hard choice. But one that will decide the fate of an entire population.
I loved the guys in this story. The heroine isn’t really my cup of tea — she is very fickle and is too stubborn to see what’s right in front of her (but then again, who isn’t?) But the guys on the other hand, I love to pieces! Mark is the caring and patient boyfriend that will stay loyal even when Tempest is a jerk to him. But Kona is sweet and mysterious and oh so swoon-worthy. Kona is the only one outside her family that knows about her secret, but Mark knows her – her personality, likes, dislikes, etc. It’s so hard to choose between the two!
The characters were the highlight of the book. The plot on the other hand…snail-slow beginning with a NASCAR race at the end. It was so hard to get into this story. I had to put it down and come back to it multiple times. But once I got to the climax, events started rushing together into a huge crash. I felt that the beginning was too drawn out and the end had no breathing room. But now that I’ve read it, I’m glad I did. Now that the world-building is finished an the character arcs are set in place, this story has nowhere to go but up.
If you can overcome a dull opening and a high speed-paced ending (with a shocker that will leave you gaping,) then this story is perfect for you. Not exactly only predictable or only unpredictable, Tempest Rising tests your patience but the reward is worth it in the end. And the great news? The second book is already out! Cliffhanger? Not to worry! Just pick up Tempest Unleashed at the same time!
In that moment of indecision, I was more aware of the role fate played in my life than I had ever been before. As far as I could tell, I had two choices. I could turn around, try to retrace my path back home, and hope that everything would be all right. Or I could continue down after Kona, and hope that everything would be all right.
It was a fifty-fifty shot either way.
Through it all, there was a tug in my stomach. A pressure in my spine. A nearly irresistible urge to go deep, no matter what the consequences were.
I closed my eyes, counted to ten. And then dove straight down, telling myself as I did that I had finally and completely lost my mind.
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury/Walker Childrens provided me with a copy of Tempest Rising. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”