Title: The Vicious Deep
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.
The first thing that drew me to this book was the cover. The summary sounded interesting as well, plus it’s a debut, so I put it on my to-read list. Then, suddenly, the cover disappeared, and I figured they were getting a new cover. As you can see from this review, they did, which I don’t find as interesting as the original, but probably reflects the story better (it’s from the point of view of a male protagonist, which might not necessarily be clear from the original cover). The change in covers made me slightly wary to read the book (I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I should know, since I’ve read plenty of pretty-covered books that are really lackluster, and vise-versa), but I’m glad I did, because I ended up enjoying it.
At first, I was kind of confused about what was happening, since the story began with Tristan, the protagonist, being swept away by a tidal wave and coming back with no memory, but having strange dreams that probably reflected what happened to him. Then strange things started happening to him, and (spoiler) he turned into a mermaid (sorry, a merman, or whatever the male equivalent is)! That left me kind of confused, mostly because I had trouble understanding what exactly was happening and whether or not his parents already knew what was going to happen to not. After that was sorted out, though, things got more manageable, with only a few scenes that left me confused. (end spoiler)
One of my main issues with the story was the romance between Tristan and Layla. Even though I liked them as a pair, they had way too many whiplash moments. I’m sure that was done so that this book, and the remaining ones, would have plenty of romantic tension, but there were so many stop-and-go moments that it made the characters, mostly Layla, seem really unstable when it came to her emotions concerning Tristan. One moment she would seem to like him as more than a friend, and the next she was roughly pushing him away. I feel like the romance could have been handled better in that regard.
Overall, though, I enjoyed this book. There were some interesting characters, the story was decent enough, and I want to know what happens at the end of this book.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars