Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova

Release Date: May 1st, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Author

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.

Review: Who knew mermaids (or mermen I should say) could be so fun to read about? I've never been particularly drawn to merfolk tales but this debut has me rooting for Team Mermaids! Tristan is an awesome character who has his flaws but his heart's in the right place. And I must say, Zoraida did an EXCELLENT job capturing a guy's voice--it felt like I was living in a guy's brain what with all the thoughts about bacon and girls, lol. But jokes aside, Tristan's voice came off as genuine and it's very refreshing to read a boy's point of view in YA and even more so when it's the boy that's going through the drama as the main character. There is more to Tristan than his pretty face ;)

The setting for the novel switches mostly from Coney Island, Brooklyn and then the kingdom where Tristan's mother came from. Every backdrop was nicely detailed and made me want to go there (even though one of them is completely fictional, dammit). OH and the reader gets to meet Tristan's parents! His parents were that perfect blend of loving, supportive and embarrassing, hehe. The interactions between Sea King and Tristan were also great--you get a glimpse of the world that Tristan's mother left behind and possibly the world that Tristan will inherit. There is also some romance for our young hero which seems very promising ♥ I must also comment on Zoraida's writing: reading her blog for three years now, I knew she had a natural way with words but seeing her talent unfolding between the pages of her book was an entirely different animal. It was fantastic :)

Final verdict: Full of adventure, action and even some funny moments, The Vicious Deep is a welcome break from a genre where girls are almost always telling the story; it's also a fun twist where the guy is the one sufffering from supernatural predicament: Tristan's the one that has to deal with everything head-on and while he messes up at times, he always manages to get back on his feet (fins? hah.) and you'll be cheering him on every step of the way. The main villain doesn't show up much throughout the book but I assume that's because they'll be front and center in the next book which I cannot wait for! I'm curious: is the villain's name referring to the spanish word for snow? o.O

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A thousand thank-yous and free drinks to Zoraida for sending me an ARC of her debut; it was an honor to receive and read it.

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