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Waterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue (A Waterfire Saga Novel) Hardcover – May 6, 2014

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Waterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue (A Waterfire Saga Novel) + Waterfire Saga, Book Two: Rogue Wave (A Waterfire Saga Novel) + Atlantia
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 - 18 years
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Series: A Waterfire Saga Novel
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (May 6, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423133161
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423133162
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5–8—Donnelly, perhaps best-known for her lush and emotionally resonant historical fiction, tries her hand at middle-grade fantasy. Not one to dip a toe into a genre, she dives right in with a four-volume underwater saga of the mer, complete with four thousand years of Atlantean history and magic. In Deep Blue, readers meet Serafina, a 16-year-old mermaid and heir apparent to the realm, on the day of her betrothal as part of her Dokimí ceremony. All goes swimmingly, despite her nervousness and qualms about her intended, until her mother, the ruler of Miromara, is felled by a sniper's arrow. Serafina's worries take a more serious, geopolitical turn as she and her best friend, Neela, are on the run and seeking to avoid an all-out war among the mer nations. The "merlfriends" have been summoned by the same magical dream and are drawn to search for four other mermaids who will join together and save the world from a dark, evil force. There's a lot going on, yet despite the convoluted backstory and the dreaded "terragogg" (human) degradation of the oceans, everything gets a light, surface treatment. There's little character development, beyond the protagonist, or sense of real danger, and even the spells that abound seem to exist for expediency and nick-of-time escapes. All that said, the story is appropriately cinematic, and perhaps with a few songs added to the mix, could be adapted into an animated Disney hit.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal

From Booklist

Just when Sera, the heir to the throne of a vast underwater mermaid matriarchy, is basking in the success of perfectly performing the rites of ascendancy, her city is ambushed, her parents are killed, and—now officially but reluctantly Regina—she’s on the run from powerful forces seeking to destroy much more than just her city. If that weren’t enough, Sera’s been having terrifyingly vivid dreams, which summon her and five other teenage mermaids to a mysterious coven of river witches in order to decipher an ancient prophesy and unlock their hidden powers. Best-selling Donnelly (Revolution, 2010) builds an alluring mermaid civilization and history, filled with painterly descriptions of Sera’s underwater palace and its unearthly architecture, her sumptuous wardrobe, and the menagerie of half-human, half-marine animal denizens. There’s also plenty of romantic tension with handsome mermen, strife between merls (that’s girl mermaids) from rival regions, and some powerful female friendships amid the fast-paced plot, filled with wondrous magic. This series opener raises far more questions than it answers, but it lays a promising groundwork for the forthcoming volumes. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This $500,000 marketing campaign features TV spots, a national author tour, and even an original song. This series will be a part of your world. Grades 7-11. --Sarah Hunter

More About the Author

I write books for tweens, teens, young adults and not-so-young adults - though not all at once. My newest book, "Deep Blue," is the first in an epic series called the Waterfire Saga, published by Disney-Hyperion.

Check out all the details below - and drop me a line sometime! My Twitter info is nearby ...

Customer Reviews

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes magic, adventure, and romance.
I also liked that Jennifer Donnelly wove the myth of Atlantis into the origin story for the merfolk.
As for the story itself, there was just too much info-dumping and not enough stuff happening.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Rivera on September 28, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Okay-actual rating is a 3.5.

This was a decent underwater fantasy-adventure that has potential. And yet for all the good it is, there is also some head-spinning vocabulary.

Seraphina is the heir the kingdom and her whole life seems set before her before and attack destroys her apparent path. But just before the attack she has a 'dream' of a prophecy she must help with. For she is one of 6 that must save the sea.

This books word choice and creation had me utterly overwhelmed at first. We are given a lot of made up words, terms, names and places. Seriously, every paragraph seemed to have at least 3 new words. This continues throughout the books but is a little less overwhelming thank goodness. But the beginning was so bad I almost DNFed this. Some were just a play on words (like Merlfriend instead of Girlfriend) . And then others are real words in all sorts of languages! We are given Italian, Qin, Arabic, Brazilian slang, Portuguese, Romanian, Greek...

It gets worse... we also have several made up languages including Mermish, Dracdemara, Rurus, and more!! You know Scuttle from "Disney's The Little Mermaid" and how he calls a fork an dinglehopper? Well there is A LOT of that type of wording happening and it leaves us guessing what they are talking about. Sometimes i just gave up and went with it like I would a Dr Seuss book where it just isn't meant to make sense.

Leaving all that aside, the adventure is quite good. Although I must say the attack on Seraphina's home had me sad. I always put mermaids in a happy place so reading about them dying left a pout on my face. Some of the imagery is pretty like when we hear about Seraphina's room or when they change her look to disguise her.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa on May 6, 2014
Format: Hardcover
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Book One of the Waterfire series
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

What I Liked:

I have never read any books by Jennifer Donnelly, so this book was an experiment of a sort. Disney-Hyperion surprised me with a copy of this book, and I almost decided not to read it, since it was an unsolicited copy. I have a ton of May review books (especially May 6th releases), and the ones I requested get priority. However, I couldn’t resist the siren’s call of fantasy, even if it isn’t the usual type of fantasy I love (epic fantasy).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Claudia on May 12, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is highly imaginative and the author has created an amazing underwater world with fantastical creatures, colors, and new words. My favorites words are currensea, transparensea pearls for being invisble, or Sue Nami for an angry girl.
What I really liked about the book was that the underlying story was keeping the humans from destroying the oceans, and the imaginative things the mer people have created from trash that humans threw into the ocean.
The hero of the story, Serafina, is a young princess who together with five other girls is supposed the save the mer people from a monster who is trying to escape its prison and kill everyone. And since this is the first book of a series don't expect the problems and mysteries to be solved by the end of the first book. The girls have just started their long journey.
There are some paralells to Harry Potter here, as the girls have to search and find some magical talismans in order to be able to defeat the monster. They also haven't completed their magical training yet but have to face huge tasks that take special magical powers. Their group is a mix of different talents, and only together can they succeed because their talents compliment each other. This is not just a coming of age story, it is about good versus evil, about magic, friendship and family, and about keeping peace between different nations.
I think my favorite character is the blind girl Ava, who has a piranha on a leash as her service animal. Of course she is the Seer in the story. What I also like is that all the girls are from different nations and ethnicities.
During the story the girls are being chased by the bad guys, and along the way they make new friends who help them on their search for the Lele witches, who have summoned the girls to give them their task.
All in all, a very promising new series, and I am looking forward to the next books.

Copy provided through NetGalley
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