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Tempest Rising (Tempest Maguire) Paperback – May 8, 2012
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About the Author
TRACY DEEBS 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.
Top Customer Reviews
An interesting thing I found out AFTER I had read Tempest Rising is that this author goes by 2 other pseudonym names--Tracy Wolff and Tessa Adams. Here is the connection--I have read the first book in Tessa Adam's adult "Dragon Heat" series--Dark Embers-- and my rating/review of the book is nn one of my earlier posts. I remember giving Dark Embers a 5 star rating for its unique dragon mythology, sexy alpha hero, and sizzling romance.
That being said, while Tempest Rising had all the pieces to make a great first young adult book for Tracy Deebs about a teenage girl who on her 17th birthday would have to make a crucial decision whether to stay on land or follow in her mother's footsteps and become a mermaid, somehow it falls a little short. While this book is supposed to be a little more serious in tone, I actually enjoyed Tera Lynn Child's Forgive My Fins way better, which sort of has the same premise but more comical.
So starting with what I enjoyed...I liked how the book was split into 5 parts and how the chapters were short. Not that I have anything against long chapters; I just think that shorter chapters tend to make you want to read more. It is definitely a nice tool to keep readers interested.
At first I really liked Tempest. She was sort of like a tomboy--enjoyed surfing, hung around a bunch of guys, had a great boyfriend that any girl would be lucky to have. The whole on again, off again relationship with Mark was believable since the story is centered around teenagers and we all know that their emotions can run hot and cold. I also enjoyed Kai's character--at first he is very mysterious and sounds exotic with his darker skin, long hair, and sexy name. I can see why Tempest would have a sudden attraction to him.
However, it doesn't take long for Tempest to get on my nerves. She treats her boyfriend Mark like crap. At one point I was hoping that the author was going to reveal some major flaw of Mark's; like maybe he hits her, or cheats on her, or finds out that she is part mermaid and sees her as a freak, something to justify her mean behavior towards him. Unfortunately none of those things happen. He truly does care for her, puts up with her mood swings, and buys her a beautiful birthday gift. Despite her coldness towards him, I do commend Tempest for finally acting like an adult towards the end (won't spoil it for you).
I also got tired of Tempest always wanting to "run away". Almost every chapter she is either trying to get away from her boyfriend to avoid having a serious conversation with him or she is running away from her father who wants her to confide in him or she is running away from Kai, etc.
It felt like the author was just skimming over everything. She never really gives us background details other than how Tempest feels betrayed by her mother. Why did the tattoos/symbols form on her skin? What are their significance? How did her parents meet? Why does Tempest have so much more power than even her mother when she is only half mermaid? What's the relationship between selkies and mermaids? Why does Tempest feel such a strong connection to Kai? Why didn't the Queen of the mer people offer to help train Tempest so she can better understand her powers? Why didn't her mother keep her promise and return to her to help her daughter through this crucial transition? And if she couldn't, why didn't she at least send someone to inform her husband? It's not like her husband (Tempest's human father) is in the dark. He knows his wife is a mermaid. I know Tempest's mother sends Kai to keep an eye on her, but I guess I don't buy all this secrecy and wondering why her mother has been absent so long. Yes I know that her mother was busy trying to keep her people safe from the sea witch. But if she could send someone to keep an eye on her daughter then why she couldn't even send a letter to her devoted husband through Kai is beyond me. It seems pretty darn heartless.
The only reason I could think of for the author to only write on the surface is because she has plans to turn this book into a series. I could see that happening since there are things left unresolved as you can tell by my long list of questions. If this is her goal, then she definitely needs to work on her mythology and focus on story development. Hopefully Tempest will be less annoying in the future. While I am in love with the adult romance series that she has written under her pseudonym name Tessa Adams, Tracy Deeps has some work to do in the Young Adult universe.
Tempest Rising was my first pick for finally reading a YA Urban Fantasy about mermaids. The vast majority of my Goodreads friends had given this a glowing review, even the ones who are normally really picky. My peeps led me astray, so astray. A lesson to why no matter the rating you must venture to see if you actually like it. As mentioned there is a love triangle here. Tempest has this amazing human boyfriend, Mark.. He's a gentleman and when he does get a little possessive--nothing like other YA book--I felt he was totally justified. Because Tempest had insta-hormones for Kona right upon him rolling up out of the ocean. The book didn't do enough to flesh out either love interests, but I definitely liked Mark.
Ah, Tempest. Tempest. It's amazing that at page 40 I thought she was a good companion. Then within maybe 20 to 30 pages later I knew I had no respect for the girl. First off she just confesses to her long time boyfriend, and best friend, that she loves him. Ah, so sweet. Then she goes and makes out with Kona. The hunk she doesn't know. Then she goes and kisses Mark again. Then she's back to kissing Kona and beyond the few mentions of Mark we all know the girl could care less about him. No matter how hot authors need to develop the love triangle enough that it's justified for the girl to be cheating on her man. And that she has the guts to tell him up front and to make a decision before making out with the other guy. Trust me I can go on about how horrible a girlfriend Tempest is. Not to mention that Kona is 900 years old, but is the worst fleshed out teenage-not-really guy I've ever read. If he had been Tempest's age I could have lived with that. Oh, the way the author tries to make Mark look bad at the end was laughable. Just made him look like the better man. Go Mark, he dodged the bullet.
Tempest's other failing is that she has pretty much known from day one that she is going to turn into a mermaid on her seventeenth birthday. She's horrifically afraid of this. So we're supposed to believe that a smart and intelligent girl is going to cling on to denial even with all of the damning proof. Even though with that denial she still knows and has clearly accepted it. Isn't going to do some kind of research. Or maybe I don't know, move away from the ocean? Do something to try and get the right king of knowledge. Because knowledge is power. You know forewarned is forearmed. Nope instead Tempest is going to obsess about her mom leaving her and talk about how she's not throwing a pity party for herself.
"Was this what Mark felt like when I put him off without answering his questions? I hoped not, because it totally sucked." - Tempest
Now let's get on that. Her mother makes it sound like Tempest can choose to be human or a mermaid. She didn't even bother to give her daughter some advice like, "Hey there's this evil sea witch out there who wants to kill you. I'm going out there to protect you. Ps-Stay away from the ocean at night or the sea witch will try to kill you. Love you, mommy." This whole, tell-my-children-nothing-so-that-they-can-bumble-around-and-have-their-lives-put-in-danger-do-to-my-lack-of-sharing-knowledge is the worst plot device ever used. Sure some authors are smart enough to have the parents leave some information later on, or to get the kids armed up at some point. (Or the parents simply died and could share this information.) So when Tempest finally realizes she doesn't have a real choice in the matter, it's so tiring. Because even Kona--worst love interest ever--won't give her any thing. For most of the book this is how things go:
"Why can't you just tell me?" It was my turn to reach out for him, to grab his hand.
"Because you're not ready for the answers yet." -Tempest and Kona
OK, I'll give it to Kona when Tempest finally gets some answers she freaks. But who wouldn't? How is anyone expected to make an informed life altering decision on zero information? Which is an argument that Tempest waits to use until almost the end of the book.
The characters and world are so underdeveloped. What happened after the first 40 pages?! The author actually talks about walking and crab-walking instead of swimming. Which totally took me out of the undersea moments. When Tempest gets to Kona's castle there's no question as to how this castle out in the middle of no where has gotten modern necessities. The underwater world was . . . ugh. The people and society is never explained, expanded on, it's just there. A lot of the plot and information is just there. As if readers shouldn't care about details like that. After all we're only here for the love triangle. A poorly crafted love triangle. If there's more then one book planned, please make an effort. Or better yet, love triangles--most of the time--do not make good books. Very few authors can, and have, pulled them off.
I'm exhausted. Tired of books that have so much potential but simply fall back on all the tropes that the paranormal young adult, and young adult genre as a whole, seems to love to fall back on. Mermaid books are still so rare. There's an opportunity to go outside of the box with the world, society, people, and so much more. By the end of this book I felt insulted as a reader. Readers want more then this cookie cutter crap! OK, I know there are a ton of readers who eat this crap up. I eat this crap up! However, not at the cost of originality and story/character development. This was another valuable lesson that even if the first 40 pages were wonderful, that you should stop when you start loathing the book and the death of a good story.
Sexual Content: Kissing, making out,and some sexual humor.
1/5- I couldn't finish it or wish I hadn't
Originally reviewed at Book Whispers.
Although, I'm having a hard time trying to decide how to discribe this book. On one hand--this novel set up the perfect mermaid story. A girl trying to decide between land and sea, between two boys, between two seperate lives. It was sexy and dark and mysterious. And the mythology was fantastic, really the best part to it. I greedily wanted to know more about the underwater world. But on the other hand it was slightly lacking in something: substance, maybe.
Yes, there were parts that I really really loved about this novel. It's just...I think the love-triangle hurt it more than helped it. I liked Mark in the beginning. He was a great boyfriend and part of me just didn't get what Tempest saw in Kona--the mysterious new guy--when he came along. I liked him more and more as the novel went on, but I'm still left wondering why they fell for each other. But still, this book had me pretty hooked (but still able to pick it up and put it down for several days while traveling) and even if there were flaws it did make for an awesome beach book. I totally recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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thanks Tracy deebs so far it awesome