Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga Series #1)

Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga Series #1)

4.4 77
by Jennifer Donnelly
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
03/10/2014
Donnelly (Revolution) opens the four-book Waterfire Saga with a richly imagined novel set in an undersea world of mermaids descended from the lost citizens of Atlantis. Serafina is heir to the Mediterranean realm of Miromara, but just as she is about to be recognized as its future ruler in the high-pressure Dokimí ceremony, a devastating attack throws her life into flux. Led by cryptic dreams they share, Serafina and fellow princess Neela try to evade the conquering forces while seeking four other powerful young mermaids. Donnelly blends references to ancient myth and human language (especially Latin), with a mermaid culture that has its own magic, lore, and slang (“currensea,” “merlfriend”) that may strike some readers as too cutesy. Themes of conquering fear and believing in oneself are woven throughout, along with an acknowledgment of humans’ environmental impact on the sea and its inhabitants. Despite the high stakes and a few frightening moments, the story is never overserious; it’s just right for readers who have grown up with, but aged out of, The Little Mermaid and the Disney Fairies franchise. Ages 10–14. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (May)
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Jennifer Donnelley, a New York Times bestselling author, manages to weave an intricate and compelling plot in this young adult novel. She also creates a complex, believable ocean world, filled with mer people who are good, bad, flawed, heroic, multi-faceted. After a remarkable, evocative poem by Walt Whitman and a prologue that the draws reader in better than a whirlpool, the story begins with young merl (mermish equivalent of girl), Serafina, who awakens on a special day, her “Dokimi.” There is to be a ceremony during which Serafina must prove she is of noble blood and rightful heir to the throne of the ocean realm Miromara, a matriarchy in the Mediterranean Sea. The young merl must also shed a few drops of blood for Aletheia, the sea spider god of her people. Finally, Serafina must sing or “songcast” her betrothal vows to a handsome young male mer prince picked by her parents and her intent to eventually produce a female heir. The day for which she has prepared does not exactly go as planned. Miromara is attacked; Serafina’s queen mother is killed; and the young mer and her friend Neela must flee for their lives. Against all odds, they must follow the directions of a vivid, shared dream, make their way through dangers and adventures, and join other particularly gifted mers and river witches to defeat Abbadon, a terrible monster created for the destruction of all she knows. Serefina and Neela team up with merls who have amazing pedigrees. Can they fulfill an ancient prophecy and save their world? The ending sets the groundwork for Rogue Waves, book two in what will be the four-volume “Waterfire Saga.” The book has all that is needed for a promising saga. Reviewer: Judy Crowder; Ages 12 up.
VOYA, June 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 2) - Kristi Sadowski
As the first in a planned series, there will be lots of buzz about this book, and that buzz will not be unfounded. Serafina is about to be crowned heir to her mother’s throne. She knows what is expected of her, but is she really ready to rule? That is the question Sera must answer when tragedy strikes and her kingdom and parents are taken captive. Barely escaping with her life and her freedom, she is left with no choice but to seek out the ancient force—no more than a legend, really—that has haunted her dreams but may, at least, provide answers. A fantastic addition to the genre of mermaids, this book will also appeal to readers of action and those who appreciate usurped leaders taking back their kingdom. It starts with a common enough concept: a royal girl who is worried about her betrothal and about love. Donnelly then adds layers of complexity to the tale and weaves her story into that of Atlantis. Friendship, trust, and responsibility are major themes as Sera struggles to grasp that she is really her kingdom’s only hope. Quick-witted, loveable characters and a well-planned fantasy world make this an all-encompassing book. Readers will eagerly await future volumes and the answers they will provide. Reviewer: Kristi Sadowski; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-31
The award-winning author teams up with Disney to deliver a book seemingly tailor-made for commercial success. Imagine an undersea world populated by mers of every type: Blond, blue-tailed seafolk exist, but the variety described goes far behind that stereotype; some are crab-legged or stranger. It's a complex world, created magically as Atlantis fell. Now, the evil behind the fall threatens again, and this time it's teamed up with a terragogg (human) bent on destroying ecosystems. Six mermaids have been summoned in dreams to save a world suddenly under attack. Exposition-heavy descriptions of a sometimes-nonsensical society (dresses and other human accoutrements that can't possibly enhance undersea life are described in downright cinematic detail, and mer-derived slang—for example, "merlfriend"—comes across as forced) dominate the beginning. They eventually give way to a plot-driven tale of prophesied saviors getting to know each other and preparing for an epic battle (and several more volumes). The merls have little to no personality (protagonist Serafina somewhat excepted), but then, this book is aimed at upper-preteen/early-teen readers who might enjoy finding themselves in the text. The diversity of the cast (white, black, Asian and Indian are all represented among the chosen) deserves some props. Readers who put aside the sense that they are being primed for products and just imagine the movie it ought to be may find it palatable enough. (Fantasy. 11-14)
From the Publisher
"A richly imagined novel. Themes of conquering fear and believing in oneself are woven throughout, along with an acknowledgment of humans' environmental impact on the sea and its inhabitants. Despite the high stakes and a few frightening moments, the story is never overserious; it's just right for readers who have grown up with, but aged out of, The Little Mermaid and the Disney Fairies franchise."
Publishers Weekly

"A fantastic addition to the genre of mermaids, this book will also appeal to readers of action and those who appreciate usurped leaders taking back their kingdom. It starts with a common enough concept: a royal girl who is worried about her betrothal and about love. Donnelly then adds layers of complexity to the tale and weaves her story into that of Atlantis. Friendship, trust, and responsibility are major themes as Sera struggles to grasp that she is really her kingdom's only hope. Quick-witted, loveable characters and a well-planned fantasy world make this an all-encompassing book. Readers will eagerly await future volumes and the answers they will provide."—VOYA

"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."—Booklist

School Library Journal
05/01/2014
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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423133162
Publisher:
Disney Press
Publication date:
05/06/2014
Series:
Waterfire Saga Series , #1
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
54,667
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author


Jennifer Donnelly is an award-winning author of both adult and children's books. For adults she has written a trilogy of best-selling books that includes The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose. Her first young adult novel, A Northern Light, received many accolades, among them the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Carnegie Medal in the UK, and a Michael L. Printz Honor. Her second young adult novel, Revolution, was named a Best Book of 2010 by Kirkus Reviews and School Library Journal, and the audiobook received a 2011 American Library Association Odyssey Honor. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley.

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Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga Series #1) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 77 reviews.
book4children More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining underwater tale about a young mermaid and her quest to save her kingdom from destruction. The buildup was pretty slow, and not much seemed to happen in the story other than historical explanations and lots of swimming away from the bad guys. It ended rather abruptly, but it's the first in a series of four books. That being said, I really liked the book. It was well written with a unique setting. While the story didn't bring anything new to the table (it was your typical coming of age story) it was engaging. I enjoyed reading it and especially liked the way it was light on the romance. It was pretty clean, with only a few instances of violence. It's clean enough to be enjoyed by all YA readers, not just the older ones. I would recommend this book to someone looking for a story about sisterhood, friendship, and self-discovery. Content: Some violence and made up curse words, but I consider this a clean book. Source: I received an ARC of this book from the Cuddlebuggery blogger review program in exchange for an honest review.
annasophie More than 1 year ago
Jennifer Donnelly's DEEP BLUE is a totally cool book -- just like the Harry Potter books, full of magic, adventure and a true coming of age story of 6 courageous mairmaids. The whole family can enjoy this book, just like the Harry Potter books, it is for young and old alike. Have fun starting this great saga from Disney and Jennifer Donnelly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A CLASSICAL FAIRY TALE FOR ALL AGES --- six mermaids, each with special magical powers are forming a sisterhood to confront an unspeakable evil threatening their world. Their courage and smarts are tested over and over again as we follow them on their perilous journey. A great book for all ages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book it is my fave book i got it at my schools book fair and fell in love with it and i just have one thing it has weard words i didnt know and im 10 i wish there would be a movie cant wait for the next season
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
simply incredible. it kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time! i can't wait for the next one to come out. im DYING to know what happens!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Amazing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was aazubg it is also mt favorite boook
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an amaising book! Also all the latin in it!:3
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book!!!!!!"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol luv dat comment :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book, could not put it down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the book Very good at catching in the reader into the the story Sometimes, someparts make me want to yell at the characters
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really interesting book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The connection between the six mermaids reminds me between me and my three sister. I love the fantasy adventure. Wow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I overall enjoyed this book. The words at first were difficult seeing as you pretty much just jumped into a language you didn't know but once you get over that the story was really entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book took forever for anything to happen. It's about a whole lot of derivative nothing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was intreging and magical. I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you Jennifer Donnelly for such an amazing book. I'm sure the next will be even better. Can't wait.;) -Carolinia
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing. It has action and aventure. Love and loyoltiy. Gain and loss. Myterey and mythology. This book never got boring. It dos end in a huge cliff hanger but thats why I want to read the 2nd book sooooooooooo much!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It should only be fot
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is reslly good!!
MhCA More than 1 year ago
This book was sooo good. I can't wait for the next one to come out. I love this book and I have read it twice already just to make sure I got every detail that I could! Im going to pre order the next book.
Anonymous 3 months ago
My mom wont give me the book even though she bought it fomy birthdar!r
Anonymous 4 months ago
This book was so amazing!!!!!! I can't wait to get the next one!!!! I also can not wait for Sea spell!!!!
Anonymous 8 months ago
This is one of the best books released by Disney. I love the action.and drama! I know that is worth your time. I couldn't put it down when I picked it up and I know that will too