Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga Series #1)

( 9 )

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 ...

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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.

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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)
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)
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
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781423133162
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
  • Publication date: 5/6/2014
  • Series: Waterfire Saga Series , #1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 57,319
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Donnelly

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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(2)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 7, 2014

    Jennifer Donnelly's DEEP BLUE is a totally cool book -- just lik

    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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2014

    A CLASSICAL FAIRY TALE FOR ALL AGES --- six mermaids, each with

    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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 6, 2014

    ***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Deep Blue by

    ***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).




    I am pleased to say that overall, I enjoyed this book. It was relatively short, and there was a lot of action and revelations and things occurring. Okay, so I found the plot a little bit generic. The uniqueness of the characters and world-building (for the most part) sort of made up for the cliché plot. 




    The thing I really liked about this book is that it focused more on friendship than romance. At first, it seems like the romance will be more important than anything else. Serafina is preparing herself to be shown as the next heir of Miromara, and to exchange marital vows with the crown prince of the kingdom’s choosing – Prince Mahdi. The prince and Serafina were always arranged to be married, but they fell in love after a visit or two years ago. Years later, Mahdi has changed, and is now a player and a jerk.




    So, you would think that the romance was at the forefront. Serafina is still very much in love with Mahdi, he’s in love with her, and they’re getting married, no matter what. But terrible things have happened, are happening, and will happen to the mer kingdoms. Someone is taking merpeople, and a monster has been unleashed. Sera, her friend Neela, and four other girls must are called via dream to come together to fight and take back the sea.




    Friendship is key in this book. The bond between Sera and Neela is unshakable, and I love that this is an important aspect of the book. I know that we will see more of the six girls together in the next four books – they only come together in one place at the end of this book.




    I love how well-characterized the girls are. Each girl is different, and fits their respective “gifts”. We get to know Sera the most – she is selfless and responsible, cautious and brave. Neela is fiery and hilarious – I LOVED reading the parts of the book that involved her actions and dialogue.




    I’m hoping to see more from the romance in the next few books. It wasn't huge in this book, but it is still important. I have a feeling that someone in actually someone else in disguise… ahhh, I want to say more but that would be spoiling things! I shan't give anything away! Now, onto the plot, and what I didn't like.




    What I Did Not Like:




    As I mentioned before, I found the overall plot of the book and series to be cliche. People are murdered or taken for the greed of another, a giant monster exists and is out for blood. Several teenagers must save the world. It’s very overdone and cliche, but especially in certain types of fantasy. The paranormal type of fantasy (like this book) always seems to follow this plot, to the T. Especially with the monster part. And the fact that each teenager has a unique skill or power. 




    You might say that every book or plot is a bit of a variation of another, but I find that this type of plot is highly power in paranormal and fantasy novels, and one after the other after another isn't always smart. 




    Would I Recommend It:




    I would definitely recommend this book to fans of fantasy novels. It’s not the typical type of fantasy that I read and love, but then, I love most types of fantasy. Mermaid books aren't really my thing – I kind of liked Anna Banks’ series (here’s hoping Of Neptune is really good, to redeem the series), and I wasn't a huge fan of Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown. But this one was pretty great! So fantasy lovers, paranormal lovers, this is one for you! If you have a copy, or were already planning on reading it, definitely do not hesitate to do so!




    Rating:




    3.5 stars -> rounded up to 4 stars. This was a pretty great start to a new series! I will definitely be catching the sequel, and most likely the two books after them. I cannot wait to see what the imprint of Disney-Hyperion will be! This is the first book to be published by the imprint, so that’s exciting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 21, 2014

    This book was sooo good. I can't wait for the next one to come o

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I want to thank Disney Hyperion and Net Galley for providing me

    I want to thank Disney Hyperion and Net Galley for providing me with an early copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my review.




    Blurb 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.




    I have really been into mermaid books lately. So when I first saw the cover of this book I totally fell in love. Not only are the colors absolutely gorgeous, but the picture is so amazing. I love the depiction of the city burning in the background. The desperation of the mermaid swimming at the front of the picture. So just by looking at the cover I had high expectations. Then I read the blurb and I was really interested. The premise sounded so great.




    Serafina is a mermaid, a royal mermaid, set to take the throne when it's her time. She wants so much to be a teenager yet she knows why consequences of such things in the eyes of the people she will soon serve. I like Sera a lot. She's smart and funny at times. I can honestly say she did grow well during this book, but I needed to see more of her. I didn't have enough background to totally understand who she is, how she grew up, and so on. I honestly couldn't connect well with her. There just wasn't enough of her to help me understand who she was a person.




    Neela I did love. I really enjoyed her personality. She was sassy and fun. But, again, I have no idea how she and Sera became friends and why they were best friends when they rarely saw each other.




    As for the other characters, I can say the same as above. I have no connection with any of them and can't even picture them in my mind. Probably my favorite character was Astrid, and we only get to see her for a very brief time. She's sassy and strong minded and I love that in a female YA character. But, again, like the others, there wasn't much development to her.




    The thing that bothered me the most about this book was the lack of development in the characters. Yes, they grow, and they become a bit stronger, but I didn't feel anything for them. I was also totally annoyed about the introduction of two love interests for the main character with no follow through at all. We got a glimpse and then the story was taken far away and never came back to it. It's not that I need romance in a book, I can do without it, but don't introduce it just to rip it away and make as if it is not important to the story. Sera spends a lot of time at the beginning got the book pining over her betrothed, but we never see their relationship other than a quick meeting that they have after two years of being apart. Add to that the total cliffhanger at the end and I was utterly annoyed. I kept tapping my Kindle thinking I was wrong about it being the last page. But there were no more chapters. I wanted to toss the Kindle across the room! There were just so many plot holes, so many things left open, I really had a hard time with that. Add to this the fact that the story starts out very Little Mermaid, and then shoots in a totally different direction.




    There is a very large amount of world building in the book. You get much of the backstory and history about the mer world. I liked this a lot. It really set the tone for the book and the alliances and politics between the different factions of mermaids. We also get a good background of the lost city of Atlantis, which I enjoyed. The entire book takes place in the mer world, which was a nice change from the mermaid books I have been reading that also take place on land.




    The writing is good. It's third person from Sera and Neela's points of views. But there's no pattern or consistency as to who is narrating the chapters. I didn't understand the need to have Neela's POV. It didn't really add anything to the story and I think the whole thing would have been better if it had been narrated by Sera in first person. Just my opinion though. I know I might have connected better with the character had this been the case. Also, the way it's narrated gave me the feeling it was more of a historical read, but the language the mermaids used was not historical at all. It kind of made a rift for me in the story line.




    The pacing was good in this story. Definitely fast and flowed well. But there is too much crammed into the story. The book really could have been quite a bit longer. The whole time I was thinking of when Sera would be found again by her enemy. It was getting annoying. And if your expecting any kind of wrap up in the story arc, you will be sorely mistaken because it's just not there. The book just stops and there is no resolution at all from any of the events introduced throughout the book.




    All in all, I didn't really love this book. As a matter of fact, I was more disappointed than anything else. I really had high hopes for this one.. If you're a fan of mermaid books, I'm not sure you'll really love this one. If you like tons of world building, but not much character development, go ahead and give it a try.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2014

    I love this book sooo much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a great book for all ages. This book has adventure writen all over it! But I recamend not to read it until the next book comes out I cried because the cliff hanger was so bad ) : does anyone know when the second book is comeing out?

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  • Posted June 21, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Did Not Finish I wrote a post about negative reviews, and how I

    Did Not Finish
    I wrote a post about negative reviews, and how I don't review if I don't finish, and a very wise blogger pointed out that knowing what a blogger doesn't like can be valuable to publishers and authors too. I think that it also helps my readers build trust that I am not just slapping good ratings on everything I read. I have a knack for picking what I will lack based on synopsis and reviews, but that even fails. Then another blogger mentioned she did a did not finish post and I thought it was a great idea. So, here we go:




    skimmed to page 36
        I had honestly never heard of Deep Blue when I received it in the mail, but the cover was so nice, and I like the premise. I am hit or miss with mermaids but I was intrigued by the sisterhood bond, and their journey. 
        The beginning did not grab me right away. There was all sorts of fantasy merl talk as well as a prologue that I got nothing out of except she was reciting things, presumingly to call the main character to her in the future. It starts with Serafina waking from a dream--the prologue-- and her mother pressuring her to get ready for the big day (also didn't quite understand, except it was about music) but I, like most others can relate to a nagging mom. She also feels inadequate, that her mom's expectations are too high and though she has set a high bar for herself, it never seemed to be enough for her mom. This is what kept me read/skimming until I figured out the language and the world or Seraphina completely convinced me that I needed to know her story regardless of all of the strange terminology and setting thrown at me. 
       Unfortunately, that did not happen for me. I skimmed, but couldn't get past the royalty talk and the plot didn't pick up for me. I think that this will be great for the right reader because of the detailed world building and the fantasy element, but unfortunately it didn't for me. I saw glimpses of things that would make me connect with her, but they weren't enough. 
    That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2014

    EGGS ARE NOT CRYSTALS? I AM NOT SURE OF YOUR FACE.

    This book was only so-so. It started off pretty weakly but other than that I thought it was ok. Questions?
    Yjod nppl esd pmzu dp-dp. Oy dystyrf pgg atryyu erslzu niy pyjrt yjsm yjsy O yjpihjy oy esd pl. Wirdyopm?
    Rgua viij qpa ibkt ai-ai. Ur arperws idd oewrrt qwpjkt vyr irgwe rgpb rgpr U rgiyfgr ur qpa ij. Mywaruiba?

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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