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Friday, 1 July 2011

Review: Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Title: Tempest Rising
Series: Unsure but I want it to be
Author: Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 4 July 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home, continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark, and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kona, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an other-worldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her - and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.


Written in first person narrative from Tempest perspective. Tempest has always known she is half mermaid, something that doesn't manifest itself until her 17th birthday. She hates the fact that she is half-mer mainly due to the fact that her mermaid mother left her and her family to return to the sea a number of years ago. Tempest holds the sea responsible, though she is powerfully drawn to it. Lovely reflective pieces of writing are inserted into the prose giving it a personal feel and providing insight into the plot.

There are lots of technical surfing terms and slang used within the narrative. Making me wonder if Tracy surfs herself and was able to write about surfing so thoroughly because of that fact.

Tempest has a wonderful circle of friends. The best of both her worlds really with her surfing crowd and the girls she goes to school with. Mark, her boyfriend, has hidden depths of emotion where Tempest is concerned he sees below the surface and past the carefully erected barriers she has around herself. Although I did think that his character altered negatively as the story progressed. I would have liked to see that part of the story handled slightly differently. Kona on the other hand, as well as being visually pleasing [ : D ] from the outset you can tell that there is so much more to him than meets the eye. Although I am totally burnt out on love triangles, the premise of this one is quite sound when you take into consideration that Tempest is trying to cling onto her human life with everything she has got. As an outsider, I could see that this was not necessarily what was best for her.

Tempest doesn't handle the two different sides of herself very well, trying with all her might to run away from the mermaid side of herself. She is very bitter about her mother leaving, and you keenly feel her hurt and bewilderment at that particular event. Tempest's feeling of hopelessness at the lack of options available to her really hit home with me. The mystery surrounding the reasons for her mothers departure add to the plot dynamics.

The writing is so sensory, encompassing all the senses making vivid pictures within my imagination. It was very easy to create Tempest's world. I have been scuba diving at an advanced level (before I had the children) and must say that Tracy's descriptions of being deep underwater bring those memories back to colourful life. The sense of wonder at the alien world beneath the sea; the feeling of exhilaration, the sensation of the weight of the water along with a sense of freedom are beautifully written into the narrative. There are interesting details and scientific explanations about sea life that add realism to the plot and expand the storyline.

I was especially envious of Tempest's house and it's location *sigh*. Tempest has the added benefit of a close knit family and a wonderful relationship with her father. So open, honest and equal.

I really enjoyed the pacing of the plot, there was always something new to learn or be revealed. I think there still is and would love the series to continue. There is a fairytale feel in places especially with the description of the castle and the recapping of actual fairy tales in order to add substance to the plot.

The inclusion of the tapestry depicting an ancient prophecy added to the storyline but I did feel Tempest was a little naive in not putting the pieces together sooner, but I do think hindsight is a wonderful superpower to have. Remorse and regret are an unfortunate side effect of life and the consequences of our decisions. The ending was lovely *sniff* not at all what I was expecting.

For me this story contained action, adventure, romance, the course of destiny, and the path of self-discovery. I would love to see what happens to Tempest next, please can we have another book.


  1. I need to read about her house now. Will I swoon for it. I am thinking beach side residence?

  2. I hadn't heard about this one before, but (as someone obsessed with the sea) I love mermaid stories and from your review I think I'd really enjoy this one. I'm definitely interested in the fact that this book contains surfing (yay!), and also those descriptions of being underwater you've mentioned sound wonderful.


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