waterfire saga

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The first two books in the Waterfire Saga:

I originally picked up this series because just look at how gorgeous those covers are! And they’re about mermaids. I honestly don’t think I’ve read enough mermaids book. I don’t know why though because they’re amazing. Underwater worlds, gorgeous tails, magical powers, sea creatures and a well thought out storyline. 

The storyline in these books is so in depth. Jennifer Donnelly has planned her books out so well, leaving you with cliffhangers just at the right time. She keeps you captivated when your attention is needed most. I did find that this book did have some slow parts. There were chapters that felt like they were only there to fill a blank space. I did however find that when there was action, it was written so well that I just couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The books are so descriptive and it gives you a clear image of the world under the sea. The characters, where there are plenty of, stand out against each other and although its confusing at first to remember who is who, the do form into individual people throughout the books.

All in all, I rate both of these books 4/5.  

I need more blogs to follow so reblog/like if you post and I’ll check out your account
  • Bully/Canis Canem Edit
  • Elder Scrolls
  • Phan/Dan & Phil
  • Studio Ghibli
  • Portal
  • Fable
  • Waterfire Saga
  • Disney
  • Dreamworks
  • Adventure Time
  • Fallout
  • Random gaming crap
  • Cats
  • Astronomy/Astrophysics

I’ll probably edit this if I think of anything else

*continues reading YA fantasy book with POC mermaids*

Remember when I was all “Yay! Female friendship!”

I spoke too soon.

Italian Mermaid is suddenly all like “I gotta go back to Venice to see if Potential Male Love Interest is alive! Because I suddenly have feelings for him!” Which unfortunately negates her initial sentiments from the last book.

Oh, this little exchange:

Italian Mermaid: I have Linguistics Powers WTF.

Chinese Mermaid: Well now I can summon light, just like East Indian Mermaid.

Italian Mermaid: WTF is going on?

Chinese Mermaid: I think it was that Forbidden Spell we cast at the end of the last book. Now we all have each other’s powers.

Italian Mermaid: Um … yay?

*continues reading YA fantasy book with POC mermaids*

The Gratuitous Language count is now 6. Russian has made a brief appearance. *fist pump*

Unlike the first book, which had Romanian all over the place, this one has Greek everywhere. All the names of the MacGuffins are Greek! And, unfortunately, not very creatively named. “Let’s get [Insert Name Here]’s Rock!”

Don’t worry, Romanian still pops up a lot, namely in all the spells the characters use.

Another reason why I like this book: female friendship everywhere. Nobody worries about love interests – instead, it’s all “We’ve got friends who got our backs! Yeah!”

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3.5 out of 5 stars

This eBook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Mermaids are perhaps one of the least written about mythical creature in novels. On the occasions that they are referred to they are often represented as evil siren-like females luring sailors to their deaths. The mermaids in Jennifer Donnelly’sWaterfire Saga are not like that at all, in fact their lives are not dissimilar to that of humans.

Deep Blue is the first novel in this saga but felt like it was mostly setting the scene for the yet-to-be-published sequels. It begins with Serafina, the Principessa of the House of Merrow, preparing for the Dokimí or betrothal ceremony occurring that evening. Although her songspell, a particularly difficult task, goes perfectly, assassins gatecrash the ceremony. The black-clad mermen fire poison arrows at the crowd, killing Sera’s father and fatally injuring her mother, the Regina. 

Along with her best friend Neela, Serafina flees the city but it is not long before their assailants catch up with them. Throughout all this destruction the two mermaids discover that they have been having the same dream about being summoned by the Iele – a legendary group of river witches – and with no where else to go they head to the river Olt in Romania in order to find them and discover what they are being called upon for. As it turns out they are not the only girls heading that way. Six mermaids in total have been having the same dream and they eventually meet up on their way to the Iele. 

Although the end of Deep Blue revealed the girls’ purposes, it will not be until the second book that this task is carried out. Due to this it feels as though the main storyline of the Waterfire Sagais yet to begin properly. Having said that, Deep Blue was still an entertaining read. It may take a while for readers to get into the story but the later half is full of action and even contains the odd humorous pun, which prevents the book from becoming too dark. 

It must be difficult to write about mermaids as the setting is, naturally, deep under the surface of oceans, seas, rivers and lakes. The writer would need to think carefully about what is possible underwater, and remember to use words such as “swim” instead of “walk”. Even though Donnelly did a fantastic job there were occasions where the characters could easily be mistaken for humans with legs rather than fish tails. 

There were lots of made up words and names used in this book which some people may find confusing thus making it difficult to keep track of who is who. The author has helpfully included a glossary of these terms and names which readers can refer to as and when they need to. It does not, however, include a pronunciation guide, which is a shame as some of the words have an Eastern European look to them and readers unfamiliar with those types of dialects may struggle with some of the expressions: for example, Baba Vrăja. 

Overall this saga has the potential to become a magnificent set of books with a uniqueness setting them apart from other popular fantasy stories of today.

Dear Jennifer Donnelly

1. I love you and your books.

2. You have turned my love for mermaids into something I could relate to. 

3. Please let me play Serafina if and when there is ever a movie adaptation of this book. I am not even kidding, I feel as if I was born to play her. I even have mermaid hair just look at my selfies on here. 

4. And even if they don’t turn The Waterfire Saga into a movie and I can’t play Serafina, could you please come to Oklahoma so I can meet you because that’s all I’ve ever wanted. Like, ever. 

Okay my creepy letter to you is over now!

Sincerely,
Your biggest fan, Lauren. 

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Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be about reuniting with handsome Prince Mahdi, her childhood crush. Instead she finds herself haunted by strange dreams foretelling the return of an ancient evil, and dealing with the deaths of her parents as assassins storm the betrothal ceremony, plunging the city into chaos.

Led only by her shadowy dreams and pursued by the invading army, Serafina and her best friend Neela embark on a quest to avenge her parents’ death and prevent a war between the mer nations. In the process they discover a plot that threatens their - and our - world’s very existence.

I received a copy free from the publishers via NetGalley


“Danger is everywhere in the sea, child. Death swims on a fast fin.”

Serafina is a mermaid in the Mediterranean sea. She is a princess and is soon to be betrothed. However, during her betrothal her city is attacked, her people are hurt, and she has to run and fulfil her prophecy.

I was really in love with Jennifer Donnelly’s other bookRevolution, and I had requested this on NetGalley and I thought I just had to read it. I was a little disappointed. It is a verydifferent book from her previous ones as it is about mermaids. Before Deep Blue I had not yet read a mermaid book. I imagine it would be quite difficult to write about mermaids, who live in the sea and still execute it well. It did sound promising in the beginning. The cities were very beautifully described. But I just think the whole mermaid thing was not done as best as it could have been. I did like the magic element, especially the mirror, I think that was done exceptionally well. There was a bit of an info dump at the beginning and I did not realise that there were a list of keywords and names at the end. Because I had a kindle copy, it probably would have been best for it to be at the front so I could have read it before I started the actual story. 

I was not sure about the characters. They were not that great. Serafina got on my nerves a little bit. She was a little whiny, but I guess that is understandable considering she is a teenager, who is about to be betrothed to someone she no longer feels she knows. She did grow up a little bit and she took up her role quite seriously. Her best friend Neena, I found quite likeable. There was not really any of a love story or romance. There was a little at the beginning, but after that it was not mentioned. Which is good, because I would assume that the last thing that a girl, whose city has just been attacked and who thinks she has lost all her family, would care about is whether the boy she fancies, fancies her back. So that was definitely a positive. 

Overall, it was an ok read, which did not take me very long. So if you are looking for a mermaid fantasy story about friendship rather than romance then I do suggest that you have a look at this one.

MY RATING: ★★★☆☆

*starts reading YA book with POC mermaids*

It’s time for me to start the Foreign Language Count again! The languages so far:

  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Romanian (!)
  • Greek
  • Latin

Latvian, Sanskrit, and Igbo would’ve made the list, but they were for proper, personal names, and not phrases or individual words.

(Why am I still geeking out over Romanian? I barely know that language!)

Anyway, the story so far:

Italian Mermaid: Yo, Eel! How do I escape this room?

Eel: Dig your way out of that tiny hole.

Italian Mermaid: (aside) HOLY SHIT I ACTUALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT THE EEL SAID. SINCE WHEN DID I GET LINGUISTICS POWERS? THAT’S NOT PART OF MY POWER-SET.