For the past few years, I have been loving all of the new releases for mermaid fiction. The latest to come out is Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly. I was a bit skeptical; the cover features a mermaid wearing a dress underneath the water, and although I do find the cover attractive, I just don’t see the practicality of mermaids wearing any type of clothing that resembles what humans would wear. Nevertheless, I gave the book a chance because Jennifer Donnelly is a respected author and I had read one of her previous books and remembered liking it at least a little.
It’s possible that because mermaids are one of my favorite things, I set way too high of expectations when it comes to mermaid fiction. Donnelly is a more than capable writer; her description is beautiful and the story is very action paced. But for whatever reason, I could not keep my head in the story. Quite possibly it’s because I felt the story she was meaning to tell was very dramatic, and the dialogue and interactions between the main characters was too light and fluffy.
Mermaid princess Serafina finds herself going on an epic quest for magical talismans to save the mer kingdoms from entering into a war with one another. Guided by her dreams that promise the reawakening of an ancient evil, Serafina sets off to find a group of other mermaids that are scattered throughout the oceans to help her restore peace.
None of the mermaids on Serafina’s quest really stood out to me. If you were to ask me details about any of them, I wouldn’t be able to provide any. I think that I may have been more open to the story if there were less main characters to have to keep track of. And as I mentioned before, the dialogue was a bit cutesy to me, so I easily became annoyed any time one of them said anything.
If Deep Blue appeals to you on any level, my suggestion is to go ahead and give it a try anyway. Once again, I am highly selective when it comes to mermaid novels and how mermaids are portrayed. I wish that this one had resonated with me a little more deeply, but I will keep exploring this type of fiction and hope to run across a mermaid novel that I will love.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Big Honcho Media. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.