Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Review of Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs
Title/Author: Tempest Unleashed (Tempest #2) by Tracy Deebs
Publisher/Date published: Walker Books for Young Readers, June 5th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads summary: "Tempest Maguire is happy with her decision to embrace her mermaid nature and live among her mother’s clan within the ocean’s depths. Even though training to one day ascend the throne for the aging mermaid queen is rigorous, she finds refuge in the arms of Kona, the selkie who first opened her up to her mermaid side. But when word comes that one of her brothers has been gravely injured on land, Tempest immediately rushes to his side — which also brings her back to her old flame, Mark. And in her absence, a deadly battle begins raging at the hands of Tempest’s old nemesis, the sea witch Tiamat. As the dangerous war erupts, Tempest’s two loves — Kona and Mark, sea and land — will collide for the first time, both to protect her and to force her to choose."
I wish I could talk about Tempest Unleashed without having spoilers in it for Tempest Rising, but I can't. So if you haven't read it and don't want to know about the plot, turn your eyes away.
So, I really enjoyed Tempest Rising and while I wasn't completely happy with the end where Tempest just up and leaves her family and basically her whole life for a boy she's known about a month, I could live with her choice. There was a love triangle with Kona winning in Tempest Rising from Mark, the land-bound boyfriend. And I thought in that aspect all was resolved. Until I read the summary for Tempest Unleashed and went NOOOOOO! But more on that later.
I liked Tempest, she's a well-rounded main character and I liked that she's developed a back bone over the course of the series and isn't in need of rescue all the time anymore. She loves her family very much and wants to take care of them, and I respect her for that. Which is why it threw me off a bit that she hadn't been to see them in 8 months at the start of Tempest Unleashed. I mean, she'd been back to the coast apparantly, but she hadn't gone up on the land to see them? I didn't really understand this.
I love the underwater world that Tracy Deebs has created and all the different creatures, it sounds mindblowingly beautiful. Most of the characters were pretty well fleshed out, more so in Tempest Rising than in this one. We're introduced to a new set of characters that I'm not exactly sure what to think of, even after 400 pages. I'm guessing there's a lot more to some of them then we've seen so far, but as I can't find anywhere if there'll be a sequel (but I'm assuming there will be based on the events towards the end) I hope this will get resolved then.
Can I just say that I adored Tempest's father and little brother Moku? That little guy just stole my heart and Tempest's father is such an amazing guy with an enormous heart and I grieved for him and his loss of the love of his life: Tempest's mother.
It bothered me that while everyone is saying Tempest will be the next Queen, they're keeping a lot of information from her and the current Queen treats her pretty badly, I just didn't get it. I also was somewhat baffled by the fact that when she chose to live underwater, she automatically began training to be the next Queen. It seems to me like you don't go around handing your kingdom to every girl that has a prophecy attached to her that comes by, right? I'm glad we don't have that kind of government system... It didn't make much sense to me, I get that she's supposed to be really powerful and all, but that doesn't mean you just make her queen.
Also, until I read the summary for Tempest Unleashed, I hadn't thought the love triangle would continue into this sequel. I mean, it was pretty wrapped up in Tempest Rising, she'd made her choice. And then she was back at it, kissing both Mark and Kona and not telling either of them about the other guy. It made me lose some respect for her, because she just couldn't seem to make up her mind and it annoyed me. And I can't for the life of me understand why these guys weren't getting mad at her or breaking it off themselves. She's sort of playing them both as the mood strikes her and they just let her! Gah guys! Show some self-respect and tell her to make a decision or get the hell out!
While I wasn't really feeling the insta-love with Kona, I thought she and Mark had WAY more issues. Despite my being kind of creeped out with the whole Kona being over 200 years older than she is. Was anyone disturbed by this as well?
Also, towards the end I was kind of thinking she might be spared a decision by the death of one of the boys, I'm really glad that wasn't how she came to a decision! Mostly, I just feel that the girl needed to be by herself for a while and just figure out who she is without constantly needing to be reassured by a guy.
***SPOILER, LIGHT UP TO READ***
And seriously, choosing Mark in the end was for a crap reason if you ask me. There are 2 whole books filled with the 'spark' she got when she kissed Kona and how she saw all these colors and stuff and then she says at the end of Tempest Unleashed that he feels 'nice and safe'.... -.- SERIOUSLY? And how exactly does she figure this thing with Mark is going to work? GAH, SO MUCH FRUSTRATION!
***END OF SPOILER***
Ok, so rant over.
I know that I sound really negative and I'm actually not. I blew through Tempest Unleashed in what seemed like no time at all and didn't notice how much time had passed until I 'came up for air', so to speak. The writing is very engaging and the battle scenes had me on the edge of my seat. I was absolutely invested in the story and this is probably also why I wasn't rolling my eyes at the things that annoyed me that were mentioned above, but going GAH! *$&@!
I really felt for Tempest, even when I sometimes wanted to slap sense into her and mostly stop her from kissing those two boys all the time without thinking it through. I experienced her emotions alongside her and could completely understand her being torn between life as a human versus life as a mermaid. It's a heartbreaking decision.
To sum my thoughts up: I think this is a really good addition to the mermaid genre and I'll definitely pick up the sequel if there is one. Does anyone know? If so, PLEASE TELL ME! The love triangle got me all ranty as you can see above, but the storytelling is pretty solid, though I wished sometimes there'd be a bit more information about it all and character development of the secondary characters.
My rating: 3,5 stars