ARC: 384 Pages
Series: The Vicious Deep #1
Genre: Mature YA Fantasy*
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From Goodreads. For Tristan Hart, everything changes with one crashing wave.
He was gone for three days. Sucked out to sea in a tidal wave and spit back ashore at Coney Island with no memory of what happened. Now his dreams are haunted by a terrifying silver mermaid with razor-sharp teeth.
His best friend Layla is convinced something is wrong. But how can he explain he can sense emotion like never before? How can he explain he’s heir to a kingdom he never knew existed? That he’s suddenly a pawn in a battle as ancient as the gods.
Something happened to him in those three days. He was claimed by the sea…and now it wants him back.
Review by Kate
I love to be surprised by new writers and books! And THE VICIOUS DEEP, by Zoraida Cordova, is no different! Right from the start I loved this book. Not only is it narrated by a boy (hot boy at that), but he also finds out he is a merman! Now with the pressure of high school, trying to win the heart of his best friend, and championing for the throne of the merfolk, Tristan finds himself on an unforgettable journey that will keep your hands glued to the pages.
I loved this book! I found myself sucked into the story from the start. It is totally unique and I loved that it was narrated from a male POV. The book starts off with a bang when Tristan (amazing swimmer and part-time lifeguard) finds himself trying to rescue someone from the water and wakes up on the shore three days later. After that his body starts to change until he turns into a uni-finned and scaly merman! I loved the lore that Cordova created in this book. Her world among the sea creatures was breathtaking and really fun to read. I also liked how there weren't just merfolk in this book but other creatures that are similar in their fantastical elements.
The plot was great but I found myself also very interested in the characters themselves. I have quite a book crush on Tristan with his piercing blue eyes and swimmers body to die for, but I also loved his friends and frienemies. Layla, his best friend, is a sweet girl and I yearned for these two to just get together already! Kurt and Thalia were hilarious and I just wanted to jump in the book and give them both huge hugs. And even though I initially hated Gwen, I found myself liking her in the end.
As I neared the end of the book I was like, "No no no, there is so much more to cover!" This book is part of a series but it's not a massive cliffhanger (thank goodness or I might have had a minor heart attack), I am very excited to read the next installment. Anyone who likes mermaid books or is looking to start, this book should definitely be on your list!
*I would recommend this book for the latter end of the YA market and above. There are instances of strong language (cursing) in this book.