A young mermaid princess is just about to be declared the rightful heir of her kingdom and betrothed when her world falls apart.

“Murderous lowtide seascum invaders sure ratchet up the stress levels.”

Pursued by her enemies and plagued by evil dreams, she sets out on a quest to save her people and perhaps the entire ocean. A young adult fantasy, Deep Blue is only the beginning of a series revolving around the teenage mermaids and their watery home.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Although NOAA has to tell people mermaids don’t exist, we can always turn to the fantasy genre to find them.

Note: We received this complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Rating (3 stars)

Deep Blue delivers a fun, uncomplicated story of a couple of teenagers, but also faces a number of issues.

The key to bringing fantasy worlds to life is thought and planning and Deep Blue felt lacking in both.

Despite being about mermaids, set below the waves and including all manner of sea creatures, Donnelly made this easy to forget. I like to feel immersed in a fantasy world. Instead it was more like, “oh, right… They’re mermaids,” every time a mermaidy-ocean thing was mentioned.

I often pick up YA fantasy reads as a way to escape from stress. This worked for me on that level, but quality and craftsmanship was sorely missing. So the beginning of this 4-part adventure is an uncomplicated, adventurous, one-dimensional romp filled with teenage mer-slang and underwater puns. If that sounds interesting, then this book is for you.

My biggest hope for the series is that it can inspire younger readers to be better stewards of the ocean environment with a care for the creatures living there.