Thursday, May 10, 2012

Book Review: The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova

Title: The Vicious Deep
Author: Zoraida Córdova
Reading Level: Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
ARC, 370 pages
Date Published: May 1, 2012
Source: Publisher
Description (Taken 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.
Mermaids seem like quite the hit nowadays and I can’t help but love it! I never imagined myself as a huge mermaid fan, but The Vicious Deep pulled me under its depths (pun totally intended) and I was so taken by Tristan Hart.

Zoraida Córdova has somehow written a believable, fully formed, wonderfully flawed, and realistic male protagonist in Tristan Hart. He’s cocky and self-sure, flirty and devoted; He’s full of jokes and sarcastic comments, but he’s also a genuinely good guy. He cares for his friends, adores his best friend Layla, but is still a teen guy and can be somewhat of an asshat.

The mermaid, or ‘merdude,’ plotline is kind of awesome. It didn’t exactly remind me of any other story I’ve read before, but it still felt a bit familiar. It’s a story that’s easy to read and fun. It has a touch of wanderlust to it, while keeping the reader (and Tristan) grounded in normalcy. Because Tristan is normal…or he was. His new life as part merman takes some getting used to and it lends to some hilarious jokes.

The story unfolds a little too slowly for my liking though. There’s a great deal of world-building, which is done very well, but it takes a long time for something to happen. The story is made up of a lot of character interaction, with some funny jokes that will have readers loving the characters, but I felt like a good chunk of it could have been cut out and the characters still would have translated well.

Córdova is able to pull off a well formed story all the same. The ending wasn’t exactly my favorite, but it left me wanting to see what happens next. I grew attached to Tristan, Layla, Kurt, Thalia, Tristan’s parents, and all the other random characters Tristan met along the way. I was pleasantly surprised by the male POV and how well Cordova was able to channel a male teen character. The Vicious Deep was a long book, but certainly one that I enjoyed reading.

Opening line: I hear the first wave before I see it – ~ pg. 3

Favorite lines/passages: Why can’t my mom be half powerful genie or like a werewolf, anything that doesn’t look like a ten-year-old girl bedazzled the bottom half of her Ken doll. ~ pg. 79

*This is the eARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy  
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
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