Tempest Rising
Tempest, Book #1
By Tracy Deebs

Review brought to you by OBS staff member Heidi

Tempest Maguire lives in a house by the beach in San Diego with her dad, who used to be a professional surfer, and her two younger brothers, Rio and Moku.  Her mom left when she was ten years old shortly after an incident where Tempest snuck out into the ocean and was being dragged down by a strange sea woman, but everybody chucked it up to a child’s imagination.  But was it?

Tempest is truly her father’s child using any opportunity she can to go surfing with her boyfriend, Mark, and their friends.  But when she falls off her surfboard one day on and easy wave and nearly drowns not to mention grows gills, the letter her mom left for her haunts her.

Tempest’s mom is a mermaid and the letter she left tells her that when she turns seventeen that she will have to make a choice; to live on land as a human or in the sea as a mermaid.  Tempest hates her mom for leaving and doesn’t want to be anything like her, but when her body starts changing she wonders if the choice has been taken away from her.

First off, I’m a very visual person and I love the cover of this book it’s just beautiful and I could easily picture the girl on the cover as Tempest as I read.

I’m not a big fan of young adult novels as anybody who has followed my reviews probably knows by now.  But I was pleasantly surprised at the writing of this book.  It was an easy read and not one that made me feel I was in junior high like most of the young adult books do these days.   No eye rolling like I usually do at the immature characters and just plain cheesiness of YA  books.  I think the lead, Tempest, was actually a pretty mature seventeen year old and I wish others in this genre would follow suit.   This novel is one that I think an adult can enjoy, but one that I think teens and even older tweens could easily read as well.

I liked Tempest and I found the mermaid aspect to be kind of fun as I’ve never really delved into any books on mermaids before.  Then, you add in the other sea creatures including sexy selkie, Kona, and  the underground or under the sea world in this case and you have the beginning of what promises to be a fresh and interesting series.

However, I didn’t like everyone conversing in their heads in the sea, I would much rather of them had a way to talk out loud instead of all the different channels they were talking on in each others minds.

Also, I found it a bit strange when Tempest went into the Pacific to save Kona and ends up staying there for a couple weeks and that she doesn’t really try to go back to her family to let them know she’s OK.  She thinks about her dad and brothers and how much they are probably worrying about her, but never does anything to put their minds at ease and instead goes in search for the mom she hates.  That just didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

Overall, I thought this was a decent start to a new series.  It wasn’t great, but I think it’s definitely a good start; a world that can definitely be built upon in future installments.  I hope that we get some more depth with the characters in the next book, Tempest Unleashed, as there are some that I think really need expanded upon, such as Kona.  And even though Tempest chose to live in the sea, I hope we get to see more with her dad in the future as I did really like him.  I look forward to seeing what Deebs has in store for us next.