Friday, July 1, 2011

Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

Tempest Maguire wants nothing more than to surf the killer waves near her California home; continue her steady relationship with her boyfriend, Mark; and take care of her brothers and surfer dad. But Tempest is half mermaid, and as her seventeenth birthday approaches, she will have to decide whether to remain on land or give herself to the ocean like her mother. The pull of the water becomes as insistent as her attraction to Kai, a gorgeous surfer whose uncanny abilities hint at an otherworldly identity as well. And when Tempest does finally give in to the water's temptation and enters a fantastical underwater world, she finds that a larger destiny awaits her—and that the entire ocean's future hangs in the balance.

Tempest Rising is a whirlwind of magic and love and growing up. Tracy Deebs completely skips the "Guess what, you're magic!" phase of this genre; Tempest has known all her life that she's part mermaid, which allows the opening plot to be about her dread of turning seventeen, when the ocean will finally call her home.

Her story was simply sucked me in. The pull between Tempest's human boyfriend and the mysterious Kai, the betrayal of her mermaid mother's disappearance... I just couldn't put it down. And while parts of of the novel remind me of the Little Mermaid, surprise twists and reveals kept me reading right to the end.

The final word: A whirlwind read that deserves several days of undivided attention.

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