The Vicious Deep
By: Zoraida Córdova
Review By: Anna Rose Johnson
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.
Anna Rose's Review:
I love that mermaid YA fiction is taking the shelves by storm! Don’t hate me, but I think mermaids and mermen are the new vampires. Maybe even better than vampires. Gasp! I mean, they are super hot, can transform in and out of water, and they don’t have the desire to suck your blood. See my point?
The Vicious Deep is one of those books that grabbed my attention from the very beginning. A huge tidal wave crashes into a Coney Island beach, taking Tristan Hart, the main character, out to sea for three days. The bulk of the story begins as he is washed up on shore and follows him through finding out he is a merman and heir to an underwater kingdom.
Tristan is a typical teenage guy whose mind is only on one thing – girls. He is the ultimate player without even trying and because the book is from his POV some parts were a bit graphic for me. However, I was impressed that Zoraida Córdova, being a woman, was able to create such a believable male voice for Tristan. I grew to empathize with Tristan’s character and actually found him quite funny.
During Tristan’s journey in finding out who he really is, you are introduced to a beautifully described undersea world. I honestly wish the characters had spent more time there, learning about the politics of mer-life and meeting more mermaid characters. Instead, Tristan and his posy head back to high school to encounter vicious aquatic monsters and English class.
I felt like the book spent way too much time on little details that didn’t matter. I was 50 pages from the end and already knew there had to be another book – knew there was no way Vicious Deep was ending anytime soon. On that same note, the end felt a bit rushed, like the author knew she needed to stuff in a bunch of information to pave the way for a second book. A little less detail in the areas that added nothing to the plot line would have made the book feel more congruent.
From my review it may seem as if I didn’t like Vicious Deep. On the contrary, I really liked it and can’t wait for more underwater adventure. I’m much harder on the books that I do like, wanting them to be better.
Vicious Deep was an entertaining read, full of intrigue, suspense, folklore and, of course, romance. What more could you ask for?