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Thursday, May 21, 2015

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DNF Audiobook Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly (Sophia Is Having Audibly Bad Luck)

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Waterfire Saga #1
Jennifer Donnelly
Narrator: Bea Miller
Length: 7 hours, 23 minutes
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Listening Library
Reviewer: Sophia

Serefina, daughter of Isabella, Queen of Miromara, has been raised with the expectation - and burden - that she will someday become ruler of the oldest civilization of the merfolk. On the eve of the Dokimí ceremony, which will determine if she is worthy of the crown, Sera is haunted by a strange dream that foretells the return of an ancient evil. But her nightmare is forgotten the next day as she diligently practices her songspell; eagerly anticipates a reunion with her best friend, Neela; and anxiously worries about Mahdi, the crown prince of Matali, and whether his feelings toward her and their future betrothal have changed. Most of all, she worries about not living up to her mother's hopes.

The Dokimí proceeds, a dazzling display of majesty and might, until a shocking turn of events interrupts it: an assassin's arrow wounds Isabella. The realm falls into chaos, and Serafina's darkest premonitions are confirmed. Now she and Neela must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the mer nations. Their search will lead them to other mermaid heriones scattered across the six seas. Together they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood as they uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Deep Blue could have been amazing. Donnelly had a pretty good concept going: the world was unique, completely different, and it's obvious lots of planning went into the building – there's a lot of imagery to clearly depict the underwater of the merpeople, the merpeople had their own distinct languages and cultures. The writing, especially the chant during the waterfire and throughout the book by the witches, was poetic and rhythmic.

The execution, however, was poor.

Serafina and her friend, Neela, were faced against formidable odds after Miromara is attacked that could have been really interesting to see them play out. Instead, the two of them run. Throughout the book, they're chased by a person named Traho, who apparently wants them alive for some unknown reason (currently unknown, that is). The two are rescued by the Praedatori, who are apparently a band of protectors who protect the sea from "terragoggs."

Yet, they are attacked. Again. So they run, and get intercepted by Rorrim Drol, the lord of the mirror realm who feeds on fears. And...

Wait for it....

They run again.
I had to use this.
Obviously by that point (when it's almost sixty percent of the book), when they've been attacked and they run or something of the similar sort, and the cycle is repeated quite a few times...
Typical day for Rundus and Sophia
Even the most patient readers become impatient by that point. Either that, or I'm not exactly as patient as some people have said about me (you lovelies are sorrily wrong). Where are the other five? Why have we only found three (okay, one, because two are "found" at the very beginning anyways) by this point? Are we still looking for the mermaids involved by the next book as well? If that's the case, I'm not interested. If it's an entirely different case, then what's the probability that the other mermaids are found quickly and swiftly in the midst of attacking and running? There's really only 40% of the book left to do all of that.

The world, no matter how unique or different it is, or how there's a variety of imagery, won't account with how there's a bunch of made-up language that would have been extremely hard for me to figure out without the audiobook to help me (no thanks to the accent – accents are NOT fun when the bus is chugging down roads and highways). I did, however, love the songspell (Open Your Eyes by Bea Miller) that accompanies the book.

Deep Blue is definitely different from Donnelly's other books, but with all the running from the attacks and rarely anything being accomplished by the majority of the book, I simply didn't have the patience. If anything, I probably shouldn't have lasted as long as I did.

2.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.