Tuesday, May 6, 2014

DNF: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly


 Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)
 Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1) by Jennifer Donnelly
The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

”add

Publishes in US: May 6th 2014 by Disney Press
Genre: YA fantasy
Source: Disney hyperion (didn't request)
Series? Waterfire Saga #1

Buy it:Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository

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Did Not Finish
I wrote a post about negative reviews, and how I don't review if I don't finish, and a very wise blogger pointed out that knowing what a blogger doesn't like can be valuable to publishers and authors too. I think that it also helps my readers build trust that I am not just slapping good ratings on everything I read. I have a knack for picking what I will lack based on synopsis and reviews, but that even fails. Then another blogger mentioned she did a did not finish post and I thought it was a great idea. So, here we go:

skimmed to page 36
    I had honestly never heard of Deep Blue when I received it in the mail, but the cover was so nice, and I like the premise. I am hit or miss with mermaids but I was intrigued by the sisterhood bond, and their journey. 
    The beginning did not grab me right away. There was all sorts of fantasy merl talk as well as a prologue that I got nothing out of except she was reciting things, presumingly to call the main character to her in the future. It starts with Serafina waking from a dream--the prologue-- and her mother pressuring her to get ready for the big day (also didn't quite understand, except it was about music) but I, like most others can relate to a nagging mom. She also feels inadequate, that her mom's expectations are too high and though she has set a high bar for herself, it never seemed to be enough for her mom. This is what kept me read/skimming until I figured out the language and the world or Seraphina completely convinced me that I needed to know her story regardless of all of the strange terminology and setting thrown at me. 
   Unfortunately, that did not happen for me. I skimmed, but couldn't get past the royalty talk and the plot didn't pick up for me. I think that this will be great for the right reader because of the detailed world building and the fantasy element, but unfortunately it didn't for me. I saw glimpses of things that would make me connect with her, but they weren't enough. 
That isn't to say that the writing is poor or the characters are poorly constructed, it's personal on my end.
I'd love to see if you have a great review of any of this books and what you loved about it.

Positive Reviews: 

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you think you would want to be a mermaid or a fantasy beast of the earth or air?
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49 comments:

  1. Great review sweetie. <3 I am so sorry that you weren't able to finish this book. I have seen a lot of negative reviews for it :\ Still not decided if I should read my eARC or not. Hmm. Maybe, though :) Thank you for sharing and being honest. <3

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  2. I was a bit thrown by the strange terminology and info dumping at first (which I put in my review), but once I got past the first few chapters I actually really enjoyed this book! The middle and ending was a lot stronger than the beginning, it seems to be the first few chapters that are giving it all the negative reviews. Happy reading :)

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

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  3. Oh that's too bad, Brandi. I haven't had a DNF this year yet, but I think it's important to express your thoughts on why this book didn't work out for you.
    Good luck with the next read!

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  4. Jenea WhittingtonMay 6, 2014 at 9:46 AM

    Sorry you didn't finish this one. It sounded like it had some potential, and I am always up for a good mermaid book, I'll steer clear of this one. :(

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  5. You may like it, I am hit or miss with mermaids and the fantasy descriptions were to much for me

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  6. I've had a few already... this one I almost didn't put on schedule because I wouldn't have requested on my own, but they sent it unsolicited and gave it a chance

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  7. Ah, I just couldn't get that far, but good to know if I ever want a reread

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  8. It might be for you... I just couldn't get past beginning

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  9. I love Jennifer Donnelly, so when I saw this one I grabbed it. It was a DNF for me too. I just don't like "high fantasy" -- my fantasy has to have some real world elements. It's hard to explain, but I couldn't get into the world in this on. Too bad. I'll still pick up whatever else she writes, though.

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  10. No, I get ya on the real world elements, it helps to have grounds for comparison and understanding

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  11. Brandi, I just picked this up and read a few chapters only so far. I love world building, high fantasy and mermaids and that cover just sucked me in. So far, I'm okay with it, but it almost has a middle grade/juvenile age group feel to it.(Again, I'm only a few chapters in.) I read tons of these books with my kids so - maybe this will still work. It seems to be hit and miss, thanks for pointing out what didn't appeal to you, it helps for sure! :)

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  12. Glad you are liking so far, the world building is what I didn't like so it prb is for you

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  13. I'm not always big on mermaid books, actually I'm usually not, but I have a copy of this and have been curious because I've heard the author is amazing. I guess I can only hope that I like it more!

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  14. I don't really like mermaid books, most I've read so far I haven't liked. It's good to know you didn't like it, but I'm also glad you included other people's reviews just in case.


    Ooh nice question. Some kind of air creature would be cool!

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  15. I'm really sorry to hear that you didn't like this one. It's one I'm really looking forward to reading!

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  16. I just saw another review that didn't like this book all that much. I don't think I've heard a lot about this one, but it doesn't sound like my kind of book. Thanks for the honest opinion and great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  17. I'm disappointed about this book, I had high hopes but it seems like many people either DNF'd or didn't really enjoy it. Thank you for sharing your reading experience. I hope her next book works better for you!

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  18. shootingstarsmagMay 6, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    Sorry you didn't enjoy this one. I just read another book today that mentioned how this book read more like an MG than anything else.

    Lauren from www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  19. If you like descriptive fantasy then it may still be a good fit

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  20. I know, since I read Messenger's books about slyphs it really got me thinking

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  21. Yeah, I decided to read it because they sent and wanted to give mermaids another shot.

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  22. Oooh man, I hate it when pretty covers lull us into false hope. Sorry this one ended up being such a disappointment!

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  23. That could affect how I like it too, because besides HP, I don't do much MG

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  24. It probably depends on prior feelings about fantasy, MG and mermaids

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  25. LOL, yes! I would read about a mermaid and underwater dragosn

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  26. Yeah, maybe I would like a movie about it better

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  27. Disney did a fairly big mailing for this one, but sounds like they picked the wrong target audience

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  28. Aside from the lovely cover, nothign about this one appeals to me, I just don't like mermaid books.

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  29. That cover is gorgeous, but mermaid books can be tough. Just something about them makes it really hard for me to connect with (usually, there are some I love). Thanks for the honest review.

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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  30. I feel ya on the mermaid connections. Maybe Ariel set the bar too high for me, lol

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  31. I feel ya girl. I have thought a few were okay, but usually don't work for me either

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  32. I know right? It has no right to look so beautiful

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  33. I feel like every new mermaid books recently has been a complete miss :( sorry you did not enjoy this one.

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  34. Yeah, its been a while since I have read and liked mermaids

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  35. I'm sorry it wasn't for you but I can understand the problem. I actually liked this one though.

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  36. I actually love when I see the same book reviewed on completely different ends of the spectrum show up on my feed. I've seen people absolutely adore this one. It just shows that I'm following bloggers with different tastes, and that is good!

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  37. Great point, we are all different readers

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  38. Yay! I think you are more of a fantasy gal than me, so that might help

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  39. A blogger friend of mine DNF'd this too

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  40. Dang, I hate DNF books, but, hey, it happens! Definitely enjoyed your honest input and why you just couldn't get into it!


    Lovely review!

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  41. I think you're the first person I've seen who DNF this. I'm just like you though and mermaid books are a very hit or miss for me.

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  42. Great review Brandi. It is good to see someone put there thoughts out there about a book they didn't finish. I like how you put in there that it would be great for the right person. Well done!
    I haven't looked at getting this book myself, even though I am a fan of mermaids, maybe I'll give it a try one day!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

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  43. Blah. Blah everywhere on everything. Which is unfortunate b/c (along with aliens *snickers*), I've always been fascinated by the ocean and whatever is hiding in its depths. Not happy about this being such a lame read. And if we're going to talk about what kind of fantastical creature we want to be, I want to be BOTH. There's got to be some Supe out there that can breathe underwater for long periods of time while essentially being a creature of earth or air, right? ;)

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  44. Certainly there is somewhere, and if not, it needs to be written for sure

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  45. No prb. I want readers to trust me and if I finish it is rare that I rate below 3 stars

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  46. Mermaid/sea creature stories are not appealing to me and I can only recall two stories I enjoyed. I haven't seen really positive things for this story, so you're not alone, Brandi. Hope the next read works out better. :)

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  47. Good to know! Still a disappointment but it happes

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  48. I haven't seen any really positive reviews from the bloggers I follow. Your DNF doesn't make me want to read it any more than their reviews did. It's just that sisterhood thing that keeps calling to me. And I'm hoping that the second book is a lot better than the first. So I'll read the positive and negative reviews and see if I can find a happy medium.


    And I would either want to be a mermaid or a dragon, but most people seem to hate dragons. Maybe a mermaid that rides underwater dragons!! I feel some creative writing coming on!!! Not really I have to study!

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  49. Oh no! Too bad, it sounds so cool

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