Mitch's Reviews > The Vicious Deep

The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova
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's review
May 04, 2012

liked it
Read on May 04, 2012

Really liked how this book started, but also felt it kind of runs out of steam and collapses towards the end. The beginning though, is absolutely hilarious. Normally books by female authors from male points of view are hit or miss for me, because, no offense, but a lot of female authors write guys like how girls expect guys to behave, not how we actually behave, but I had a stupid grin on my face through most of Part One because Tristan just spouts guy humor. Really, while I was reading this at first, I kept thinking The Vicious Deep was a complete misnomer because everything was just so ridiculously funny.

I'd probably quote every other line of Part One if I could, but it'd take too long cause I'd be busy laughing, so I'm just going to have to settle for a couple of choice quotes *still laughing while typing, and I assure you all of these are even funnier in context*. (view spoiler)(view spoiler)(view spoiler)(view spoiler) The number of Disney references and mildly dirty jokes Cordova has managed to cram into this thing is astounding, and even though it's an hour of my life I'll never get back, I don't regret it one bit. Good times, Part One.

Part Two, not so much. Cordova does humor really well, but serious is sadly not her forte. Maybe it's because Tristan's narration is really dry, and his dry humor is excellent, but just plain dry narration doesn't work that well - it gets kind of boring. As long as the jokes kept coming, I kept laughing along, but once it was time to get serious, get into the quest portion of the book, basically latter half of Part Two and Part Three, I wasn't really feeling it. Didn't really feel Layla's or Marty's role either, she felt more like a friend who happens to be a girl and he felt like comic relief that just didn't work. Add in alot of the explanations for the mythology that Part One glossed over also falling into here, like a catch all, and basically, while nothing in this part's boring, it wasn't the same or as good either.

And then Part Three was a complete let down. Part One excelled at being simple, Part Three was just too convoluted for its own good. The plot itself was fine, searching for pieces of a trident that'll help Tristan lead the merfolk while fending off an evil greataunt, and everything connected together logically, but it just felt that too much was happening, that they'd spend five pages in this scene doing this and then run off into that scene to fight those for five more pages. I really wished this part was simplified, with fewer scenes overall and more time spent on each, because there were some great action scenes that I just felt could've used at least a few more paragraphs and a couple of filler scenes I felt could've been left out. Also think hard breaks were overused here, a couple more smooth transitions could've evened things out. Oh, and there are a few character deaths towards the end too, and none of them, no matter how much they're supposed to affect Tristan, had much of an effect in reality because we stay on each scene so briefly. Add in the jokes here being hit or miss, and the entire effect is that as I feel like I'm meandering along, following a trail of breadcrumbs in all these random directions, and I end up getting only the murkiest sense of how all these scenes are contributing to Tristan's overall quest.

I still like the book, I think it's rather unique, even among mermaid books which seem to be popular right now and one of the few I've felt was written with guys at least in mind, great humor, lots of action. But the plotting could've been tighter, especially in Part Three, and the humor a little more consistent, so it's 3.5 stars rounded down from me.
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