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Deep Blue

(Waterfire Saga #1)

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  16,621 ratings  ·  2,218 reviews
Serafina, 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 forgo ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published May 6th 2014 by Scholastic Inc.
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Jordan Ho Okay, I'm going to disagree with so many commenters here, but this book is not childish. It deals with war, death, and gruesome scenes that I would no…moreOkay, I'm going to disagree with so many commenters here, but this book is not childish. It deals with war, death, and gruesome scenes that I would not recommend any child under the 7th grade to read.(less)
Emilie No, because the four books are telling the story of all of them together and that makes more logical sense.

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Average rating 3.84  · 
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Miranda Reads
Mar 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobook
A Special Girl who happens to be a Princess who needs to Save The World from an Unspeakable Evil...

What. A. Shocker.

The twist is that this is all underwater .

That's right. There's a mermaid secret society who uses magic to hide and protect their kingdoms.

We follow Princess Serafina.

In typical YA fashion, she loses her parents a few chapters in, loses her throne shortly after and loses her entire country almost immediately after that.

Hmm... what a predicament.

It's almost like the heir t
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Actual rating: 2.5
“You don’t look like an outlaw,” Serafina said.
“Or a shark,” Neela said.
“I’m a lawyer, actually, the worst kind of shark.”
This is not a bad book, but the pros in this book are outweighed by the fact that it is an overwhelmingly childish infodump.

There is no cursing in this underwater fantasy, a rave (drug-filled party to us landlubbers) is a all-night wave. An ass is a wrasse. There are no bad-asses, but there are bad-wrasses and jackwrasses.

Money is called currensea. Jerks
Actual rating is 3.5 stars

Deep Blue is as pure as entertainment gets for people like me. And by people like me, I mean people who love puns, journeys that are in scope harrowing but manage to be somewhat lighthearted in the moment, and also just a little bit of awesome feminism and girl power. If you go into Deep Blue expecting the most out of a serious and epic fantasy novel involving intricate mermaid lore and whatnot, you may be a bit disappointed; Deep Blue has scattered remnants of that thr
I was so excited about this series - about MERMAIDS. I had very high hopes for this story. I felt the writing was juvenile. It was written for the young adult market, but at a middle grade level. I enjoyed the puns in the book dealing with water life - clever, but I didn't feel this was a smart book.

I didn't really relate to the characters. I know teens are whiney, but this whole story felt whiney. A pretty cool world was starting to be set up. There is the most powerful kingdom in the oceans, w
Okay-actual rating is a 3.5.

This was a decent underwater fantasy-adventure that has potential. And yet for all the good it is, there is also some head-spinning vocabulary.

Seraphina is the heir the kingdom and her whole life seems set before her before and attack destroys her apparent path. But just before the attack she has a 'dream' of a prophecy she must help with. For she is one of 6 that must save the sea.

This books word choice and creation had me utterly overwhelmed at first. We are given
Jan 25, 2014 added it
DNF at 10%.

The opening was pretty good, but then we meet the protagonist and it's basically The Little Mermaid fan fiction. Serafina's bed is fucking clam shell. She lives in an underwater mermaid city with streets and restaurants and shit, and everything is made of quartz and mother of pearl. She has a pet octopus named Sylvestre.

But what really did it in for me was her nurse being described has having "the legs and torso of a blue crab." TORSO???

I literally can't.
Oct 03, 2013 marked it as to-read
What the what what? Jennifer Donnelly is writing a series about MERMAIDS?
Althea Ann
DNF, chapter 4.

I was sucked in by the beautiful cover.

Unfortunately, the mermaids here are nothing more than some catty modern teenagers with some words substituted and some generic 'fairytale' elements thrown in.
"Merboys" have "merlfriends" (yes, really) and might "swim with a fast crowd."
They wear gowns, have "updos" and dye their hair (yes, all underwater.) And above all, apparently, love gossiping. The mer-court seems like a cliquish high school.

The main character is a mer-princess about to
Stuti Rai

Had I liked Deep Blue, I would have tried to sell it to you for its three elements:

a. Girl Power
b. Diversity
c. Puns

As it so happens, the girl power aspect felt flat and juvenile, the diversity thingy was experienced only once or twice for turbans and saris and it didn't really work, and the puns were disingenuous and stilted. Pooooooh!!!

Jennifer Donnelly's writing leaves a shitload to be desired. The first few chapters of the story are unbearable. With flinchingly detailed and full of bliste
2.5 stars

I adore Donnelly. Revolution and A Northern Light are two of my favorite books ever, so I had absurdly high expectations for this novel. When it comes down to it, Deep Blue has a really good and original story, and while I never thought I'd say this about a Donnelly novel, the problem here was not with the content but the execution. The truth is that Deep Blue reads like a silly, immature, cheesy and childish novel for pre-teen girls. While the descriptions are gorgeous and wildly imagi
Colleen Houck
Nov 17, 2017 added it
Shelves: mermaids
A very complicated underwater world with different cities and cultures. I love the conch shell lessons and the singing of spells. If you're a mermaid fan, then check this one out. ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, ya-fantasy
I LOVED this book. I read it in a Day. Could not put it down. The writer creates an undersea world of Kingdoms and Castles with Mer-people and and exotic undersea pets. The Females in this story are strong. Stronger than they first understand. The themes of Females living up to expectations of others and learning to know who to trust and what to beleive are great for this age and this genre. I believe this is the start of a great series that I cannot wait to read.

I also believe that this will b
Apr 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Book One of the Waterfire series
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Publication Date: May 6, 2014
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

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 oc
Emily Anne
Jun 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
*I received this book for free from the publisher. However, all thoughts and opinions in this review are completely my own.*

Deep Blue is a clever, vivid, and adventurous read! I can already tell that the Waterfire Saga is going to be an epic ride. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this book to fellow book-lovers!

Going in, I expected to really enjoy the novel since I loved Jennifer Donnelly’s previous works. Fortunately, my expectations were met, although I have to say comparing A Northern Light t
Lizzy (Bent Bookworm)
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2016
~*Full review on The Bent Bookworm!*~
“You fear you will fail at the very thing you were born for. And your fear torments you…instead of shunning your fear, you must let it speak and listen carefully to what it’s trying to tell you. It will give you good counsel.”

Feels :

Well, to start off with I got a serious case of deja vu.

Thankfully it moves past that pretty quickly. There are some similarities throughout but I think that’s to be expected given the mermaid subject and the intended audience.
Fafa's Book Corner
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I had my doubts about Deep Blue. Honestly, I haven't ever read a decent mermaid book and I believe this is the best I've encountered so far. For the bucket load of characters this novel has, Donnelly did a brilliant job of giving the major characters some depth and backbone, which I really appreciated. Also, please note that this does read on the younger side of YA fic. Some events and dialogue felt juvenile, but didn't nag me too much. There isn't much romance, even if the start of the novel mi ...more
Bèbè ✦ RANT  ✦
Jan 28, 2014 marked it as to-read

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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...

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Story about sisterhood, bond, and trust.
Quick review for a somewhat elongated read (I ended up reading this in ARC and audiobook form, the audiobook narrated by Rae Miller). "Deep Blue" by Jennifer Donnelly is the first in an ongoing series about a mermaid whose kingdom falls into enemy hands, and she must rise above her circumstances to take back what was lost, with a little help from comrades she meets along the way.

To be honest, instead of classifying this as YA, I would almost say this feels like a middle grade book (though there
Feb 23, 2014 rated it liked it
89 page sneak peek only, I wasn't approved for the rest. Weird. Anyway, Deep Blue read quite a bit younger than I was expecting. The money is called CURRENSEA
and the opposite of a boyfriend is a MERLFRIEND. I must be a grump, because I found it corny instead of cute. I wasn't drawn in enough by 89 pages to finish it a month later when it's released. To be fair, I was expecting a dark tale, not a little mermaid princess.
Jennifer Parr
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars rounded up. I'm liking the storyline (I mean, mermaids!! hello!!!) and already have the next three books ready to binge the series. There are things that get to me, such as how, if they're mermaids, and obviously underwater, then dresses wouldn't "hang" on hangers and hair wouldn't fall around shoulders, like, where is the thought to how things move in water? ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Another Jennifer Donnelly special - meaning that everything, and I mean everything (kids, dinner, laundry, grocery store) - went on hold until I could devour it. Deep Blue is just delicious - I was swept up from the very first pages into this story of fearless young mermaids who join forces to fight a monstrous evil. I loved everything about this book. In keeping with her usual style, Donnelly gifts her readers with an embarrassment of riches - gorgeous descriptions of a breathtaking underwater ...more
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Sooooo another book is all done:) I actually read this book in 2 days but I put the the book up on here like Saturday so yea I'm super excited about that!!! I honestly really enjoyed this book even tho I was a if'y about but it was very entertaining and I would say I would highly recommend this book to anyone that wants to start reading or going into a reading slump. It something that u can go into and slip right bac out because it's not that long of a book, but I didn't really like I got not a ...more
A Book Vacation
Apr 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
To see my full review:

If you’re looking for something completely different, I highly suggest giving Deep Blue a try. Unlike any mermaid novel I’ve read before, this novel takes readers on a chase across the ocean floor as Sera and her best friend attempt to reach the mythological witches from her dreams. As the oceans begin the ultimate war against an unspeakable evil, Sera is whisked away on an adventure that is both harrowing and awesome at the same time
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
Good news: this series will prove quick to get through.
Bad news: I've got 3 more books to get through.

Actually, I overreact. This book was better than I expected. But rarely does good come from forcing myself through the favored YA series of a close friend. Either I lie about how much I like it and end up feeling guilty for the rest of my life or I admit to not liking it and lose a friend. So, see? It is a dilemma.

But I did kind of like this one. I went in with such low expectations that I f
Michelle Wrona
Jun 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: People who are looking for a unique/mermaid read, YA READERS
It just sucks because I usually can never even pick up a mermaid book. And if I do, I hate them. But I'm always such a good person and I always give books a chance. Having read Jennifer's Revolution and liked it, I decided to give this one a chance. Colour me surprised, this ended up being the best mermaid-based book I've ever read.

This was absolutely spectacular and I really liked it! Despite the negative comments and reviews about this being more juvenile based (which really didn't matte
K.K. Summer
Mar 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books
I really liked the idea and the world/plot ... this was the first book in a series and there was little background to be honest but I hope this will come up in the sequels :) Even though I really enjoyed the story and can not wait to read more about the 6 of them :)
Cat Carstairs
Jul 03, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: young-adult
I've wanted to read this for the longest time, but I think I was iffy about it when the main character's name was Serafina (I was reading Serafina and the Black Cloak at the time, so it would've been confusing). Glad I found it again so I can read it! :) ...more
Kathy Davie
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
First in the Waterfire Saga paranormal fantasy series for middle grade readers. The focus is on introducing us to the overall series problem and all the merls taking part.

My Take
It’s cute with a blend of a fantasy mermaid world + teen angst + performance anxiety compounded by what Serfina sees as her fiancé’s betrayal. It’s tension, horrible tension that will soon seem as nothing when Serafina’s world is blown apart.

I loved the description of Serafina’s room and her shell bed, although that matt
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-read
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Jennifer Donnelly is the author of thirteen novels - Poisoned, Stepsister, Lost in a Book, These Shallow Graves, Sea Spell, Dark Tide, Rogue Wave, Deep Blue, Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She is a co-author of Fatal Throne, which explores the lives of King Henry VIII's six wives, for which she wrote the ...more

Other books in the series

Waterfire Saga (4 books)
  • Rogue Wave (Waterfire Saga, #2)
  • Dark Tide (Waterfire Saga, #3)
  • Sea Spell (Waterfire Saga, #4)

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