Review: Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly

Rogue WavROGUE-WAVEe by Jennifer Donnelly
Genre: Supernatural, Adventure, Romance, Middle-Grade
Published by: Disney Press
Pages: 320
Format: E-Book
Rating: ★★★
Deep Blue (#1)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

Most importantly, what a beautiful cover.

‘Rogue Wave’ had a lot to prove as the sequel to ‘Deep Blue’, a book that became less impressive as it continued on. ‘Deep Blue’ ended at a very climatic battle, with the six mermaid friends swimming into a mirror in order to escape from the hands of the enemy. I thought we would be instantly thrown back into the action at the beginning of this novel, but was severely disappointed.

The book began with the six mermaids having parted ways (when previously they’d been told they were strongest when together) and only three out of the six mermaids had a prominent role in this story; Sera, Neela and Ling. Becca, Ava and Astrid were hardly mentioned, and since we didn’t really get to know them at all in the first book, I was frustrated that they were still minor characters. Heck, calling them minor characters is an overstatement: they were basically non-existent.

I was especially surprised that the mermaids had split up to go on their quest, because, yes it would be quicker if they went their separate ways, but the blurb promised me an adventure with all six mermaids. There was no way I wasn’t going to be put out at their absence if I was expecting them all to be equally present.

Sera, Neela and Ling (and I assume the other three) are trying to find talismans that link to their Antlantian ancestors in order to defeat the villain of the novels and reclaim their realms. The third person narrator lent itself well to this story, as we were able to focus on both Sera and Neela as they were split up. Overall, I preferred Sera’s part of the story. Although a lot of what happened to her was very convenient (Oh no, I’m going to be attacked by death riders, oh look, there’s a secret safe house! Oh no, this ghost woman is going to kill me, oh look, this diamond is helping my life force! Oh no, my true love is a horrible person, oh look, he loved me all along!) there was a lot more adventure compared to Neela, who spent most of her sections just running away from different threats – and when she did do something adventurous, like defeat a sea dragon, it was only dwelled on for about a page of the novel. Brilliant.

This book was just as pun-y as the last and especially liked the use of transparensea spells (how many transparensea pearls are there? Are they hard to find? If so, the stock must be seriously low) to get out of tricky situations. I definitely think that this book was better than the first as there was a lot more going on, however, it didn’t feel as bitty as the last book. Everything had some sort of purpose, which would later be explained and the ending wasn’t ridiculous.

If this is a trilogy, I think the next book as been well set up, and I look forward to finding out how Becca, Ava and Astrid did on their half of the quest. (A lot of days seemed to pass in this book and I found the time scale quite hard to follow between Sera and Neela, so hopefully that will also be resolved)

My expectations for this series is for it to only get better, as there is a battle coming up, and with the combined powers of the six mermaids, it’s such to be exciting. Overall, I’d give this book three stars, because the book didn’t deliver what was promised on the blurb and the convenience of the story drew away from the action and suspense. Definitely recommended to girls age 10-12!

Review: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly

Deep Blue by JennDeep Blueifer Donnelly
Genre: Supernatural, Romance, Middle-Grade
Published By: Disney Press
Pages: 340
Format: E-book
Rating: ★★
Rogue Wave (#2)
Where to Find: Goodreads | Amazon

The Waterfire Saga: Deep Blue is a book that I would recommend to girls of around ten to twelve years old. Although marketed as a young adult book, after researching the author’s website, her intention was to write for her ten year old daughter. With those criteria, I think she’s succeeded.

This book has a lot of elements within it that are important when writing books for children, for example, friendship and self belief. Set under the sea in a very developed (though not entirely explained) mermaid world, it’s perfect for girls that want a tame introduction to fantasy before they try their hand at ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ (A recommended reading age of at least 14.)

However, I found that the first 25% of the book (accurate due to Kindle) had a completely different feel to the rest of the story. Seraphina, the main character, is worried about fulfilling her duties as a princess and whether the guy she’s betrothed to still likes her. All trivial stuff, right? Then, wham bam, both her parents die in an assassin’s attack and suddenly it’s all ‘the-fate-of-the-world-is-on-your-shoulders’ type stuff. What?!

Although the book moved at a fast pace, with a new thing happening (and a new character being introduced) basically happened on every page, nothing was explained to its full extent, leaving me feeling at a loss for what was happening.

So, I got that the two main characters were on a quest, suddenly changing from weak willed to strong females in a matter of seconds with no real gradient of change, and they had to find four other girls to go and fight down this monster. The execution of this quest wasn’t exactly Rick Riordan standard. Although the girls were strong in their own way, they relied a lot on getting rescued and other people taking the bullets (or poisoned arrows) for them. They moved from place to place, in a constant state of ‘flee-the-bad-guys’ without any attempt at facing their problems.

When it came to finding the other girls, it happened very abruptly and clumsily. Ling, the first girl to join Seraphina and Neela, was just sat nonchalantly in a café! The other two girls, Ava and Becca, who at first I could distinguish between, were found together getting attacked by evil ghosts and the last girl, Astrid, was your classic non-believer and slightly evil one. Everything was just too quick and…


That’s the only word to describe this book. The girls discovered hidden powers at just the right moment, with camoflauge spells only working at the last seconds and guards wouldn’t do a full sweep of their hideout.

The ending also had a sense of convenience. How was it the six girls, barely able to use magic, were able to fight down the biggest threat and win as soon as they joined forces? Of course, the threat couldn’t be completely diminished, as this is only the first book in a series. The threat will return but in the meantime, what do all the girls have to do? You guessed it.


Overall, I’d give this book 2.5 stars. Not impressed. I didn’t feel for any of the characters, primary or secondary, as we basically only learnt their names and the colour of their tails. Not much to get emotionally attached to. However, perhaps it was the fact that I’m seventeen, and not ten that stopped me from enjoying this book to the maximum.