Author: Zoraida Cordova
Genre: Mermaids, UF, PNR, YA Contemporary
Publication Date: May 7, 2013 (Sourcebooks Fire – North America)
Source: Publisher-provided ARC
Summary: A storm is coming…
The ocean is a vicious place. Deeper and darker than Tristan could have imagined. Beneath its calm blue surface, an ancient battle is churning —and no one is safe.
In the quest for the Sea Throne, Tristan has already watched one good friend die. Now he must lead the rest on a dangerous voyage in search of the trident that will make him king. But while Tristan chases his destiny, the dark forces racing against him are getting stronger, and the sea witch of his nightmares is getting closer.
Battling sea dragons and savage creatures of the deep, Tristan needs his friends’ support. But they each have their secrets, and a betrayal will force Tristan to choose between his crown and his best friend Layla — the only girl he’s ever loved.
☆: 3.5/5 stars – A good middle book, but it did have a bit of middle book syndrome.
Review: Oh, “Savage Blue”. While I love your basic story, I do feel like you could have been so much more. I definitely can’t wait to read book #3, if just for the showdown with Nieve, but I do feel you could have had so much more happen with this installment. But if you’re a fan of Tristan and co., I think you’ll enjoy “Savage Blue” regardless of my nitpicks. If you’re looking for some vicious mermaid action this year with some old friends, definitely check out “The Savage Blue”.
My biggest complaint about this book: the pacing. It was very, very slow – up until the last third. So there was a good amount of dragging up until that final third of the book. I can see why many early reviewers are all saying the same thing, because I too felt that it was turning into an oracle hunt, and with not much else going on. “Savage Blue” picks up several months after the end of “Vicious Deep”, and Tristan is still participating in the championship, trying to find the rest of the pieces of the trident before anyone else can. Layla, who was one of the most important characters of book one, has been reduced to almost a cameo in this book, making the audience wonder – what’s really driving him? Is it lust for power? Is it for Layla? Is it to go after Nieve, after the events of book one? Is it all three? If it is all three, Layla is a tiny concern (as is Thalia) compared to the first two.
We get more characters in this book, and some there’s neglect going on to ones introduced in book one (Thalia and Layla the biggest examples). We get tons of new maneating merprincesses, a vampire, lots more mermen, and more oracles. This is what aided bogging down the pace, I think – introducing all of these characters. I’m not sure the entire COURT of merprincesses was needed (especially considering the last few Big Reveals of this book), but they were there nonetheless. Not that they were useless – far from it. Expanding the Thorne Hill Alliance was great, especially in the last third of the book. But in terms of merpeople, I’m still not entirely sure we needed everyone we got in this book.
There were some places I wanted to linger a little more – Eternity being one of them, as well as the oracle we only got the barest glimpse of seeing before it all went to hell. I definitely wanted more time there, and I do feel like that was one part of the book we could have lingered without losing pacing since it was so important and such a vital part of Nieve’s quest for vengeance and an essential plot point to so much of keeping the sea monsters sealed, it seemed. So if we get a novella about it, or maybe some outtakes or something in the final edition? That’d be pretty awesome.
The Big Reveals were well done – it made a lot of behavior throughout the book make a lot more sense, and that feeling that a certain mermaid might be a little shifty? I won’t spoil you, but I’ll definitely tell you to trust that feeling. It looks like book 3 isn’t just going to be about finishing the championship, but mostly about all-out war with Nieve. Which I’m completely okay with – Nieve is one of my favorite YA villainesses, and I’m hoping some more expansion and insight into her character, aside from what we’ve been told about why she’s doing what she’s doing. And the one about one certain mermaid? I totally did not see that coming at ALL. Completely blew me away and makes this book worth reading for that reveal alone (aside from other reasons). Even if you do end up wanting to punch him repeatedly at the end of the book. Like I did. So I punched a pillow instead.
Final verdict? While I do feel like this one needed one more edit in ARC form before hitting the shelves, I’m happy with what I got, and I seriously can’t wait until book 3. Team Tristan all the way (even if I do love Nieve). “The Savage Blue” is out now from Sourcebooks Fire, so definitely check it out when you get the chance! This is going to be a mermaid throwdown of EPIC proportions, guys, and you simply can’t miss that.