Title: The Savage Blue (The Vicious Deep #2)
Author: Zoraida Cordova
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
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 focus racing against him are getting strong, and the sea witch of his nightmares is getting closer.Battling sea drains 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.
When it comes to mermaid stories I am always game. Often, all I actually need to know is that mermaids are involved for me to pick up those books. And that's how last year I found myself reading Zoraida Cordova's debut, The Vicious Deep. And though it wasn't a story I loved, it was one I enjoyed enough to pick up the sequel, The Savage Blue. And I am happy to report that I enjoyed that one even more.
Now that Tristan knows the truth about who he really is, he has to find a way to make his family proud by beating the other champions and taking his grandfather's place as king of the sea. But this whole champion thing might be a little harder than Tristan thought it was going to be. It doesn't help that Tristan has a lot of catching up on the whole merman thing. But as is often the case, there might be more going on than everyone originally thought, putting everyone Tristan cares about at risk.
While I enjoyed the first book, I had my issues with The Vicious Deep. The story was well laid out and moved along at a decent pace but I remember feeling that the action finally really started once I was about 50 pages from the end of the book. And so for that reason I decided to pick up the sequel, The Savage Blue. And it was off to a good start. Right from the first page I was thrown into the action from the end of the previous book. And for a while the action kept up. But then it slowed down until, again, it picked up close to the end of the book. But that doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy the story. Because I did, maybe even more than I enjoyed the story in the first book. The way it would slow down than pick up again almost felt more natural this time around. This might be because there was less setting up that needed to be done which made the story flow more. But regardless of what it was, it has convinced me that I will be picking up the third book to find out how Tristan comes out of all of this.
Here's the thing, I love romance in the books I read. Typically I'm one of those people that thinks along the lines of the more romance the better. But the romance in The Savage Blue kinda of frustrated me. The whole time I was reading the first book, I was rooting for Tristan and Layla because he is obviously in love with her and she with him. And then at the start of The Savage Blue it seemed like progress had been made on this front until it felt like we were back to square one with Tristan and Layla both clearly aware of each other's feelings but not willing to act on them. I can appreciate the situation they find themselves in is quite unusual and that for all they know Tristan is going to have to leave to go live under the sea and Layla wants to protect herself. But still. These are two characters that I've come to genuinely like and keep rooting for, but at times I just seem to get frustrated with their relationship. Hopefully this is something that changes in future installments. Though I will say this, the other characters, in particular the mermaids and mermen currently forced to live outside of the ocean can be quite the entertaining bunch at times...that is when they are not trying to manipulate someone into doing something they shouldn't be doing.
Overall, I enjoyed The Savage Blue more than I did The Vicious Deep. Some of the problems I had with the first book were fixed, though others kept frustrating me as I was reading. But either way, it makes for a mermaid story that is different from the other ones out there. And because I still want to know how it all turns out, I will be reading the next book in this series.