When we left off (at the end of THE VICIOUS DEEP), Tristan and friends were on a quest to gather and unite the three pieces of the Sea King's trident to gain the Sea Throne and prevent the oceans from falling into chaos caused by Nieve, the evil sea witch.
THE SAVAGE BLUE picks up pretty much right after, with Tristan on board the a vessel, training with his stoic friend/guardian Kurt and, as usual, skimming over any emotions he experiences.
All things considered, THE SAVAGE BLUE had more heart to it than THE VICIOUS DEEP, which I was happy to see, but it still never delved deep enough for me. I don't know if it was a narrative choice - to keep the plot focused on action and the pace energetic - or a stylistic choice - as if boys don't feel as deeply as girls. I hope it was the former, because I find the latter spurious at best.
Anyone who actually reads this blog knows how much I adore Andrew Smith's books, and all of them feature male narrators who are thoughtful, expressive, and feel things every bit as deeply as female narrators.
Anyway, THE SAVAGE BLUE took a step in the right direction for me, but I needed more. MORE FEELINGS!
Aside from that, it maintained the caper feel of THE VICIOUS DEEP, with more players entering the mix, and some surprisingly complex sociopolitical contexts emerged. I was glad to see that side of the story being fleshed out more. Cordova surprised me at several points, and the twists were well-earned - especially the back-to-back doozies at the end.
As much as I complain about the lack of feels, I actually enjoyed THE SAVAGE BLUE quite a bit. It was fun, fast-paced, and kept me on my toes.
For some reason, finding the final book in the trilogy, THE VAST AND BRUTAL SEA, has proven troublesome. I had to put in a WorldCat request for it at the library, so we'll see if that works out or if I have to break down and buy a copy.