If memory serves, Zoraida Cordova's THE VICIOUS DEEP came to my attention from an article on great trilogies that finished in 2014.
So: THE VICIOUS DEEP. Tristan Hart, wunderkind-slash-manslut, gets washed out to sea, comes back with amnesia, grows a fish tail, finds out he's half-merman, goes on globe-trotting (-swimming?) adventure but mostly in-and-around Coney Island...what's not to enjoy?
It was enjoyable, but at the same time, it was unfulfilling. Much like the Coney Island junk food that Tristan was so fond of, it left me wanting a little more substance.
It felt like every time there was an emotional beat, rather than digging in and exploring it - swimming deeper, as it were - Cordova backed off, skimmed it over or had Tristan make a flippant comment. That can work if it's not overdone, but it felt like this was every. single. beat.
Even the most earth-shattering revelations were barely explored. Meeting a family he hadn't known existed. Hell, discovering he was a magical fairytale creature was basically smoothed over, accepted, and never really re-examined.
Even one of the scenes that had the potential to be beautiful and romantic - when he showed his true form to the girl he loved - barely had any sizzle or spark.
All that being said, THE VICIOUS DEEP was fun and entertaining. It had all the makings of a great caper, and if it had been purely that I might have enjoyed it more thoroughly. But with its YA Fantasy backbone I wanted more.
Incidentally, I've always enjoyed mermaid fairytales since I was a child, stemming, I think, from (a) my own love of the water, at least until the age where body-consciousness kicked in, and (b) the fact that Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID is the first movie I can recall experiencing in my life. I guess it left quite a mark. I don't know.
Either way, I picked up the sequel to THE VICIOUS DEEP, THE SAVAGE BLUE, and have already read it as well. Expect a full report soon!