This month New York based author Jennifer Donnelly (who we just exclusively interviewed) has taken us on the next step of our harrowing underwater adventures in her Waterfire Saga with the release of her new novel Dark Tide. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Disney-assisted series, the Waterfire Saga Dazzling mermaids make up the fantastical underwater realms that Jennifer Donnelly has created in her
Released on October 13, Dark Tide signifies a return to Donnelly and Disney's Waterfire Saga. Things have gotten more desperate since we left our six heroines at the end of Rogue Wave, but the brave merls are equally determined to finish what they were destined to start.
Tales of intrigue, political strife, and dangerous adventure make up the bulk of Donnelly's latest addition to the Waterfire Saga. Although the outlook could be bleak, Serafina and her partners admirably carry on with their seemingly impossible tasks. A once timid Serafina has become the fierce leader of the Black Fin resistance group. Our young Regina begins Dark Tide on a dangerous mission in the depths of her former palace on the hunt for treasure; however, her journey reveals a much more unexpected yet important prize. After a close escape from her uncle's warriors, Neela, she and the other leaders of the Black Fins flee for sanctuary from Miromara and their daunting Death Riders. How does our relatively untested warrior queen find a place for her people while continuing to fight for justice, especially when her upper ranks seem to be riddled with a traitorous informant and the false queen of Miromara has placed a bounty on her head?
Meanwhile, Sera's partners continue to hunt for their Talismans to some unexpected results. Along the way, the eternally prepared Becca finds herself thrown for a loop when she is reunited with Astrid, the final member of the Six. After a close encounter with some Death Riders, the duo develop a closer friendship, but is it close enough for Astrid to reveal her darkest secret to her newfound partner? Once she decides whether or not to open up, she finds herself faced with a new set of horrors upon her return to Ondalina, where the proud warriors are faced with a serious threat from Vallerio. Similarly, Becca finds herself charged with an impossible task. How will she surmount a force of nature to achieve her goals, and how will she and Astrid deal with the love that they discover in the most unexpected of places?
Ava continues on her journey towards the Freshwaters of America, under the loving (if slightly terrifying) protection of her seeing-eye piraña Baby. Armed with the gift of foresight, Ava believes that her mission to retrieve her Talisman will also reveal the reason that the gods took away her vision in her youth. When she sees a vision of a Death Rider ambush, how will Ava proceed with her godly mission?
While all of her friends are actively engaged in their missions Ling is imprisoned on one of the Rafe Mfeme's trawlers, where she discovers that an unspeakable evil still roams the seas. She must plan an escape, or else she fears that she will succumb to the nightmarish reality of the Death Rider's prison camp leaving her friends unprepared. How will a reunion with a previously lost character help send her onto the next step of her adventure?
Dark Tide ends with yet another heart stopping cliffhanger that is guaranteed to leave you hungrily awaiting the release of the final book of the Waterfire Saga, Sea Spell. Trust us when we promise that you'll be going crazy as you read the last few sentences of the final chapter... WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?!
Dark Tide provides readers with a more developed introduction to the lives of the Merrovignia and their varied customs. We delve deeper into the most ancient Miromara, exploring hidden caves and abandoned places, but we also experience several other realms and their different cultures. Readers travel under Arctic icecaps into the resplendent yet barren world of Ondalina, where the harsh environment breeds a strong will to survive. We explore ancient shipwrecks, forbidden temples, homes to dangerous spirits, whale burial grounds, goblin wastelands, and so many other environments, all of which are lovingly depicted in Donnelly's expressive writing style.
Donnelly's young heroines and their many allies inspire young readers as they overcome their individual demons while remaining true to one another. The Six prove that they are strong on their own, but infinitely stronger when joined together. As a group they overcome bullies with the same determination they use to face down inexplicable evil. They show the importance of setting goals and prove that with faith almost anything is possible, as well as the importance of working as a team.
Most impressively, Donnelly continues to inject her underwater saga with a call to action for readers. In Dark Tide, humans (or terragogs) are depicted amongst the most evil of characters. With their selfish and thoughtless actions they are just as dangerous to the merls as Abbadon, and Donnelly is alerting readers to a very serious reality. Dark Tide calls readers to think about the results of their careless actions. She alerts readers to the grim realities of litter and the effect it has on sea life, as well as humanity's sometimes destructive nature. Imagining Donnelly's stunning underwater realms is sure to leave you more conscientious of your actions.
Overall Donnelly's Dark Tide is another fantastic addition to the Waterfire Saga. Serafina and her friends are so much closer to the end of their journey; however, they still have so far too go to achieve the unthinkable destruction of Abbadon. Throughout their adventures Donnelly continues to paint a truly incredible and fantastical surrounding that is rich with detail and warmth. The enchanting novel furthers the story, leaves you wanting more, and entirely captures your mind in the most amazing of worlds!