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review: rogue wave – jennifer donnelly

Rogue Wave by Jennifer Donnelly
Series: Waterfire Saga
Published January 6th 2015 by Disney Hyperion
Genre: fantasy, middle grade, young adult, paranormal, mythology, mermaids

links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

rating: ★★★★


Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

goodreads review with spoilers!

As compared to Deep Blue, I liked Rogue Wave so much more. The plot felt more concrete and developed. It was an incredibly fun read, really fast-paced and filled with action. Why wouldn’t I want some kick ass mermaid fighting? I finished the book within a day (it’s been so long since I’ve read in a day). 

I definitely connected more with the characters in this book as compared to the previous book. From the six that were introduced in Deep Blue, we zoomed into two characters’ gruelling quest. I wasn’t expecting the crew to split up, but I was contended with that decision. Half of the book was focused on Serafina’s personal journey, and the other half was with Neela whose adventure was super exciting.

Serafina became so grown up after Deep Blue. Her character development was so tangible, and it felt that she truly learned from her mistakes and is determined to help her people in the upcoming war. She still has her impulses but she is much more matured and tries her best to fight regardless of the situation. Neela was amazing. She was strong-willed and fearless ever since the beginning; her bravery really shined when she has to make decisions within split seconds.

Even though it was nice that the book revolved around Serafina and Neela, I wanted the other four mermaid’s too. The only time they appear was only when Sera or Neela are trying to contact them. The book was full of suspense. I’m always on edge in case Serafina and Neela get into trouble.

I had a tough time with all the info-dumps and the mer language while reading Deep Blue, but I’m definitely more accustomed to the language/spelling used now and there’s not much massive info-dumps anymore.



my aesthetic for rogue wave




“Love’s the greatest magic of all.”

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