Book Review: Into the Deep by Missy Fleming

No one understands the fury of the ocean like Zoey.

Ten years ago, she lost her leg in a freak shark attack. The night after her sixteenth birthday, she has yet to accept her awkward prosthetic limb or the fact she will always be different. Wary of the sea, and its hidden threats, she ventures to a bonfire at the beach. She’s mesmerized by its awesome power, wondering what she ever had to fear, until a rogue wave sweeps her into the cool, salty water.

Zoey believed mermaids were creatures of legend, characters in silly children’s stories, but it’s hard to ignore the captivating tail that’s suddenly appeared, or the sense of finally being whole. She abandons her life on land in search of answers about who she really is and where she came from.

What she discovers is a kingdom full of intrigue and danger, as well as a royal father she never knew existed. Settling into her role as a mermaid princess, she learns her family is under attack, both on land and in the water. Raging storms swell up, threatening coastal cities, and sea levels rise practically overnight, endangering the lives of everyone she loves. Determined to stop the strange phenomena, Zoey becomes caught up in the race to track down what, or who, is responsible for the catastrophic events.

But, Zoey possesses another secret, one born of legend and more powerful than any mer or human can imagine.
Release Date: October 23, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from author
Reviewed By: Kelli
I love a good mermaid tale, and Into the Deep was a fun, fast-paced read.  I liked Zoey right from the start of the story.  She is 16 and has a prosthetic leg due to a shark attack when she was six.  Zoey is an upbeat, tough girl who handles her disability with grace and aplomb. 

Zoey discovers that something is going on with her when her school visits an aquarium on a field trip and the fish literally dance for her and follow her around. The scariest part, though, is that the sharks try to bust out of their aquariums to attack her again! 

Zoey finally gets brave enough to venture into the ocean: she feels drawn to it but at the same time is terrified of another attack.  What happens when she's submerged in salt water blows her mind: her legs turn into a mermaid's tail.  Zoey has to decide what to do: try out the mermaid life (the only time she's ever felt healthy, whole, and pain free) or remain on land with her mother.  

I liked the conflict in this book, and the decisions Zoey makes.  I loved the imagery---it was outstanding.  Zoey's powers were unique and not entirely unexpected---it seems like heroines in paranormal YA stories always have some kind of special power.  But, I like the way Fleming created Zoey's power, and the way she grew into her strengths. 

Into the Deep is the first book in a series and I'm looking forward to book two.  Fleming ended the story with anticipation, but not a total cliffhanger---I love it when authors do that---I hate cliffhangers!  I'd recommend this book to fans of paranormal YA and especially fans of mermaid stories. 


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