* This review is spoiler free for The Vicious Deep / The Savage Blue *
I made no secret last year that I really liked The Vicious Deep, the debut from Zoraida Cordova. When Sourcebooks Fire invited me to be part of the blog tour for the sequel, I jumped at the chance to catch up with new merman Tristan and his eccentric band of supporters, and opponents, to his challenge to become ruler of the Sea Court. And although The Savage Blue lacked the same emotional spark as its predecessor, for me, I still enjoyed Cordova's second book, and am looking forward to seeing what she has in store next for Tristan.
It's becoming sadly all too rare to read a second book in a series that a) doesn't try to fundamentally alter the characters, and/or b) drag on and on...and on. The Savage Blue is just as action packed as The Vicious Deep was, if not more so in some ways, now that Tristan Hart knows who he is, and what he's up against. The stakes were higher, the danger was even more real, and with a ticking clock, there was a great, authentic sense of urgency to Tristan's quest. I also loved that the core characters, like Tristan, Layla, Kurt, and Thalia were still themselves, and that Zoraida let their personalities shine clearly through once again!
I feel like I keep coming back to Tristan, but y'all, he is AWESOME. I just loved reading his point of view. Zoraida does a great job of writing a believable, lovable male character. Tristan is just a normal guy, who happens to also be a merman. Tristan MAKES The Savage Blue even more enjoyable than it already would be, just with the secrets, magic, and adventures on the high sea.
So much happens in The Savage Blue that you wouldn't think Cordova could have injected any heart into it, but you'd be wrong. There are some really sweet moments between Tristan and Layla, or between Tristan and his parents. I wanted a little more of those types of moments! But I also loved all the humor in The Savage Blue, another thing I wasn't expecting. I chuckled a few times, and I liked that.
Basically, it comes down to: I need Book 3 now!