A copy of The Call of the Deep was kindly sent to me by Tracy Lane in exchange for an honest review.
Everyone says honesty is the best policy, and honestly, I thought this book was terrible. I wanted so badly to like it; I was so ready to love it until I started reading it. I mean, it’s about mermaids, so what’s not to like? A lot, apparently. Mermaids do not a fantasy make. This is chick lit, full of purple prose, a Mary Sue protagonist and silly fluttering heartbeats, and I feel cheated out of a riveting fantasy story about creatures of the deep. I was pretty much done by the end of the prologue, nothing about it made me want to read any further, but then this beauty of a line happened on page nine:
‘Oddly enough, I had this absurd desire to please him, to get on his good side.’
NO NO NO. From that moment I just knew I was going to end up seething with anger over Mericle (which is the most ridiculous name I think I’ve ever heard, perhaps even more ridiculous after her mother’s explanation) and her ridiculous Mary Sue ways, I mean, she just met a guy and he grabbed her hand after jumping in a taxi with her (which made her uncomfortable) and tells her he knows her and she just goes along with it? I’m sorry but no, this is not okay with me at all, and there is no way in hell a pair of crystal blue eyes is going to make me feel any differently, eyes that apparently have blinding powers. Okaaaaay. Mat the mermaid is not making me feel very accommodating towards him with his stalker ways.
Now, the characters. Sweet Jesus, the characters. Usually I can forgive a plot or writing style that I don’t particularly like if I can connect with the characters, for me the characters are what really make a story. Unfortunately there is not a single character in The Call of the Deep that I connected with or even liked. I found them all flat, boring and, a lot of the time, utterly ridiculous – I wanted to bang my head against the wall over Meri’s narrative voice. Of course there was some kind of love triangle, and that bored me too.
The plot is ridiculous and unbelievable. I just couldn’t believe anything that I was reading, and I’m still inclined to believe in Santa so this was a real issue for me. I’ve managed to read a book with no real idea about what is happening and no idea why I should even attempt to care about what is happening. It was a rambling mess of mermaid training and crystal blue eyes, with an incredibly cliché ending thrown in. The writing is a bumbling attempt at prose; the sentences are clunky and Meri’s narrative voice is irritating and juvenile, she sounds like an insipid teenager, not a trainee vet, she rambles on and on about the most inane things disguised as relevant to the story. Here’s a heads up – they’re not.
I don’t know what else I can say except, sadly, The Call of the Deep was not for me and I need to find a thesaurus and look up different words for ‘ridiculous’.
Read: February 25th-26th 2014