If you have or will read my review of Tempest Rising, I used to find Tempest a real treat, as I could appreciate her sarcasm, bitterness, and her love of family. Uncertainties are bound to linger after the events of Tempest Rising, but some of her actions really reflected poorly on the girl I really enjoyed before Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs. I don’t know what it is; maybe sequels are meant to bring out that irritable, decidedly bad side in the heroines they involve, but Tempest’s stubbornness took a toll on my enjoyment of Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs. It’s one thing to be indecisive, and be secretive about her uncertainties, but it’s another thing entirely to let that part of her bleed into her very confusing, frustrating behavior.
In Tempest Rising, Tempest’s knowledge of her heredity is clear and instant: she’s half-mermaid, and she’s known for some time now how crazy important her seventeen birthday is supposed to be. We see her struggle through the decision to stay on land or below the sea, the horror of her mother’s abandonment of her family still fresh in her mind and understandably influencing her decision for much of the first book. She does find, however, that there are underwater treasures waiting for her below, including the enigmatic, sexy Kona, who also makes her struggle THAT MUCH HARDER. Her anguish, her torn heart is all very real and wrenching, and I loved that element to her character, how the decision wasn’t at all clear-cut and how Tempest Rising shows how INSANELY DIFFICULT it can be to leave all you’ve known, all you love, behind. I’d felt like Tempest had really grown.
Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs tells me different, tells me Tempest has either regressed under stress or she just isn’t the person I thought she was. Lingering doubts over her choice pervade, but when those doubts leak into her relationships, her way of life—the one SHE CHOSE—I had to use my hand to stop the other from slapping my kindle. She loves Kona, she loves Mark, no, wait—she doesn’t know WHO SHE LOVES. And yet, throughout Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs she claims and repeatedly reminds us all of her feelings for her current boyfriend, how strong they are, how true and everlasting, and blah blah blah. Yet, she turns around not more than a few hours later to leap on the other guy, because the issue isn’t resolved in her heart. It all felt very clichéd, and honestly? Weak. Weak of Deebs and Tempest. If this was the direction to be, I felt like Deebs should’ve pushed it there from the beginning. It was impossible to enjoy the way Tempest—though unknowingly—toys with people’s feelings, pumps their expectations when selfishly she harbors uncertainties that lead her to do things that end up hurting the people involved. Especially when I adore most of those characters.
~The story suffers~
Maybe it was my frustration over Tempest that colors my judgment of the plot, but I felt as if SO MUCH MORE could’ve happened. Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs didn’t show well for all the time spent cooking it up. Where is the excitement of the first book? The thrill and the action? Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs seemed to lack in those areas BIG TIME, with a very few exceptions in mysterious and puzzling discoveries, BUT. BUT, we don’t even get reintroduced to the villain UNTIL THE VERY END. And I enjoy seeing the villains taunt and sneer and threaten, but Tiamat lacks a physical presence—and Tempest’s mental shudders and weird vibes did nothing to bring out any anticipation.
Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs is pretty slow and not nearly as filled. Instead, the plot brimmed with Tempest’s annoying musings on her situation with Mark and Kona. And the hidden pieces of her mother’s past—a woman who turns out to be even more of a stranger than she could’ve imagined. There is so little to hang onto and really sink teeth into—I needed more!
~I didn’t WANT to like the other guy, dammit~
In my review of Tempest Rising, I made it PRETTY DARN CLEAR that I was very much Team Kona. I’ve got a thing for hot, dark, and mystical carrying loads of tantalizing secrets. He made more of an impression on me than Mark. Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs made me feel so UNDECIDED. My loyalties were indeed tied to Kona, but I did find myself unfortunately drawn to the new Mark—possessive, determined, and desperate, which, all of the above, made for some really Sexy Times. Still, as I mentioned, I didn’t appreciate how Tempest handles herself with both guys. Twisting up one’s feelings, then turning around and kissing the other—the other, who, incidentally, is NOT her boyfriend *grumble-sigh*
The love triangle injected so much inconsistency to Tempest’s thoughts—I couldn't trust them anymore. One minute she claims said boyfriend is everything she wants, so sexy and makes her feel so good *rolls eyes* and then next thing she’s saying how it’s just a friendly love, nothing very powerful or intense WHEN SHE JUST FINISHED CLAIMING OTHERWISE. I found myself shaking my head constantly and going back and rereading to check my facts. AND THEY’RE ON POINT. Hence, the ensuing overwhelming irritation toward Tempest. More, I felt cheated. Again, we have the typical love triangle plot device instead of something organic and beautiful and wrenching.
~By the end…~
…I was annoyed and a bit depressed. Here I was thinking that Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs would be all that I’d hoped and more, and then it veered off into an unlikely, unwanted direction. I expected happiness (and, okay, some sadness despite the joy) over Tempest’s decision and her new life. I didn’t want to believe she regretted. I was content with the first half of the book, BECAUSE I liked the story’s direction. UNTIL.
AND YET, I couldn’t put down and DNF Tempest Unleashed by Tracy Deebs. There’s still something undeniably addictive about the book that kept me drawn in and invested, which may be why I reacted so strongly to much of the book’s events. Still, I’d wished for BETTER.
Originally posted at Paranormal Indulgence, 6/5/12