The Vicious Deep starts out with a guy narrating for a change, which was nice. Not only that, but the voice was amazingly well done — it felt authentic and like what an average teenage boy would really think and say (as far as I know… I’m a girl). This debut novel had a lot of great funny, sarcastic moments and lines. I could really visualize all the characters and feel their personalities.
But, as I was reading, I felt that the plot was very jumpy. It went from one thing to the next to the next to the next and I didn’t feel I knew why things were happening or why I should care. I didn’t feel a strong overall conflict that the main character, Tristan, was trying to overcome. I started out loving the voice, the characters, the setting at Coney Island, and the interesting take on mermaids, but the plot felt contrived and it just ruined it for me. I found myself forcing myself to finish it by the end. A lot happens in the story as far as events go, but the pace felt slow because I didn’t understand why things were happening. Why does he go to the island? WHY does he even want to participate in all these events? I really just didn’t get it.
Overall, it had a very strong and interesting voice that I loved reading, but I just wish the plot was a little stronger.
Rated: High, for some mentions of teen drinking/smoking, several crude sexual references, and strong language (I stopped counting f-words after 10 or so).