Tempest Rising - Tracy Deebs **** Review contains some spoilers ****
"Why can't you just tell me?" It was my turn to reach out for him, to grab his hand. "Because you're not ready for the answers yet."

Does it sound familiar? It doesn't? Then this is certainly the right pararnormal teen romance for you. For me it is like a multi-echo-déjà-vu and therefore impossible to bear. I think it is probably not the author's fault or the book's. Perhaps I have just consumed too many stories of its "kind" in too quick succession and now this sort of brain-candy is not tasting juicy and exotic anymore, but sticky-sweet and artificial on the verge of causing nausea. The undeniable fact is: I am 65% in and I just cannot take it anmore. Some of you may rightfully tsk now and say "Could have told you so." My excuse for preordering the book with rather high expectations is that I have been adoring and unsuccessfully craving mermaid-themed stories since reading Evelyn Kolnberger's Der Sommer als Nixe kam for the first time as a kid - or even earlier, since delving into Ottfried Preussler's Der kleine Wassermann, and nowadays Urban Fantasy books featuring mermaids and other merfolk heroines flood the market and beckon my burried mermaid-obsessed inner child with supposedly unique settings, unforseen twists and unparalleled emotions. Plus, I have to stress that - although it might seem to be so, I am not yet fed up by the complete paranormal romance genre. Even now I occasionally encounter a story that boldly leaves the path of the mandatory plot-formula (yes, it is possible), or - though following it - plants a character set in front of us that is too life-like and too likable to be off the rack und thus saves the day. Alas, balancing matters of the mentioned sort or others are sadly missing in "Tempest Rising". What is mentionable are the accute descriptions of the weather - thunder storms, churning oceanic water and so on. The rest is "business as usual" clad in a sparkling - oh, pardon me, I meant fluorescent - skin of not-so-new mermaid lore:
- There is a girl - with hidden powers and open affinities. Her mom, a mermaid, left her family for the ocean, puzzling her daughter with a cryptic good-bye letter that promised changes and explanations in abundance to come.
- There is a boyfriend of the harmlessly cute and jealous variety. The reader is expected to like him but to let him drop with a sad, but short, sigh when the worthier - aka superhuman - angle of the paranormal love-triangle makes his glow-in-the-dark-tattooed-and-silver-eyed entrance and captivates heart and soul of the heroine with the forming of in instant connection/attraction/recognition/lust/tugging/whatever:
“I couldn’t help the way I responded to Kona, though – every inch of my body (and most of my concentration) was tuned toward him like he was a lightning rod. There didn’t seem to be anything I could do about it.“
- Said supernatural love-interest is not immortal, but very old with an even longer life expectancy and thus very mature - opposed to the heroine - and very experienced in the pleasure-giving department. Certainly the heroine is not really mortal, too.
- Said experienced, fluorescent instant-lover turns out to be filthily rich and - this comes as a shock (or not) - heir to a throne (how could he not, good looking as he is). By the way, there was one thing that bugged me: The heroine had to swim through a very, very tight dark tunnel to reach his not-on-human-maps castle and is told that it was the only way to get there, but then his room is full of old books, DVD and state-of-the-art entertainment-systems and everybody is clad in hip designer clothes.
- The heroine herself is the long awaited daughter of a very influential person, and - because of an ancient prophecy that mentions her very name - the only hope to restore the peace to the merfolk-world. Her probable royal future inlaws therefore fall around her pearly, tattooed neck and declare she was worth the wait. Oh, yeah.
- There is an evil, evil opponent with evil, evil minions who will be quieted or fought or converted by the heroine somehow. I don't care, but I can imagine perfectly well.
- And finally there is the not to be missed page-consuming dance of secrecy around the difficult and dangerous and uncomprehensive questions of what-kind-of-creature-the-supernatural-guy-is and of what-the-hell-is-the-problem-down-here. Both questions are answered - after a lot of screaming and trust-me-pleading and it's-too-early-too-tell-repetitions - right according the lines every half-experienced reader had already guessed chapters before.

This will not be the last mermaid story I have tried to enjoy. And I believe it might be perfect for a lot of those paranormal romance fans, who do not expect diversity, but long for slightly different versions of what they already know and like.

One of my straying thoughts, which amused me a bit, was: "Poor Stephenie Meyer. You said you wanted to hop on the mermaid-band-waggon. But your fluorescent mer-prince-story has already been told. Now what? Talking budgies or a Persephone retelling? It doesn't matter. But you have to be quick. Trends shift as quickly as the incoming tides these days."