Book review: Water So Deep by Nichole Giles

24224363Title: Water So Deep

Author: Nichole Giles

Format/Length: eBook / 269 pages

Publisher/Date Published: Jelly Bean Press / February 2nd 2015

Category/Genre: Young Adult / Urban Fantasy – Paranormal – Romance

Source: Netgalley

Goodreads Author’s Website | Amazon

Description: Seventeen-year-old Emma Harris is drowning on dry land.

No one knows what’s happening to her, and she’d like to keep her evolution from human to mermaid a secret, but the truth is getting harder and harder to hide. From her adoptive family, from her friends, and especially from the irresistible James Phelps.

Her time in the ocean is spent dodging a possessive merman, while her time on land is split between caring for her special-needs brother and squeezing in every last possible moment of human life. She soon realizes falling for James is unavoidable when he constantly comes to Emma’s rescue and somehow manages to see through her carefully constructed icy facade to the vulnerability she lives with every day. Everything about James makes Emma yearn for a life on land she just can’t have.

When Emma’s brother disappears on her watch, James is the only person she trusts to help her save him. But even if they can save her brother, nothing can prevent her return to the sea. Whether she likes it or not, Emma is changing—unable to breathe without yielding to the tide—and it’s only a matter of time before she’s forced to surrender forever.

2/5 stars –


Water So Deep was a much better read than I was expecting. I requested it on impulse (like, let’s face it, I do with pretty much everything I read on that amazing site) and it in only a few days. I requested it because a) gorgeous cover, and b) mermaids! I’ve been dying to read good mermaid YA for awhile now (ever since I realized Atlantia was in fact not about mermaids.) So looking at the rating I’ve chosen to give it, you might be wondering why.

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I’ll start with the positives.

  • Mermaids! As outlined above, I love a good mermaid book. This one was both a positive and negative for me, though, but here I’ll stick to the positives. I think mermaids are so underrated in Young Adult fiction – or, you know what? any fiction – so when I come across one, my heart does a little jump of joy.
  • It was well written. Easy-to-read prose, a nice amount of description and backstory, which was nicely balanced out with enough romance, action, and intrigue to keep me interested in the characters and storyline. I never go into detail about storylines in my reviews, but Water So Deep pretty much went like this: girl is slowly dying on dry land and must join her mate in Atlantis. She has a finite amount of days left on land . . . and, of course, there’s a boy. Speaking of the boy, James, I liked how it alternated between his and her point of views (both in third person) as it was nice to see what they were both thinking.

mermaid animated GIF

  • One of our side characters – Emma’s younger brother, Keith – is a special needs kid. I loved him. He was pretty awesome, actually, and that comes from someone who is not usually fond of kids. I just think it’s nice to see a special needs kid in a story – and to actually have some sort of pivotal role in it, too.

But . . . as you can see I didn’t rate this higher than two stars.

  • My first bone to pick with the story is. that. ending. I mean, really!? My frustration stems from the fact that on Goodreads,  a sequel is not listed. So we should assume, from this, that Water So Deep is a standalone, yes? I find this . . . odd. Because if so, then that ending was awfully open, leaving the reader confused and with a tidal wave (haha, get it? Mermaids? Waves? Tidal waves?) of questions that aren’t actually answered. It’s very hard to go into a deeper explanation of why it bothered me so much without spoiling the story for you guys. Now, I don’t, as a reader, generally need my endings finished with a shiny bow-tie, but I need some sort of closure.

  • And . . . the characters. Well – just one character, really. Merrick. He was a little bland for a so-called antagonized (I guess that was what he was supposed to be?) and a little under characterized for me to dislike him in any manner. The writer could have probably done a better job of integrating him into the story instead of just having him pop up every few chapters to have a conversation to Emma. Pretty much, their convos went like this:

Emma: I don’t like you! I’m not going to Atlantis with you! Leave me alone!

Merrick: But you must! I am your mate! It is your destiny!

Sigh. I wished there was something . . . more there.

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  • Atlantis itself. The mermaid-y world was vaguely explored at the end, and we catch a glimpse into Emma’s true world, but it was scant compared to the amount of time which was spent on land, doing boring, human things. Like school. Again – this is why I think there might be a sequel in the future. The author just has so, so much more to explore!

Overall it was a fairly enjoyable read, but with some more fleshing out of characters, worlds, and some closure (if there is not indeed a sequel – I am really not sure at this point) it would have been ever better!

Thank you to Netgalley and Jelly Bean Press for this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.


8 thoughts on “Book review: Water So Deep by Nichole Giles

  1. Mermaids are wonderful aren’t they? It sucks that the world wasn’t explored properly (and that Merrick was so bland). Oh well, I mean it’s not as if I’ve read a pretty good mermaid book that wasn’t Children’s Lit anyway! :)

  2. Hmm a lot of people were really excited about the premise of mermaids but like you, after reading it, they didn’t love it. And it’s such a shame that the mermaid world wasn’t expanded as much and characterization fell flat.

  3. Another mermaid book bites the dust. I am really put off by anything mermaidy after reading Of Triton and Atlantia, and until I hear otherwise, I don’t think I’ll pick up any more. The world building in here sounds completely poor, and there always has to be a romance for some reason. Great review Kara!

  4. I actually laughed myself silly at your opening line, giving it 2 stars and it being better than you’d expected. You’re so funny Kara :D I can see you weren’t expecting much at all. Merman :D How can anyone say that without smirking. It sounds as ridiculous as this book does to be honest. You would think with no many merpeople books being released (is merpeople the correct term? who the hell knows), that SOMEONE would have got one right by now.

    Sorry this one didn’t work for you poppet, hopefully your next read blows your socks off <3

    • BAHAHAHA. Well, I was expecting to give it one star! I didn’t think I’d like it AT ALL. And, well, you know me. I am a harsh star-giver. ;) Argh, I just want to read GOOD MERMAID BOOK. But lol yeah, the term merman does sound a little silly, doesn’t it?

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