The Vicious Deep by Zoraida Córdova is the first book in a series featuring a teen merman.
Tristan never knew he was part merman -- until her almost died in a
freak tidal wave while lifeguarding at Coney Island. Against all odds,
Tristan survives the wave, and is found by his friends three days later.
His only memories of the time he was lost must be hallucinations, since
they feature a malevolent, sharp-toothed mermaid, right? When his legs
shift into a tail a few days later, he begins to realize that his
memories aren't fictional after all. Tristan is the grandson of the
aging Sea King, who is about to declare who his heir will be. Tristan,
son of the king's favorite daughter, is in the running, despite the fact
that he knows nothing of the undersea kingdom or its denizens -- and
doesn't even know if he wants to be king. In spite of his reservations,
Tristan finds himself in a race to recover the three missing pieces of
the Sea King's trident, because if he fails, his beloved Coney Island
and all of New York could be in terrible danger from the very sea witch
he encountered during the tsunami.
This story has its good
points: plenty of action, lots of teenage-boy humor, and a new take on
mermaids (mermen? or, as Tristan would have it, merdudes?). In tone, it
reminds me of the Percy Jackson series, though pitched more for high
school than middle school. It's not really my thing, but I think it will
appeal to a lot of teens who like fantasy and adventure. Be warned, though, that the ending of the story leaves a lot of loose ends.
(Reviewed from a copy borrowed through my library system.)