Book Review: Rogue Wave (Waterfire Saga #2) by Jennifer Donnelly

Reviewed last year, Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1) was a fast paced and highly enjoyable read about the undersea adventures of a group of young mermaids.

Deep Blue was good, but it turns out I enjoyed the sequel, Rogue Wave, even more.

Warning: This book review will spoil the plot of Deep Blue, so if you’ve not read that yet, please go check out my review.

Available from: Amazon Kindle and BookDepository
Goodreads: Rogue Wave (Waterfire Saga #2)


What’s it about?

RogueWaveIn this exciting sequel to DEEP BLUE, Serafina uncovers more clues about the talismans, Neela ventures into a sea dragon’s nest, and Ling learns the identity of their foe.

Serafina, Neela, Ling, Ava, Becca, and Astrid, six mermaids from realms scattered throughout the seas and freshwaters, were summoned by the leader of the river witches to learn an incredible truth: the mermaids are direct descendants of the Six Who Ruled-powerful mages who once governed the lost empire of Atlantis. The ancient evil that destroyed Atlantis is stirring again, and only the mermaids can defeat it. To do so, they need to find magical talismans that belonged to the Six.

Serafina believes her talisman was buried with an old shipwreck. While researching its location, she is almost discovered by a death rider patrol led by someone familiar. . . . The pain of seeing him turned traitor is devastating.

Neela travels to Matali to warn her parents of the grave threat facing their world. But they find her story outlandish; a sign that she needs to be confined to her chamber for rest and recovery. She escapes and travels to Kandina, where her talisman is in the possession of fearsome razormouth dragons.

As they hunt for their talismans, both Serafina and Neela find reserves of courage and cunning they didn’t know they possessed. They face down danger and death, only to endure a game-changing betrayal, as shocking as a rogue wave.

What’d I think?

Last year I really liked Deep Blue, giving it four stars even though some of the dialogue choices were a bit out of place (I distinctly remember someone using the term FOMO). The world was well constructed, the magic system of songspells was beautifully crafted and the main characters were varied and interesting.

It seems Jennifer Donnelly took notice of the dialogue issue while writing the follow up, Rogue Wave. It flows more naturally and is a far better book because of it. Plus with all of the world building out of the way in the first book, we are dropped straight into the exciting parts of the plot.

Full of twists, betrayals, and new alliances, the story of Rogue Wave flows at the perfect pace all the way until the heart thumping crash at the end.


Rogue Wave is again focused on Serafina and Neela in the continuation of their search for the missing talismans, and the aftermath of the invasion of Cerulea. We get some small conversations via songspells with the other “merls” but I really hope we see more of them in the next instalment.

Donnelly should be commended for her attention to detail when describing the world and the actions of the folk who live within it. Every word is carefully chosen to sell you on the fact that these girls are living under water. Really my only question here is, how are these people drinking cups of tea? I wonder if there is an in-world explanation for that one?

What’s the verdict?

Rogue Wave is a highly enjoyable sequel, I can recommend the Waterfire Saga to fans of YA books looking to get into some exciting mermaid adventures.


I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Read more about my review policy.

This book is available on the Kindle book store, often cheaper than the paper version. I generally read my books through the Kindle eReader or the free app on my Android phone.


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