Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly | Audiobook Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly | Audiobook ReviewWaterfire Saga, Book One: Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly
Narrator: Bea Miller
Length: 7 Hours 23 Minutes
Series: Waterfire Saga #1
Also by this author: A Northern Light, Revolution, These Shallow Graves, A Crown of Wishes
Published by Disney Electronic Content on 2014-05-06
Genres: Adolescence, Fantasy & Magic, Nature & the Natural World, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe. When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Why Did I Listen To This Book?

I was initially interested in Deep Blue because I am a Jennifer Donnelly fan girl. Like, I could take or leave mermaids. However, I can not just take or leave Jennifer Donnelly’s writing. I mean, both Revolution and A Northern Light had me practically highlighting every other passage. I am saving The Tea Rose for just the right time. When I saw Deep Blue I knew I had to read it at all costs. So, I requested an ARC and then because I am totally 100% lazy sometimes, I obtained the audiobook and began to listen to that, as I figured I could certainly make my way through this book much faster than if I was traditionally reading it. Kind of a mistake you guys, because I just did not gel with the audiobook. I wish you could see my face of disdain while listening to the narrator. I guess what I am getting at is, I think I might need to re-read Deep Blue but as a physical copy to see if I like it better sans awful narration.

What’s The Story Here?

Basically the book opens with a prophecy. Six mermaids will come together to protect their hidden world within the ocean from the prying eyes of humans or terragog, as the book calls them. At least that’s how I think it’s spelled in Deep Blue, I did listen to the audiobook after all. Anyways, the main character of Deep Blue is Serafina. She’s a mermaid who lives in the Mediterranean Sea and is about to go to her betrothal ceremony to a prince named Mahdi. Unfortunately for Sera, the dark visions she has been having about this evil thing come to pass and at her ceremony, her mother is assaulted by a poisoned arrow. Sera then has to find the other five mermaids so that they can come together and defeat the evil and protect the ocean.

How Is The World Building?

If anything, I feel pretty positive about the world building in Jennifer Donnelly’s latest book. Deep Blue is set in the ocean and I think that Donnelly does a fab job using ocean life and information in her story. Like, we get to read about different fish and such. I also liked reading about how the mermaids keep their world hidden from humans. I like how there are different factions and kingdoms of mermaids. I liked reading about the societies within the ocean. Seriously, that’s one of the coolest things about this book. Also, reading about certain like crystal ball type objects was neat too.

How Is The Characterization?

I feel like my brain is kind of broken, as I type this at 7:30 a.m. before work because I am kind of blanking on my feelings about the characters. Let’s see, I didn’t feel too strongly one way or the other about any of the characters in this book. Let’s see. I liked Neela, who from what I remember is Sera’s best friend and totally awesome and another princess. A few of the characters had hard to pronounce names, but that’s not really a character trait at all. OH OH! I know, the characters were all pretty diverse, like for fictional creatures, they seemed to have different ethnic backgrounds instead of defaulting to white mermaids or whatever. I did like that A LOT.

What Was The Narration Like?

Well, so far this year, I think that Deep Blue has the worst narration I’ve listened to so far. And maybe I am being a bit harsh, but you have to judge an audiobook on it’s sound merits. First off, the narrator, Bea Miller has not narrated audiobooks before. And I realize that inexperience does not make someone a bad narrator. However, the voicing just turned me so off. Like, the prophecy is read in this harsh voice with such a bizarre accent and really fast instead of you know, sounding serious and regal. I just was like what even is this. The characters don’t have different voices. This was a listen that I felt I kind of slogged through. I was never invested the way I would be if I had read a physical copy or if it had been narrated by an audiobook narrator I like, such as Emma Galvin or Sarah Drew. So yes, if you decide to read Deep Blue do not get the audiobook.

Sum It Up With A GIF:

Because I really wanted to like this book more.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Good to know about the audiobook.

    I recently was reading a book and also listening to the audiobook – pretty much everyone loved the book when it came out and I like the narrator, so I thought I’d pair print + audio like I enjoy doing. However, the I didn’t think the reading style of the reader matched the tone of the book and I wasn’t feeling the type of praise for it that everyone else felt, so I dropped the audio and will restart the book, print only. It bums me out to think that someone that is just trying out audio for the first time could happen upon a situation where the reader isn’t paired well with the story for whatever reason because it could really turn them off from audio reading, and I love it so much like you do, and that makes me so sad. Which is why I always try to pump it up as much as I can.

    I like Emma Galvin and Sarah Drew. Both have read books that I didn’t enjoy and made them better experiences for me because of their reading style, which I think is pretty awesome.