#CBR7 Review #203: Dark Tide by Jennifer Donnelly

The rather inauspicious beginning for Jennifer Donnelly’s Waterfire Saga has blossomed into a smart, mature series about the power of female friendship and the good young women can accomplish TOGETHER. How refreshing! I greedily devoured Dark Tide in less than two days, and I’m already super impatient for Book 4, which will close off the series.

I will try to summarize in broad brush strokes, so that I don’t spoil major plot points for those who want to read the series (and you really, really should). This time around, the novel focuses on the misadventures of Ling, Astrid, and Becca. Each is seeking to hunt down the talisman that will take down an evil force long thought to be dead. At the same time, they’re racing against time—Rafe Mfeme is seeking these same talismans and Serafina’s usurping rulers are closing in on the mermaids. The novel ends on an interesting cliffhanger that makes me wonder how Donnelly will develop the plot for the fourth and final novel. There—was that vague enough?

It’s great that the series has given several of the young women a turn in each of the novels, which develops their sub-stories. I hope that the next novel gives more room to Ava (who is in North America by now) and Neela (whose story in Rogue Wave was really interesting). I’m curious to see how Ms. Donnelly will cap off the series, and I’m delighted that she’s developed a fairly simple premise into a global young adult thriller with terrific female protagonists. I think that Dark Tide is the best of the three, which holds a lot of promise for the last book, which is due in 2016. I’ll be waiting impatiently.

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