Tempest Rising is my first experience with mermaid fiction. I love the ocean. I wanted to be a marine biologist my entire childhood / adolescence. I’m not much of a beach goer anymore because skin cancer runs in my family, which means I’m pale as a ghost. However, I love to walk on the beach, watch the water ebb and flow, listen to the waves. It’s very peaceful and serene. Yet the ocean is also a very deadly, menacing environment, as the author so well portrays in Tempest Rising. I loved the author’s description of life under the sea. It was magnificent, and made me yearn for it.Tempest was on OK protagonist. She was a fairly typical adolescent, who was self-absorbed and all “woe is me.” I’ll give her that though, as her seventeenth birthday was quickly approaching, and along with it, the inevitable decision: to be or not to be (a mermaid)? Tempest has put a lot of time and effort into hating that side of her heritage due to her mother’s abandonment of the family for the ocean life.What did bother bother me was Tempest’s attitude toward her boyfriend. She was quite rough with her sweet, invested yet jealous guy, Mark and had a hard time remembering his name when Kai made an appearance. This was a bit annoying and put a bad taste in my mouth. Yes, she’s a teenager and teens are egocentric. However, she constantly told herself she was being an asshat but continued to do it. I can only take so much teen drama sometimes.As far as Kai goes, he was the most likeable character, for me. I found him mysterious, mature and masculine. While I was not sold on the connection between Tempest and Kai, I ended up enjoying them together. I definitely feel that Kai brings out maturity and sensitivity in Tempest, and he urges her to do what is right, even if it is a hard choice.The author threw some other ocean mythology into the story, and I absolutely loved it. This made the story more interesting, for me. All in all, the second half of the book was more interesting and exciting, as I enjoyed the underwater scenes the most.