Jane True lives in Rockabill, working at the local bookstore, looking after her father and missing the mother who vanished when she was only young. She endures the vicious rumours about the death of her childhood sweetheart - many of Rockabill's inhabitants blame her. She hides the fact that she swims in the sea daily, despite weather and currents. She lives a lonely existence in the most part. Until she discovers the body of a man in the sea and is shown a whole new life. Jane True finds out that she is half selkie, and that she is part of a supernatural culture hidden beneath the life she has always known. However, she also discovers that someone is killing halflings, and her name is next on the list.
You know how some books can be rather po-faced and worthy, while other novels bring the fun and the humour and definitely don't take themselves too seriously? Tempest Rising is most certainly the latter. It bubbles along with fun and frivolity, giving us a wonderful heroine in the form of Jane True.
Peeler uses plenty of myths and fairytales to bring us the various supernaturals that make up her Otherworld, and I am a big fan of this - rather than vampires, we have baobhan sith; no werewolves here, instead there are nahuals and barghests. I absolutely love this, because it shows a care on Peeler's behalf and a genuine love of the fairytales that have imbued our own past.
As I say, Jane True is a wonderful heroine - snarky, and self-doubting, and cute, and quirky. She is strong and lovely, and has a very real sense of humour (i.e. thinking about her designer shoes as her windpipe is being crushed). She is well matched by a cast of mercurial, whimsical, unconventional and downright odd characters. And I'm not just talking about the supes at this point! Some of the humans are a little unorthodox as well. All the characters have effective personalities and help to drive the plot along - I particularly loved Anyan, and want to see WAY more of him!
Truly, the only downside to this novel is the fact that it is an "Origins" story, in that Jane True is being introduced to her new world. It means there is a great deal of explanation going on and not masses of plot. The tale of the halflings being killed is a little thin, but I find this acceptable because Peeler is establishing her world. I fully expect a much more immersive tale in the next volume of the series.
I would say that if you want a fluffy, fast and very fun read you should look no further than Tempest Rising! I already have the second novel in the series and am excited about getting started!