Nothing really exciting here, but still a fun paranormal fantasy (and I still remember having read it four weeks later). One can tell that it is a first novel, because writing and construction are a bit clunky at times, but for the most part it is quite entertaining. There are not many half-selkie heroines around, and the glimpses we catch of the world Tempest Rising is set in are quite intriguing, with a generous amount of hints scattered throughout the novel that there are larger things afoot and more mysteries to be unveiled in later volumes.
I for one thought it was a nice touch that Nicole Peelter attempted to make the intimate scenes between Jane and her lover Ryu realistic rather than perfect, i.e. introduced some humour and some awkwardness into them. While the execution did not always live up to the intent there, overall it was quite delightful to read about sex that was not ohmygod-the-skies-shook all the time, but somewhat more down to earth.
Mostly, though, what carries Tempest Rising through is its charm, and that seems to me based on a certain naiveté – of the heroine’s wide-eyed wonder (and occasional terror) at the magical world she is finding herself to be part of, but also the author’s, whose enthusiasm for writing the novel infuses every page of it. I hope Nicole Peeler will be able to hold on that enthusiasm as the series continues and at the same time manage to polish her writing skills, this might turn out to be a very delectable series if she does.