Rating: 3.75 stars
A diamond in the rough was my sentiment with Out of the Deep. But I'll get more into that later...
Castiel is part of a race of telepathic mermaids known as finkin. They live their lives separate and ignorant of humans and the world beyond their colony. Being a soldier among his colony, Castiel would never have thought to see himself powerless in captivity among a group of humans.
Nor to meet someone (a human) like Dean Winchester.
OOTD is one of those mammoth of a story that may put people off for it's shear length. And who can blame them? I've started so many fanfiction that catered to my word count whoring ways, but were riddled with enough proofreading errors to make Microsoft Word bleed red on my screen. And let's not forget just bad writing in general - plot holes galore or bad characterization. So yeah, I was kind of iffy about starting this.
Is OOTD perfect? Nope. It could really use some beta readers, or further proofreading (with occasional mistakes starting out, but getting more prominent towards the end) and some editing with pacing issues towards the later third. But it wasn't bad enough to turn me away from reading this story.
Characterization was pretty spot on for our cast of SPN characters, despite this being an AU. Castiel as the soldier, Sam being the geek that he is, and Dean as the righteous man at heart. I don't believe you really have to watch SPN to read this, but you'd be missing a lot of the character quirks otherwise.
Pacing was probably the only other issue I had with OOTD. It was a slow start (I don't usually like having to wait too long for the main couple to meet) and there was a good chunk of the story where Castiel and Dean weren't together. But it was still a very endearing story, if not a bit repetitive at times. There isn't a lot of "action" per se in the story, just a lot of introspection and things happening beyond the character's control - not to say there isn't any, mind you. There was plentiful merman/human sexing going on once it got started, which I actually got bored of and the author could have cut back on...
But all things aside, I enjoyed OOTD. It was something different in terms of storyline. It had great relationships (Cas/Dean and Sam/Jess), and an interesting cast of secondary characters we are familiar with from the SPN world. If you don't mind proofreading mistakes and some slow pacing at certain points in the story, then definitely give this fanfiction a try. I'm glad I did!