Published: November 14th, 2017
Read as: Library copy
Average Goodreads rating: 4.06
My rating: 5
Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.
Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.
Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.
“The seas did not forgive, and they did not welcome their wayward children home.”
Guys. Guys. This book was amazing. I’m not going to dance around the point and lead you in circles as I sometimes do. No. I want you all to straight up know that this book absolutely consumed my life while I was reading it. I could think about nothing else. I couldn’t sleep. Every time I had to put this book down to take of mundane “life” stuff all I wanted to do was pick it back up again and get wrapped up in the world that Grant created. I fell head of heels in love with this thrilling, obsessive, dangerous world.
Just look at this picture. Ignore all my daughter’s stuff in the background, I’m terrible at photo editing. But, this is me, reading this book, literally pulling my shirt up over my mouth and clutching it there as I was terrorized by a sea of brutal, vicious mermaids. My husband snapped this picture of me while I was reading and it completely encapsulates my feelings.
When I opened this book, initially I wasn’t sure what to expect but was pleasantly surprised by the characters first introduced into the cast. We were shown people, namely two women, intensely passionate about their work no matter their peers and the public thought about their chosen paths of scientific inquiry. I loved that. Seeing someone so enthralled by a topic they love is wonderful.
Even as you travel further into the story and really get into the horror/thriller of things you never lose a sense of who each of these characters are and there is a marginally vast cast. You know their passions, what drives them, and what makes them fear the terror coming up from the sea. So often I feel that in horror stories you lose a feel for the characters in exchange for thrills. Never, at any point did I get that sense reading this book. These people felt real and alive and their terror was mine for the time that I was with them.
Another thing I found myself enjoying in this book was the background budding romance. It was something that anchored you to the characters involved, made you root for them, beg for them to live, and yet not overshadow the overall story. That is a delicate balance for a writer to achieve. You have to both make your reader love and care about these people, about their loves without detracting from the plot as a whole. It has to compliment rather than battle for attention and in so many books I feel that balance is not achieved.
There are so many wonderful points I could bring up about this book but I think that I will focus on just one more. Most of the leads in this story were females and they owned it. They were intelligent, capable, and unapologetic without it coming across as what some would call bitchy. No. They were strong, they knew their own minds, and the fought for every second as hard as they could and didn’t rely on someone else to save them. Not once did any of the characters apologize for being exactly who they were. They were proud of who they were, what they fought for, and would not let anyone take that from them.
If you at all enjoy a good horror/thriller with a sci fi element I cannot begin to recommend this book enough. It was everything I was looking for in a story and so much more. It fueled my passion and my fear. What more could I ever ask for?