Monday, May 14, 2018

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Author: Mira Grant
Publisher: Orbit
Date of publication: November 2017

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.

I went into Into the Drowning Deep completely blind.  I had really no idea what it was about other than it was a potential thriller/horror story about killer mermaids.   After finishing it, I am having a hard time deciding how much I did or didn't like it.  The book ended up being a mixed bag for me.

 What I liked:  The pacing was fairly steady with a few lags.  I did appreciate that the author took her time in developing the characters before they got on the ship.  It made me care about them a bit more than I would have normally.  I genuinely didn't want to see most of them die.  There were definite moments of tension.  There was one scene in particular when I was clenching my jaw and holding my breath because I didn't want to find out what was going to happen to a certain character. Even though he kind of made a dumb decision. I did like most of the characters.  The two hunters were the most enthusiast of the bunch.  I loved their relationship and they were my favorites.

What I didn't like:  This book is like one of those cheesy horror movies where everyone keeps making stupid decisions and they end up dead because of those decisions.  Honestly, the ones who ended up dead kind of deserved it because they didn't listen or pay attention.  I didn't love the parts where we got the dolphin or mermaid perspective.  I pulled me out of the story too much because it was so implausible and bordered on dumb. I get what the author was trying to do, but it just didn't work for me.

I never got the sense that most of the characters really understood how much danger they were in until it was too late.  Two people die and everyone is kind of carrying on like usual and not freaking out.  Two of the characters even decide it's a great time to take a sex break. They know that killer mermaids are going to descend on the ship, but who cares?  Let's go to my room and get naked.  Who does that?  I found the solution was really dumb and anti-climactic.   I don't know if the author just ran out of steam and couldn't figure out a way to end the story, or what. I found it incredibly frustration. I'm not sure if there is a sequel in the works or if this was a stand alone, but more closure would have been nice.  

I'm not going to say this is a bad book.  It did have strengths.   If there is a sequel, I'll probably pick it up just to see what happens next for the people who are left.  

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