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2019 Reading Challenge
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Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Creatures, animals, monsters – it’s all degrees, isn’t it?


Nature is bigger and weirder than anyone ever wants to think it is.

I LOVE Mira Grant (and her other writings as Seanan McGuire). She has a totally immersive storytelling style that I nearly always lose myself in (the lone exception: Swallow Road)… This latest is no exception – this time, she’s tackling mermaids. Yes, you heard me – mermaids. But don’t picture Disney – these are mermaids red in tooth and claw, and they’re fantastic!!

The story is a quest to discover what happened to the Atargatis – a ship sent on expe”dition by a “mockumentary” entertainment company into the deeps of the Marianas Trench. The ship is lost at sea (well, technically its crew is – the ship is eventually found) but some mysterious leaked video footage has raised more questions than answers – and those questions are decidedly weird. Tory lost her sister on the Atargatis, and she’s not at all put off by the weird – so when an opportunity arises to join the follow-up expedition in search of “the Truth”, she’s in.

The resulting story is full of mystery, secrets, weird science, even weirder flora and fauna, and an incredible cast of main and supporting characters that are sneaky and glorious and strong and weak and thoroughly marvelous. In her inimitable style, Grant not only creates an entire world, she populates it in an entirely original fashion – and throws in a twist at the end (literally the end – like 3% of the book left, the end) that ties it all together but not entirely and leaves just enough room for more books… That’s one of the things I love about her, incidentally – most of her books can be read as one-offs because the stories do have resolution of their major arcs, but there’s nearly always a “but what about…” moment (or two or three) that lure you back in.

The other thing I love is her writing style and way with words. Simply told, she’s a great lyrical writer who manages to keep the pace steady and the tension constantly building and ebbing, in a tidal sway of teasing excitement and creepy suspense. She always has at least one super-snarky female lead character (here it is without a doubt Dr. Toth) with biting insights into the human condition (even when the condition at issue isn’t human). She writes great characters and gives them great lines – and those are peppered throughout great stories. You can’t ask for much more in a horror story/thriller…

You won’t look at the ocean in exactly the same way again – this is Jaws for the 2010s. It’s brilliant and a head rush of a read and I couldn’t put it down – except at night, because I’m a little wimpy… ๐Ÿ˜‰

My review copy was provided by NetGalley.

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