Review: The Deep by Alma Katsu

Posted April 20, 2021 by Angie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

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Review: The Deep by Alma KatsuThe Deep by Alma Katsu
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on March 10, 2020
Genres: Adult Fiction, Historical, Paranormal, LGBTQ
Format: Hardcover (420 pages)
Source: Library
Purchase: AmazonIndieBound
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From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic.

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanic from the moment they set sail. The Titanic's passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship's maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several--including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim--are convinced there's something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Featuring an ensemble cast of characters and effortlessly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.

three-stars

Proceed With Caution:

This book contains two sinking ships, death, murder, abortion, and suicide.

The Basics:

The Deep tells the parallel stories of the Titanic and its sister-ship the Britannic, connected by two young women, Annie and Violet. Annie is our main narrator as she is recently released from an asylum where she has spent the last four years of her life, following the sinking of the Titanic. Only to go work as a nurse on the Britannic, which meets a similar fate. Is it a coincidence, or was all of the talk of ghosts and spirits four years prior true?

My Thoughts:

I am obsessed with the Titanic. At least in fictional accounts, although I would love to learn more about the realities as well. The Deep combines real events and people with fiction to create something very eerie and intense. No matter how many times I watch the movie, or read about it, I always get so nervous when the ship hits the iceberg. But here, there’s some added anxiety because you just don’t know if Titanic is actually haunted or if some of the passengers are mad.

The only reason that I didn’t rate The Deep higher was because the middle drags. The beginning is very interesting as we meet all of the main characters. Very different people all in one place, with a few of them reuniting on the Britannic. It’s also immediately clear that something is off about Annie. Then the ending was wild as everything finally starts coming together. We learn how everyone is connected and what is really happening on both ships. I didn’t want to put it down! That middle section though, droned on and on, slowing the pace and the anticipation.

The Deep does do a great job of weaving all of the individual stories together though. What does a stewardess have in common with her first-class charges or with a pair of boxers or rich widows? Well, it all slowly comes together with many WHAT?! moments sprinkled out. The boxers, Leslie and David, almost made me cry! I would totally read an entire book about just them. But everyone was interesting in their own way and somehow contributed to these tragedies.

I can’t say too much without giving anything away, but The Deep was a really cool story that meshed together history with fiction and with the paranormal. I’m a sucker for paranormal activity in historical settings. The overall story is quite grim. Yes, even more so than the sinkings themselves.

Quotes from The Deep:

I wasn’t trust, or intuition, but something else that swooped in, in the absence of both, to guide her. (page 25)

There was so much you could guess about a person when they didn’t know you were watching. (page 126)

“To be honest, I’m not sure listening to one’s heart has ever gotten anyone anywhere good.” (page 191)

Or was all of life one great impossibility? (page 198)

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