by Mira Grant
Series: Rolling in the Deep #1
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
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.
KILLER. MERMAIDS. Look, if that doesn’t interest you, I’m not sure what will.
Seven years ago, a mockumentary crew from Imagine Entertainment disappeared at sea. Recovered footage showed the crew being attacked and eaten by the very mermaids they were trying to film. Now, a new expedition is going out to investigate what happened.
What can I compare this to? For people of a certain age, remember that first time you watched Jurassic Park? That feeling of awe and wonder when you first saw the dinosaurs that slowly descends into terror as the characters realize they’re in way over their heads? This book has the same feel. And like that classic, the mermaids are out to eat a well-developed cast of diverse characters. There’s the main character, Tory, whose sister was lost on the first ship, and her research partner, Luis. They’re almost immediately at odds with Olivia, the TV personality, who is the counterpart to Tory’s sister on this mission. Dr. Jillian Toth, whose research into mermaids spurred the first expedition, and Theo, her estranged husband who now works for Imagine, are the older counterpoints to the young scientists, and are obviously hiding secrets. Oh, there’s also Deaf twin scientists and their translator older sister, Tory’s ex-boyfriend, a pair of big game hunters, and a security crew hired more for looks than skill.
The action builds slowly until about three-quarters of the way through the book, when all hell broke loose and the pace stayed frenetic through the end. I stayed up way, way past my bedtime to finish this (and then had terrifying dreams, but hey, that’s to be expected with a good horror book!). Ms. Grant is a brilliant writer, and there’s plenty of plot twists and “NO, DON’T DO THAT!” moments. Though, to be clear, those moments aren’t of the “hey, let’s split up and explore this creepy haunted house!” idiocy but more “OK, we’re probably going to get our faces chewed off but this is the best choice among a bunch of bad choices.” There’s enough threads left hanging at the end that I’m hoping desperately for a sequel.
Overall, this book is a brilliant and scary voyage to the unexplored depths of the ocean.
5 out of 5 “oh God, why did I buy my daughter mermaid sheets???” stars!