When the Atargatis and all hands on deck went missing while in search of mermaids, everyone thought it was an elaborate hoax–except Tory. Tory knew that the mermaids had killed her sister, and she would do anything to get revenge, even if it took her all the way to the bottom of Challenger’s Deep.
Why this book?: I requested it on a whim on NetGalley, not realizing it had man eating mermaids, and lots of diversity.
I would like to thank the people at Orbit Books for allowing me to have a copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
If I ever decide to make a list of the most disappointing books I’ve read, you can bet that this one will be number one. It pains me to say that, but it’s only the truth, and it’s something I have to get past.
Into the Drowning Deep starts off with the most thrilling and horrific scenes being played out for you, all interspersed with another characters grief. The beginning was such a gut puncher, that I couldn’t let myself stop reading before the book was over. My mind kept going to man-eating mermaids and for some reason my mind wouldn’t let it go. I wanted to horror, I wanted the gore, and I loved how I felt immersed in the story and the thrill of it all, despite the safety of my bed. I 100% was convinced that this would be a book that I finished in one sitting.
But then the brick wall happened.
After the introduction, after the flashback ended, Into the Drowning Deep was loaded with so much science jargon and character development and so much more, basically everything that’s not horrific, that I was bored to tears. I couldn’t bring myself to pick up the damn book, but it killed me to not pick it up because, y’all, man-eating mermaids. So I pushed through it, and it felt like I was just reading nothing. It was all developmental, and rising action, and I was just so bored. I was waiting for the man-eating mermaids to converge, for the blood-bath to start, but it didn’t start until I was about 80% into the novel.
And that last 20% is what brought the rating down so much.
Not only was some details completely unbelievable, but there was literally no climax and resolution to speak of. Throughout the book, there were tiny hints that pointed out that the people were missing something, but at the end, it all amounted to nothing.
Now, the book does have some amazing diversity that I wasn’t expecting. The main romance is sapphic, between an autistic girl and a scientist. But my ARC mentioned autism once, and never touched on it again, and didn’t even clarify who was autistic (the only reason I know the character is actually autistic is because someone with a finished copy mentioned it.) There were also two deaf characters, multiple ASL users, and lots of POC. And that’s why this book got a higher rating: good representation. Otherwise, I would have tanked this review.
Another small thing that really bothered me throughout the book was the cisnormavity. They spoke in terms of man/woman, he or she, etc. They even assumed that the mermaids were all female, and then all male. What irritates me the most is that they straight up say that mermaids might not have a gender binary, but what do they do? Shove gender stereotypes on all of them.
Final Rating: ★★★☆☆
This review is more rant-y than my other reviews, but that’s because I’m seriously very disappointed in this novel. There was so much potential in the concept of man-eating mermaids, but in the end it was just a science-y novel with too many ideas floating around, and an interesting start.
Would I Recommend?
I mean? Man-eating mermaids. So, yea, try it out, if you can handle explicit gore. But seriously, it slows down a lot after the introduction. It was pretty hard to read.
Published: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Orbit Books
Page Count: 439
Genre: Horror/Fantasy/Science Fiction
Synopsis: via Goodreads
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.