I don’t read a ton of horror. I have a very active imagination and my brain chooses really odd images to haunt me with for years. (YEARS) When I do read horror, I choose authors that I feel I can trust, and Mira Grant is one of those authors I know I can trust. I know her horror isn’t going to cross lines that I’m not comfortable with. I wouldn’t describe it as safe horror, just “safe enough for me.”
That being said, Into the Drowning Deep was intensely creepy, full of suspense, and definitely left me with the feeling that I’m never going to ever be comfortable on another deep-sea vessel in my life.
Into the Drowning Deep follows Grant’s earlier novella Rolling in the Deep which is the story of how the Atargatis was lost. Into the Drowning Deep explores already dangerous territory, and they know – or at least they think they know – what they’re getting into.
Here’s the publisher’s blurb:
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.
Grant builds suspense like mist rising from the water. Over the course of minutes (pages) the fog slowly rolls in, building until suddenly you realize you’re completely engulfed. As I read through, I flipped pages at my usual rate, until the last three chapters of the book where I basically just skimmed pages because I NEEDED to know what was happening next.
As with Grant’s other horror series, part of the beauty – and horror – of her novels is that the science is so well researched that but for the fact that mermaids are not real, everything else she describes is plausible.
Another place Grant’s writing really shines is her characters. Grant understands people. She builds characters that are believable and real. Her characters are flawed people with all the trappings of humanity, and she writes inclusively as well. This cast is not 100% straight, white, able bodied and neurotypical. It’s a delight. A weird thing to say about a horror novel, I know. But the cast is so wonderfully diverse that when I think of them, I am delighted. Not all of them are delightful, there are definitely a few that I was hoping would die along the way, but the cast as a whole was a delight. What’s the point of a horror novel if you don’t care what’s going to happen to the characters?
I am desperately hoping for a third part of the story. I enjoyed Into the Drowning Deep immensely, despite my renewed fears of deep water, and have so many new questions.
Into the Drowning Deep hit shelves November 14, 2017 and if you like horror and don’t necessarily mind being afraid of mermaids, you should run out and buy it right now.