Someone, or something, is haunting the ship.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Author: Alma Katsu
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnamn's Sons
Page Count: 432
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction, Horror, Paranormal
My Rating: ★★★★
Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.
This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner’s illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers – including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher – are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.
Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognizes while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not – could not – have survived the sinking of the Titanic .
I’m excited to be a part of THE DEEP blog tour with The Fantastic Flying Book Club from March 10th – March 16th, 2020!
I received an ARC of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review.
All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.
Content Warning: Adult sexual content, Adultery, Death of a minor, Near-drowning, Gambling, Drug use (Cocaine), Illness, Thievery, Disaster (ship sinking), Injury due to war, Body horror, Suicide, War, Miscarriage
The troubled mind can never know itself.
That is the sad truth of madness.
The Deep is inspired by the story of Violet Constance Jessop, a survivor of both the Titanic and Brittanic tragedies in the early 1900’s. Entwining elements of the paranormal makes this naturally eerie tale all the more so. Author Alma Katsu proves her capability at writing an enthralling story historically based and detailed that subtly draws the reader deeper into the complexities of each characters’ story.
Written from multiple perspectives, real-life characters like Madeleine Astor, William Stead, John Jacob Astor, and Benjamin Guggenheim (along with several others), and fictional characters like Annie Hebbley Caroline and Mark Fletcher, add immensely to an already intricately designed plot. The story jumps between past via flashbacks and “present” of 1916 and focuses mainly on the story of Annie Hebbley’s experience upon the Titanic as a stewardess and on the Britannic as a nurse.
For all that was said about the Titanic, how superior it was, how well designed, how glorious and noble–as though it were a person, with a person’s traits–it would do nothing to save them. The Titanic was indifferent to the humans crawling on its decks and would willingly sacrifice them to the sea.
On its maiden’s voyage, the travelers on the Titanic notice odd occurrences. When a young servant boy of a wealthy family perishes aboard, it sets into motion a quick and haunting four days before the great ship’s imminent disaster. What andwho are instrumental in it’s sinking is the question that keeps the reader on the edge of their seats until the final page. Many points in the story intentionally make the reader question what is real or isn’t, to uncover what is actually happening with these characters. A slower start allows for vital detail to be cemented for the pace to anchor, then quicken to where the story reaches its revelation. The frenzied increase in the pace parallels Annie’s story arch.
In a time where societal change is volatile, women find more of a voice, but still remain risking their reputation by the actions they take. Many times, women, and the restrictions they have and the injustice of some, lie at the center of the inspiration for much of this story-line. In brief, a fateful love-triangle is the focal point of romance throughout the events of The Deep. Adultery, lust, and money also drive many aboard the Titanic, and create problems for many.
They never learned, it seemed. Never changed. You couldn’t save them from themselves.
This read is enthralling on multiple levels, and will certainly appeal to readers across many genres. Combining incredibly detailed information on the historical, dashing in paranormal, romance, and steeping it all into lore makes this truly an unique read.
Sexual content: Quite a bit – includes adultery.
Violence: Quite a bit considering the nature of the content.
My Rating: ★★★★
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Alma Katsu is the author of The Hunger, a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party with a horror twist. The Hunger made NPR’s list of the 100 Best Horror Stories, was named one of the best novels of 2018 by the Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books (and more), and was nominated for a Stoker and Locus Award for best horror novel. The Taker, her debut novel, has been compared to the early works of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for combining historical, the supernatural, and fantasy into one story. The Taker was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by Booklist, was nominated for a Goodreads Readers Choice award, and has been published in over 10 languages. It is the first in an award-winning trilogy that includes The Reckoning and The Descent. Ms. Katsu lives outside of Washington DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. In addition to her novels, she has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving. She also is an alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers. Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career in intelligence, working for several US agencies and a think tank. She currently is a consultant on emerging technologies. Additional information can be found on Wikipedia and in this interview with Ozy.com.
Want to win a copy for yourself?
Prize: Win a finished copy of THE DEEP by Alma Katsu (US Only)
Giveaway runs from 10th March 10th – 24th, 2020.