Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant
Published by Subterranean Press
Published on: April 6 2015
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction
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When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.
They didn't expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth.
This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
Last year when I listed my most anticipated new releases in a mid-year roundup Bookfessional, INTO THE DROWNING DEEP by Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire) was at the top of my list.
A book about killer mermaids in the Mariana Trench (I am obsessed with the Mariana Trench) by one of my favorite authors? YES, please. The oh-so-pretteh cover didn’t hurt either.
As is often the case with Grant/McGuire, there was a prequel.
Truthfully, I’d forgotten about it, but that’s why we have like-minded book friends, isn’t it? When I was reminded about ROLLING IN THE DEEP (thanks, Steven!), even though by that point I was keen to begin ItDD, I was assured it was a quick read, so I downloaded it onto my iPad for immediate consumption.
The style was somewhat different than what I’m used to from McGuire, with reflective documentary-like commentary interspersed with the live action events, but it was an easy adjustment, and I was just as easily caught up in the story.
A ship captain and her crew. A team of scientists willing to participate in a largely unscientific undertaking to further their legitimate research. A Felicia Day-esque TV personality. A group of expert swimmers who pay their bills by dressing up as mermaids . . . In an expedition to prove the existence of mermaids . . .
But when this motley group found the thing they’d set out to find (not really believing that they would), they couldn’t have been more different from their human pretenders.
“All the stories about mermaids drowning sailors, all the men lost at sea . . . we never took those into account . . . We said ‘pretty women in the sea,’ and that was good enough, because who doesn’t want there to be pretty women in the sea? We turned monsters into myths, and then we turned them into fairy tales. We dismissed the bad parts. We were too interested in . . . in . . . in pretty women in the sea.”
(An excellent point, yes?)
All the key components for an excellent story were present and accounted for.
And I very much enjoyed myself . . . Right up until the very end . . .View Spoiler »
The female anglerfish is several hundred times the size of the male.
« Hide Spoiler
*frowns and squints*
Suddenly, I couldn’t escape visions of:View Spoiler » « Hide Spoiler
And that’s just silly.
Still, I tried to read INTO THE DROWNING DEEP anyway, but stalled out around 15% into it. The writing was excellent, and I was already invested in one of the main characters (having met her older sister in RitD) . . . but I couldn’t take it seriously.
SO. I’m not sure how to proceed. On the one hand, if you too are obsessed with what might be living in the deepest part of ocean, you might love ROLLING IN THE DEEP (and after that, INTO THE DROWNING DEEP as well). Alternately, the final plot twist might ruin it for you like it did for me. And there’s no way to clue you in on said plot twist without spoiling it.
Hmm . . .
Apologies for my less-than-helpfulness. :/
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