Thanks to NetGalley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: March 10th, 2020
Synopsis: From the acclaimed and award winning author of “The Hunger” comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world’s most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of her sister ship, the a Britannic.
Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanic from the moment they set sail. The Titanic’s passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship’s maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several—including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeline Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim—are convinced there’s something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.
Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past—as they both discover that the terror may not be over.
Featuring an ensemble cast of characters and effortlessly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.
I loved Alma Katsu’s previous book, The Hunger which was centered around the Donner party, so I was quite excited to see what her take on the Titanic and the Britannic disasters. With The Deep, Katsu once again takes historical tragedies and skillfully blends them with the supernatural.
The story shifts between the two time periods leading up to the twin tragedies, and while it’s told from multiple viewpoints, the main character that forms a connection between both events is mysterious Annie Hubbley. What adds even more fun to this tale though are some of the real life characters that you get to see like Madeline Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim. And best of all is the inclusion of Violet Jessop, who actually did live through the sinking of both ships, as well as a previous collision between the RMS Olympic and the HMS Hawke. While Violet, who’s portrayed as Annie’s friend, has a relatively minor role here, her real life story is fascinating.
Katsu subtly weaves in supernatural layers to the suspenseful events leading up to both disasters. It makes for a chilling and goosebumps-inducing read that I found impossible to put down. I have to be honest and say I did find the ending a tad anticlimactic, but this is a relatively minor complaint.
Overall, The Deep, will further cement Katsu’s reputation as a storyteller extraordinaire. She’s a refreshing voice in the genres of historical and paranormal fiction, and I can’t wait to see what she writes about next!