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Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

BOTTOM LINE: The best kind of scary

Genre: Horror
Publication Date: 14 November 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Synopsis from the Publisher:

The ocean is home to many myths,

But some are deadly…

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 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.

My Thoughts: Mira Grant, as far as I am concerned, is the queen of horror. Her novels never fail to scare the bejesus out of me at the same time keeping me absolutely glued to the page. With her latest novel, she capitalizes on people’s general uneasiness with the ocean’s depths and the unknown creatures it holds to generate that fear. That and she creates an indelible new image of mermaids that will have you thinking of the Disney princess Ariel in a whole new light.

One of the many ways which makes Into the Drowning Deep so terrifying is its plausibility. The arguments the characters make for the existence of killer mermaids logically hits all the right notes. It becomes difficult to argue away their points especially when there are so many things about the ocean that we just do not know. So the story becomes something that could realistically occur.

As with her other novels, the characters in Into the Drowning Deep are mesmerizing. Flawed and human, they cross the gamut from autistic Internet celebrity to a big game hunters to scientists who believe to crew members who doubt. No matter how briefly they may appear on the page, Ms. Grant finds ways to create their humanity, to make them more than one-dimensional descriptions but real-live people with emotions and family and backstories we can only imagine. This helps not only keep a reader’s interest but also enhances the scene when the blood starts flying.

A horror story is only as good as the anticipation built before the monsters make their debut. With Into the Drowning Deep, that anticipation is high indeed. As mentioned earlier, Ms. Grant uses the innate fear of the unknown and of the ocean to build suspense and create tension before anything really occurs. She continues to utilizes these fears and adds others to the mis as the story progresses. She manipulates these fears to such a degree that she primes readers to anticipate the danger, ratcheting the tension ever higher. Once contact is made, Ms. Grant keeps her foot firmly in place, never allowing the story to lose steam or readers to lose that anxiety, keeping it finely tuned until she allows readers to take a breath and relax.

Mira Grant knows how to write a horror story and with Into the Drowning Deep she shows off her talent to do so. Her control of the tension and of readers’ emotions is beyond excellent, and her writing style is such that it becomes way too easy to forget that the novel is fictional. She is so successful at this that the thought of taking a cruise into the open ocean scares me to no end. After all, who really knows what creatures exist in the unexplored depths of the ocean?

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