Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep



  • Author: Mira Grant
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Horror
  • Page Count: 440
  • Date Started: October 3rd
  • Date Finished: October 8th
  • Spoilers? Sort of? Proceed with caution maybe? Definitely not going to spoil major plot points.

A Brief Description

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.

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My Review

I read this book recently, and I’m still thinking about it. I still feel a cold shiver down my spine every time I think about it. I’m really excited to talk about my thoughts with you.

What can I say about this book? The idea is that this group of scientists and journalists aboard a ship called the Atargatis try to visit the Mariana Trench in search of legendary mermaids for a “mockumentary” style movie. They find them. These mermaids aren’t your “Disney’s Little Mermaid” type of mermaid. These are your horror of the deep, killer, lure you to your death, kind of mermaids. The Atargatis was lost with all hands. The footage that it filmed is believed to be a hoax and it is written off as a tragedy at sea.

Seven years later, a new crew has been formed. This time they sail on a state-of-the-art vessel named the Melusine. This ship is filled with scientists, some who are seeking vindication, others still who are looking to validate their life work, and journalists alike who have one task: to find mermaids and boy do they find them.

This book was CREEPY. This book made me terrified of being on open water and of the things that you might find in the deep. The book does a really amazing job of immersing yourself in this creepy atmosphere. I think part of the reason for this is that the story is told in omniscient third person POV. The narrator almost becomes like another character, one that knows all and sees all as it happens and it will drop hints for thing that will happen later in the future. This gives you some major foreshadowing for things that are going to happen later in the story.

The trouble with discovery is that it goes two ways. For you to find something, that thing must also find you.

Another thing that really boosts this book is the diverse characters. Here is a short list of the characters that stood out to me:

  • Victoria Stewart: A sonar scientist and sister of Anne, one of the dead from the Atargatis. She’s a bi icon and I love her.
  • Luis Martines: her rich, nerdy, adorable cinnamon roll of an assistant.
  • Jillian Toth: Sirenologist who is here to prove everyone wrong. Half Hawaiian, post production problem child and an activist who tried to stop the whaling boats in her prime. I love her sarcastic, badass attitude.
  • Theo Blackwell: This is Jillian’s physically disabled, very morally gray ex husband. He is one of the reps for Imagine Entertainment (who is the entertainment company sending this expedition)
  • Olivia: An autistic, lesbian reporter who is there to be a face for the movie. She took some getting used to, but I love her. She’s nerdy, fierce and fearless. She grew to be one of my favorite characters.
  • Ray Marino: Olivia’s friend, assistant and camera operator. He’s a sweet cinnamon roll too.
  • The Wilson Sisters: Hallie, the oldest, a sign language translator and audiologist and the deaf twins Holly and Heather, who are a data analyzer and an underwater explorer. I loved all of these girls. Something that should definitely by mentioned is that Holly and Heather’s deafness is never used in a way to diminish them and it even touches on some of the ways that those that hear belittle those that are deaf, mostly with the lack of interest in learning how to communicate (signing) with them and instead speaking directly to their translator sister, almost as if they are not there. These girls are badasses
  • Finally, Jacques and Michi Abney: A murderous hunter power couple who I could not relate with in the slightest but I loved to hate them.

As you can see from this list, this is a VERY diverse cast. There are so many different kinds of characters from so many different places and backgrounds. This led to many disagreements with others, but I think that this just added to the drama.

Something to note is that this book had a lot of “science” about the mermaids. Obviously we are talking about mermaids that don’t exist, but the mermaids, their anatomy and physiology, their behavior, their lives were all very fleshed out. It was interesting to find out more about the sirens and the reasons for their behavior.

The plot of this novel was fast paced and I could not put it down. I couldn’t stop reading. I thought about this when I was at work and class. One thing I will say is that this book is very gruesome in it’s descriptions of people getting eaten. It doesn’t shy away from gore and violence. It was BRUTAL. I think this is why it was so creepy to me. There were characters walking around the deck of the ship while it was being attacked by mermaids and you sit on the edge of your seat wondering when a mermaid is going to attack next. I loved every minute of it until the end.

That brings me to why I rated this 4 stars and not 5. I loved everything until the very anti-climactic ending. I felt like there was all this building up only for it to fall a little flat. It ends very abruptly, which hopefully means that there is a sequel coming up.

All in all, I would say that this book is 100% worth a read. The thematic content was great and it reads just like a movie. I can’t wait to see what else this author has to offer in this world and I definitely plan on reading more of Mira Grant/Senan Mcguire’s books.

Have you read this? What did you think? If you haven’t, do you plan on reading it? Let’s discuss in the comments! Have a wonderful day, and as always, keep reading!

~Cam

4 thoughts on “Book Review: Into the Drowning Deep

  1. Awesome review, Cam! Every time I see this book I’m reminded by how much I do want to read it but also by how terrified I am of reading it because I’m already super scared of being in the ocean when there’s pitch blackness underneath me lol it’s TERRIFYING and this sounds even more so 😂It really does sound good though, so I’m tempted to pick it up anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

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