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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 3 star ratings
3 reviews
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3.7 out of 5
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    Historical, Paranormal, and Folkloric

    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. Vulgarity: Some. Sexual content: Quite a bit - includes adultery. Violence: Quite a bit considering the nature of the content. My Rating: ★★★★
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    Just ok

    Well I loved the hunger and I Was expecting this book to be as good or better but it was not. The main character Annie was super annoying and kind of whiny and needy. Book starts off with a bunch of letter correspondence that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the story also a stent in an asylum that has also nothing to do with the telling of the story. As a matter fact nothing supernatural happens until you’re 95% through the book! About 50% of the story was needless blabbering to fill up space. No it was not a bad book she does have writing skills this book was just boring and not really thrilling. I was expecting a haunted ship or some very out there paranormal experiences on the titanic but none of that really manifested in the book at least that was worth mentioning
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    Immersive and deliciously mysterious

    What an incredibly brilliant idea for a narrative. The titanic, on it's own, was such an incredible feat of modern engineering, and it's ultimate demise, such a timeless tragedy. Katsu created with The Deep, something that can also be considered timeless, in it's melding of history with horror; factual, and non-factual character depictions with the added allure of the paranormal. Annie Hebbley survived the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and after a brief stint in an asylum, where she attempted to ignore it's grip on her mind, she registers for a nurse aid position aboard the newly minted Brittanic (a sister ship to the Titanic, and an ocean-bound hospital liner for those injured in the first world war). Simultaneously, we experience both Annie's timeline on the Titanic, and her present-day on the Britannic in 1916. Annie's time spent on the first ship was defined by more than just it's tragic end, as a specific group of guests convince her that mysterious instances aboard are the work of paranormal entities. Years later, on her second sailing, Annie comes face to face with one those guests, one that she had thought she'd lost forever, both physically and emotionally. The impossibility of it brings back both dark memories, and a sinister threat that they thought they left behind. Even while I was reading The Deep, my mind strayed to the author's backlist titles that I would have the pleasure of reading once I was done. Katsu's writing, for me, was true storytelling. It was immersive, and deliciously mysterious, it brought to mind the narratives of the greats like Christie, and Conan Doyle. I'll admit that, alike the aforementioned authors, the joy was in the writing itself, and not so much the genre it was promising. The 'horror' aspect was minimal, and served mostly as a decorative background for the in-depth character explorations that took the forefront. I became so heartrendingly attached to so many of the backstories, and present stories, in this narrative—I could read an entire book on Caroline Fletcher or Madelaine Astor. I can't wait to become completely entranced by Katsu's future work!
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