Alma Katsu – The Deep Review

the deep

Genre: Mystery
Length: 432 Pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release date: March 10, 2020
Synopsis: Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic‘s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s 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 yet be over.

Brilliantly 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.

Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review

I had the pleasure of listening to Alma Katsu speak at StokerCon last summer. She was speaking about her book, The Hunger. How much research and accuracy it takes to write about a real-life event. To preserve fact, while working in the fiction. What she said next really caught my attention. Alma Katsu started to talk about her next book, The Deep. She gave a great teaser about the mystery that would take place aboard the Titanic. I was instantly fascinated; I knew The Deep was a book I had to read. I’m a huge Titanic fan, even visited the Titanic museum recently, which was amazing.

The Deep was thrilling and I loved the mystery. It’s filled with historical facts of the Titanic and her sister ship Britannic. Alma Katsu did a fantastic job with the facts while creating this piece of fiction. Alma Katsu weaved a terrific tale about that short journey and the passengers looking for a new life in America. I was transported back in time, onboard the ship with Annie, Violet and the Astors.  I was quickly wrapped up in the drama of these passengers. She added ghosts, spirits and tales of the sea, all giving the story extra depth. I loved the attention to detail and accuracy. To say I dug The Deep is an understatement. The Deep was thrilling, suspenseful and highly entertaining. If you love a good mystery and the Titanic this is well worth a read.

Link to purchase The Deep

Alma Katsu, biography-

“Deeply, deeply disturbing. Hard to put down, not recommended reading after dark.” — STEPHEN KING

“Supernatural suspense at its finest” – NY Times

Nominated for Stoker Award for Best Novel 2018; Locus Magazine for Best Horror Novel 2018

One of NPR’s 100 favorite horror stories

2018’s Best Books – The Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books

Winner 2019 Western Heritage Awards Outstanding Novel

One of the 21 best horror novels written by a woman – Unbound Worlds

“Katsu shows an acute understanding of human nature. … [She] is at her best when she forces her readers to stare at the almost unimaginable meeting of ordinary people and extraordinary desperation, using her sharp, haunting language.” – USA Today (3 1/2 out of 4 stars)

“[A] blockbuster…. Combines meticulous historical research and a keen understanding of human nature with a monstrous original metaphor to reimagine the ill-fated Donner Party…” – Salon

“The story she writes of human failings and despair is so powerful and so well-written… Hauntingly good.” – The Times (UK)

(Starred review) “A wildly different take on the historical tragedy of the Donner Party…. For fans of historical fiction and the supernatural, Katsu’s goosebumpy and spooky plot makes for an original and surprising read.” – Library Journal

(Starred review) “Katsu injects the supernatural into this brilliant retelling of the ill-fated Donner Party… Fans of Dan Simmons’ The Terror will find familiar and welcome chills.” – Publishers Weekly

“Like The Revenant but with an insistent supernatural whisper. The setting and the story are utterly chilling. And the telling of it is so well done.”- Sarah Pinborough, author of Behind Her Eyes

“Uneasy, nauseous, slow-burning tale that marries historical fiction with a hint of the supernatural. Great detailing; colorful characterization; some supremely ominous stuff, but always reined in at the final moment to rack up the tension even more. Loved it!”- Joanne Harris,
author of Different Class and Chocolat

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of March: Atmospheric horror meets the Donner Party in Katsu’s retelling of the doomed pioneers.- Omnivoracious: The Amazon Book Review

“The Hunger is a bold and brilliant novel, heavy with foreboding and dread, and with a rich vein of humanity at its core. I challenge you to read it without experiencing your own hunger pangs.”- Tim Lebbon, author of Relics and The Silence

“If you think the story of the Donner Party can’t get more horrific, think again. In this gripping, atmospheric reimagining of that dark tale, Katsu has created a deeply unsettling and truly terrifying masterpiece.”- Jennifer McMahon, author of Burntown and The Winter People

“The Hunger is a perfect metaphor of our times, a study in the best and the worst of human nature, our propensity to see evil in those on whom we depend, and the terror that comes when community falls apart. Beautiful, lyrical, utterly grounded in the wagons, the land, and the people, this is the best–and scariest–story I’ve read this year. Don’t start late at night and expect to sleep!”- Manda Scott, author of Hen’s Teeth

“The tension is perfect: the novel is a model for how to construct the slow build… Well-written and gripping with a strong conclusion, The Hunger is an inventive take on an already morbidly fascinating historical event. Recommended!”- Historical Novels Review

“Katsu’s latest novel…grips readers from the opening paragraphs and doesn’t let go. Full of richly drawn and fascinatingly flawed characters, this is a story that is respectful of the history it relates, but doesn’t shy away from the sins, mistakes and bigotry of the past, to impressive effect.”- RT Book Reviews

“We think we know how the story will end [but it] ends with a twist that I certainly didn’t see coming.”- Criminal Element

Ms. Katus’s debut novel, The Taker, was selected by Booklist as one of the top 10 debut novels of 2011. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving, and an alumni of the Squaw Valley Writers Conference. Like many writers, she has a day job, too: for over 30 years, she was an intelligence analyst for the federal government and RAND, and is currently a consultant on emerging technology.


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