Saturday, October 17, 2020

Watery Dystopian Action-Packed and Exciting

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Five hundred years ago, the Great Waves destroyed the known world, burying its gleaming cities under fathoms of water.  The rusty ruins beckon to 17-year-old orphan Tempest "Tempe" Alerin, who scavenges them every day hoping to find treasures to sell.  She's been scrimping and saving her Notes ever since her older sister, Elysea, drowned two years ago.  When she finally has enough currency, she can exchange it for a wondrous gift—scientists will bring her dead sibling back to life for 24 hours.  That's all Tempe needs.  Five years ago, Elysea caused the death of their parents.  Tempe will do anything do find out why.

Reviving the dead is a carefully-controlled process, one that goes awry right from the start.  First, Elysea claims she had nothing to do with their parents' deaths.  Then, she asserts that they may still be alive.  In addition, Elysea doesn't want to spend her 24 hours of life sitting around in a boring research facility.  When the sisters find a way to escape their confines, 19-year-old Lor Ritter—the son of the scientist who invented the revival process—is charged with bringing them back.  Or else.  What ensues is a desperate race against time with Tempe and Elysea hunting for answers, with Lor in hot pursuit.  The closer the sisters get to uncovering the secrets of their watery home, the more dangerous their quest gets.  Can they find the answers they seek?  Or will both of them die trying?  

Watery dystopian worlds always fascinate me, so the setting of The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte definitely got my attention.  While not everything about the world made sense, it still created an intriguing backdrop for this exciting, action-packed ecological thriller.  I liked the characters at the story's center.  It was easy to empathize with them and root for their success.  As far as plot goes, I saw the Big Reveal coming, but there were other twists that caught me by surprise.  The ending was disappointing, which made the novel feel less than satisfying.  Overall, then, I didn't love The Vanishing Deep.  It did keep me turning pages, though, and I liked it for the most part.  

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (1 F-bomb, plus milder expletives), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

7 comments:

  1. Another disappointing ending. Why do authors do that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? I feel like this ending left things open for a sequel, but as far as I can tell it's a standalone. Annoying!

      Delete
  2. I have this one in my TBR pile! I was going to get to it soon. Hmm. A couple of months ago I read this author's first book, FOUR DEAD QUEENS. It was different and an interesting world and I enjoyed it, but I wasn't in love with it. Do we just get pickier the more books we read?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Now this one interests me. Back when I was a teen I read a sci-fi book where everything seemed pretty normal plotwise and you wondered where it was going and what the point was. Then all of sudden about halfway through you got told that these human characters live under water and have gills. One of those 'Oh, gosh!' moments. I've been looking for this book ever since because I can't remember the title or author. Oh, well.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I haven't read a dystopian novel in a while (after spending a few years feeling like I read almost nothing else). I think it's time to dive in again.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I love the basic premise of this one as it's not one I've run into before. The whole idea about being to revive the dead for a 24-hour period offers so many possibilities. It's a shame the author doesn't quite pull it off in the long run, but I'm still going to take a closer look at this one.

    ReplyDelete

Comments make me feel special, so go crazy! Just keep it clean and civil. Feel free to speak your mind (I always do), but be aware that I will delete any offensive comments.

P.S.: Don't panic if your comment doesn't show up right away. I have to approve each one before it posts to prevent spam. It's annoying, but it works!

Blog Widget by LinkWithin