March 13, 2020

The Deep Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway

The Deep
Author: Alma Katsu 
Genre: Adult Horror/Historical Fiction
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Publisher: Transworld Digital
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Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner's illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers - including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher - are convinced that something sinister is going on... And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not - could not - have survived the sinking of the Titanic...
I've been dying to read The Deep for months and now that I've had the chance to experience it, I have a surprising array of feelings that I wasn't expecting. There were a ton of things that I absolutely loved and a couple that bothered me a little. Here's a breakdown:

Writing: The author never fails to disappoint with her writing. It's so descriptive that it immediately drew me into the story and the setting. It felt like I was alongside the characters experiencing everything they did. The attention to detail - even the tiniest of things - made it obvious that the author did extensive research before writing to make it all as real as possible. That dedication and truth shines through on every page and really sets the author's books - especially this one - apart from anything else like it. I could rant on forever about how much I loved the writing style and how incredible it was, but I think you get the point. It was nothing short of amazing.

Stories about the Titanic always fascinate me, so that's part of what initially drew me to this book. The part that made it a must read? The paranormal aspect. I'm a huge fan of anything paranormal, so a haunted Titanic was a no brainer for me. The story feels very authentic mostly due to the author's writing style (see above) and it was unlike anything I've ever read before. There were certain aspects to the way the story was told - from different periods of time, from specific dates and places, and several perspectives - that also really impressed and enthralled me. I loved getting to know all of the characters and their personal stories throughout the book. I also enjoyed watching their relationships with one another begin, change, and grow as the story progressed. The plot was fascinating and I loved the way the author blended historic facts with fiction and added a splash of the paranormal for good measure. It was truly an amazing book and one that I intend to reread.

Writing Style: I know that I have writing style listed as something I loved, but there were definitely aspects that I wasn't the biggest fan of. First of all - point of view. If you've read my reviews before, you know how incredibly important POV is to me. It can make or break a book for me. I basically always prefer the first person POV because I feel it lets the reader have a deeper connection to the narrator. The author chose to write this story in the third person POV from several different perspectives. I can understand the reasoning behind this and it makes perfect sense. But for me personally, it was a big negative. Like I said, I love the first person because the reader gets to know the narrator on a really personal level and I don't feel the other writing styles allow this to happen. Sadly (for me), that's exactly what happened with this book. Although I got to know the main characters pretty well, I didn't get to connect with any of them on the level that I wanted. Without that connection, it makes it harder for me to get lost inside their world - inside the story itself. And the fact that the story is told from four different perspectives only made it that much harder for me to connect with each one (or any of them) on the level I love and also made it harder for me to get lost inside their stories. It wasn't a deal breaker for me, but it did take away some serious points in my book. Please remember that these are my own personal opinions and feelings and not every reader is going to feel the same way as me. I'm just sharing my thoughts honestly. I don't mean any of this to reflect poorly on the book or the author at all - again, it's only my opinion.

Overall, this was a creepy historical fiction novel that lets readers travel to the past to experience both the Titanic and the Britannic as if they were there themselves. The writing is beautifully done and I very highly recommend it to fans of historical fiction, paranormal, and readers who love anything related to the Titanic.
Alma Katsu is the author of The Hunger, a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party with a horror twist. The Hunger made NPR’s list of the 100 Best Horror Stories, was named one of the best novels of 2018 by the Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books (and more), and was nominated for a Stoker and Locus Award for best horror novel.

The Taker, her debut novel, has been compared to the early works of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for combining historical, the supernatural, and fantasy into one story. The Taker was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by Booklist, was nominated for a Goodreads Readers Choice award, and has been published in over 10 languages. It is the first in an award-winning trilogy that includes The Reckoning and The Descent.
Ms. Katsu lives outside of Washington DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. In addition to her novels, she has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving. She also is an alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career in intelligence, working for several US agencies and a think tank. She currently is a consultant on emerging technologies. Additional information can be found on Wikipedia and in this interview with
Win a finished copy of THE DEEP by Alma Katsu (US Only)
Starts: March 10, 2020
Ends: March 24, 2020

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