The Deep by Alma Katsu (Review)

The Deep by Alma Katsu Book Review

  • Title: The Deep
  • Author: Alma Katsu
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Release Date: March 10, 2020
  • Rating: 5 Stars

Alma Katsu’s follow up to The Hunger, her Bram Stoker Award-nominated hit, puts readers on board two doomed ships: Titanic and Britannic.

The Deep by Alma Katsu Book Review

Something seems off on the Titanic. Is it a spirit? A mythical creature from the deep? Or merely the result of hysteria? From a seance to a song calling from the sea, Katsu deftly blends legends that have haunted sailors and captains for centuries.

Meanwhile, aboard the Britannic, a Titanic survivor’s chance meeting with someone from her past opens up a barely healed wound, leading to emotions more tumultuous than the ocean on a stormy day.

Surrounding these two timelines are characters based on real-life people with the same names. Readers will meet many of the ill-fated Titanic’s most famous passengers. There’s also a nice focus placed on two real-life boxers who were headed to America for a year of fights. Just like with The Hunger, Katsu brought tears to my eyes a few times, even though I already knew who had died during the real Titanic disaster.

The Deep by Alma Katsu Book ReviewOne of the best parts of the book is Katsu’s description of the Titanic sinking. We only see it from a few points of view, and it’s not a big section of the overall story. But the claustrophobic and hectic nature of such an event is captured perfectly, and it left me almost breathless as I speedily read along to keep up with the main character’s (Annie) frantic pace.

Although The Deep isn’t as terrifying as The Hunger, Katsu did conjure up a few genuinely spooky moments. Those who are afraid of ghosts will also likely find The Deep to be much more frightening than I did. Regardless, the true horror in this book is wrapped up inside people’s actions and thoughts.

How do some justify conning others? How can someone live with themselves after contributing to the deaths of 1,500 people? How does a young boy die long before the iceberg comes for everyone else? These questions and more are presented for readers.

When you combine the above elements with Katsu’s beautiful prose and the natural appeal of a ghost story on the Titanic, you get a story that’s well worth reading. As an added bonus, the historical figures are given many of their real-life mannerisms and interests, making this a truly compelling historical fiction novel.


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