Friday, December 1, 2017

#Review - Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant #Science Fiction

Series: Rolling in the Deep # 1
Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Release Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Orbit
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Science Fiction / Action & Adventure

New York Times bestselling author Mira Grant, author of the renowned Newsflesh series, returns with a novel that takes us to a new world of ancient mysteries and mythological dangers come to life.
The ocean is home to many myths, But some are deadly...
Seven years ago the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a tragedy.
Now a new crew has been assembled. But this time they're not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life's work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.
Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.
But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

"The Ocean is the last great mystery of the world."

Mira Grant's Into the Drowning Deep is the first standalone novel from the author while being set in an entirely new world. The premise of sea creatures of legend coming to life is perfectly suited for what fans have come to expect from Grant: unique characters, illuminating and fun science, and a singular ability to play on our most basic fears. For those who are saying,"Hey, wait a minute! This isn't a standalone! It's part of a series!" I say undo thee, NOPE! Here is where things really get twisted.

In 2015, Grant released a prequel called Rolling in the Deep, which I did not read nor do I believe that you have to in order to enjoy what Grant is trying to put together in this story. Rolling is a story that is set in 2015, seven years before this story takes place. In the prequel, the author tells the story about the Atargatis which traveled to the Mariana Trench to do a so called cryptid mockumentary about mermaids. What the crew never expected to find was actual mermaids. Unfortunately, all hands were lost. Footage that was leaked has been deemed both a hoax and proof that mermaids really do exist.

Fast forward to the year 2022. Imagine Network, which sent out the Atargatis in 2015, has spent the past 7 years putting together an entirely new ship, and now it's time for a different cast of characters. When approached by Theodore Blackwell, Victoria "Tory" Stewart, agrees to go along with a group of new scientists and researchers as brilliant as she is. Others include her partner Luis Martines, Dr. Jillian Toth, (who has been warning about the existence of mermaids for years), Olivia Sanderson is the media personality this time around taking the position that Anne Steward held onboard the Atargatis, and, of course, Theodore Blackwell as representative of the Imagine Network.

For Tory, this is all about closure. Tory's older sister Anne was onboard the Atargatis when it was attacked and her body was never found. For 7 years, Tory has been guided by a determination to find out what really happened to her sister and bring back closure to her family. Armed with state of the art technology which she has spent years accumulating, hunters, and experts across almost all fields of scientific research, Tory may find what she's been searching for. But, will that search lead to history repeating itself? 

Mira is a brilliant writer, of that you should never doubt. She is able to cobble up twisted as well as interesting facts that highlight the danger that this cast will face this new expedition to the darkest, deepest part of the ocean. I will say this, have patience with this book from the start. There is a whole lot of science-y stuff that Grant uses to fill her world, and why her characters are so important to the telling of this story. At about 50%, things really get swinging into motion and all hell breaks loose. Grant is blood thirsty. She loves to put her characters in terrifying positions and let them struggling to get themselves out. 

I requested this book from the publisher because I've been interested in marine biology for years. While growing up, I was a fan of French explorer Jacques Cousteau, and others that came after him. I was impressed not only by the technology that he was credited with, but by his discoveries as well. When it comes to researching the depths of the ocean and what it may or may not hold within the deepest, darkest places like the Mariana Trench or the Challenger Deep, my imagination runs wild. While the richest countries in the world have been spending trillions of dollars on space exploration, the oceans of the worlds have gone largely unexplored. Grant leaves readers with the theory that mankind walked away from the waters, but the waters, and the mysteries it contains, never forgot about mankind. 

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