Monday, March 16, 2020

BLOG TOUR: The Deep by Alma Katsu

Title: The Deep
Author: Alma Katsu
Genre: Historical Fiction-Horror
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Acquired: Egalley approved via Netgalley
Goodreads: ADD

From the acclaimed and award-winning author of The Hunger comes an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic.

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanic from the moment they set sail. The Titanic's passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship's maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several--including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim--are convinced there's something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his 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.

Featuring an ensemble cast of characters and effortlessly 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.


What an incredibly brilliant idea for a narrative. The titanic, on it's own, was such an incredible feat of modern engineering, and it's ultimate demise, such a timeless tragedy. Katsu created with The Deep, something that can also be considered timeless, in it's melding of history with horror; factual, and non-factual character depictions with the added allure of the paranormal.

Annie Hebbley survived the infamous sinking of the Titanic in 1912, and after a brief stint in an asylum, where she attempted to ignore it's grip on her mind, she registers for a nurse aid position aboard the newly minted Brittanic (a sister ship to the Titanic, and an ocean-bound hospital liner for those injured in the first world war). Simultaneously, we experience both Annie's timeline on the Titanic, and her present-day on the Britannic in 1916. Annie's time spent on the first ship was defined by more than just it's tragic end, as a specific group of guests convince her that mysterious instances aboard are the work of paranormal entities. Years later, on her second sailing, Annie comes face to face with one those guests, one that she had thought she'd lost forever, both physically and emotionally. The impossibility of it brings back both dark memories, and a sinister threat that they thought they left behind.

Even while I was reading The Deep, my mind strayed to the author's backlist titles that I would have the pleasure of reading once I was done. Katsu's writing, for me, was true storytelling. It was immersive, and deliciously mysterious, it brought to mind the narratives of the greats like Christie, and Conan Doyle. I'll admit that, alike the aforementioned authors, the joy was in the writing itself, and not so much the genre it was promising. The 'horror' aspect was minimal, and served mostly as a decorative background for the in-depth character explorations that took the forefront. I became so heartrendingly attached to so many of the backstories, and present stories, in this narrative—I could read an entire book on Caroline Fletcher or Madelaine Astor. 

I can't wait to become completely entranced by Katsu's future work!

Favourite Quotes

"His fingers dart around the edges of a cigarette he twirls in his hand, and she can think is ease. She has never felt that. She is more like the cigarette itself, passed from hand to mouth to earth, sucked dry and then forgotten. Or perhaps she is the smoke, blown into the air, made invisible at the meeting of the lips."

"The living are often anchors for the dead. The old newspaperman Stead's words come back to him, how the dead want to lay down their troubles and escape to the next world but it's the living, unable to let go, who keep them here. Love and desperation like heavy chains lash them to the earth."

Read if you like:
Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
The Widows of Braxton County by Jess McConkey
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Key themes: 
occultism, spiritualism, death, trauma, tragedy, love, destiny



CLICK HERE to read about Alma on her author page.
A huge thank-you to FFBC Tours for allowing me to participate in the tour, and for G.P. Putnam's Sons for approving an egalley via Netgalley to review!

Click here to view the tour schedule, and enter for your chance to win a copy of the book!

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