Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1) by Mira Grant
Published by Orbit
Publication date: November 14, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Horror, Science Fiction
I’ve officially reached the point in the year that my reading is what I call free range. I still have two books left to read that release in 2021, but by-and-large I’m reading whatever catches my eye at the library or catching up on older books that have been recommended to me by readers I trust. It was in this mindset that I stumbled across Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant. What caught my eye? It’s set in the Western Pacific Ocean, above the Mariana Trench—the deepest point in the ocean. If Mount Everest were set in the bottom of the trench it would still be underwater. I’m obsessed by something that unknowable.
Before you get too impressed by my interest in scientific matters, I’ll come clean. Into the Drowning Deep is a novel about a massive research vessel funded by an entertainment company going to the trench to try and determine what happened to a previous ship that sailed seven years ago. It was later found adrift with no crew on board. Yes, this is a sci-fi horror story. Forget lofty reading about the environment, endangered species, the damage being done to our oceans, this is about the only evidence left from the ill-fated initial trip—choppy, grainy film footage of an attack on board by some unknown type of creature. The general consensus is that it’s fake, but for some it’s just the initial proof they’ve been waiting for that a mythological being feared by man for millennia actually exists.
Into the Drowning Deep has a full roster of characters, from a young sonar specialist whose sister was on the original voyage, a bloodthirsty couple looking to kill and eat one of every species on the planet, a scientist who’s an outspoken proponent for the evolution of sentient aquatic beings, and a marine biologist. I appreciate Grant’s thoroughness in the variety, mostly because it’s not just at a surface level. She goes all-in on the details of each person’s specialty and as the action ramps up it lends more credence to the science fiction scenario.
This is fast, light reading, but it’s not silly. Grant explores the very real issue of the impact of humans’ desire to exert dominion over everything on the planet as well as the inherent belief that we are the alpha predators in the Universe. Into the Drowning Deep is a page-turning thriller where the vast majesty of the ocean is coupled with the possibility of some malevolent life form. Creepy, scary fun.
Want more fiction set in the Mariana Trench? Try Nick Cutter’s The Deep.
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