Book Review: The Deep by Alma Katsu

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A winding tale of mystery, forbidden love, and paranormal hauntings, The Deep will keep you up at night, guaranteed. Taking the reader back to 1912 when the Titanic sank and then to 1916 when her sister, the Brittanic, did the same, you'll feel like you're there in the action, praying for safety and feeling horrified as you witness all the lives that are lost. My first introduction to Titanic was, of course, watching the movie with Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio. I loved that movie, even though I know that was just one theoretical story among many true stories of the tragedy. I am drawn to stories of people who were lost and people who survived, so this was naturally a book I would want to read. But it is so much more than historical fiction; it is a horror story to be told at night, when the wind howls and the icy cold sends shivers down your spine.

It's 1916, four years after the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank, killing over 1000 people and forever changing those who survived. Annie Hebbley has been in an asylum, unable, or perhaps unwilling, to face the reality of life after trauma. She is not thought to be insane but rather afraid, and so is eventually released and finds herself once again on a ship - this time, the Brittanic. There she sees a face she hasn't seen in four years, one she loves and fears at the same time. She begins to remember her time on the Titannic, and Annie isn't sure what is real and what is a dream. One thing is for sure though - not all on the Titannic was what it seemed and eventually the truth will come to light.

I went into this expecting a lot of different genres meshed into one book, and that's essentially what the reader gets, which can be somewhat confusing. We met many characters, see the story told from multiple perspectives, and some make more sense than others. If I didn't know any better, I would suspect the Titannic to have been a transport for the mentally insane, since so many of the characters seemed to have completely lost their minds by the time the ship sank. We see the paranormal in a ghost haunting passengers, with fatal consequences. There is also love, though it is saddening. Two boxers who love each other during a time when their love was not accepted.

A woman who married for money and prestige, but at 18, seems too young to have made such a momentous decision. And there's our main character, Annie, and a married man named Mark.

Knowing that Annie is reunited with the young man she knew, I was expecting some romance in the story, but I didn't expect it to be so dark and toxic. For truly, this book teaches at least one lesson in life - love can be the most disastrous thing of all.

Read with the lights on. And get ready for a wild ride that blurs the line between reality and fantasy.

**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**