Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep, #1)Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
My rating: 5/5 cats
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There were appetites to be sated, no matter how cold the water became, no matter how strange the sea turned. As long as there were bellies, they would need to be fed. As long as there was life in the sea, there would be teeth.

i read Rolling in the Deep a couple of years back, when it was presented as a one-off novella, and it blew my mind. it was all the things i loved about mira grant’s writing from her newsflesh and parasitology series in style and atmosphere, but it also featured killer mermaids, which everyone knows is a surefire way to make a book more awesome.

moby-dick with killer mermaids? SO MUCH BETTER

when i heard she was planning to return to these creatures with a full-length novel, i was overjoyed. and it totally delivers – it’s everything that was fresh and original about the novella, only on a much grander scale. <——- that is not a fish pun. unless you like that sort of thing. it’s just … more across the board. this book is about three times the size of the novella, the boat in this book is much larger than the novella’s atargatis (b/c jaws meme is troof), and it is carrying twice as many passengers as the mere 200 lost in that first mermaid-finding mission. and the boat itself, well, as the beleaguered captain phrases it:

”…we are on the maiden voyage of an untested research ship built to the specifications of an entertainment corporation.”

what could go wrong on such a vessel??

one of the things i praised over in my review for Rolling in the Deep was the number of different scientific disciplines featured in that story, and how grant spent time expounding the slant of each scientist’s contribution to the enterprise in tasty little science nuggets. here, there’s even more of that; a noah’s ark of any and all possibly relevant hard and social scientists, plus big game hunters and media types. add to this mira grant’s “representation bingo” approach to featuring diverse characters, and you have a broad variety of perspectives and storylines and experiential variation across the personal and professional spectrum mermaid food.

because mermaids don’t care about your educational background or if you’re deaf or bisexual or japanese-australian or in chronic pain or are a dolphin.

The Atargatis had found the mermaids because the people on the ship were made of meat, and the mermaids had empty stomachs that they wanted to fill. That was how you found things, in the sea. Be delicious. That was all you ever had to do.

there’s just something about her writing i find comforting, despite the guarantee that at least one character i like will not live through any given story. the fact that i can count on someone i like being killed off is an ironic testament to the dependability of her work, with its checklist of constants that doesn’t feel like her revisiting the well, but more like how your best friend knows what will make you laugh.

i love that each section of her books opens with her signature two-pages of character quotes, usually “excerpted” from interviews or lectures or books/research they’ve written, where terrifying facts are delivered in very dry tones:

Do I think they found mermaids?

Yes. Of course I do.

And I think the mermaids ate them all.

i love that we can always count on at least one character to carry on the angry righteous tradition of newsflesh’s georgia mason:

Luis looked at her worriedly as he unlocked the car. “You’re making the scary face again.”

“Which one?”

“The one that says you’re going to burn down the world if that’s what it takes to get what you want.”

i love the resigned fatalism:

They were still miles from home, adrift on an uncaring sea, and the worst was yet to come. The worst was always yet to come.

and i love that she always manages to carry a torch of humor through all the monster-filled gloom. there are plenty of funny moments here, most notably a perfectly-timed deadpan delivery of a t.s. eliot quote that was so unexpected, i literally barked with laughter.

tl;dr – it’s perfect mira grant – smart and funny and scary and dangerous and surprising. watch your butts.


spoiler alert – this book is awesome.

review to come.

wait, did this always say #1 in the title? the prospect of getting to read even more mira grant-penned killer mermaid novels makes me giddy.


oh my god, i am so freaking happy right now. this book is my reward for another crummy week.

ohhh, a COVER! this makes me want it even MORE!

read my reviews on goodreads

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