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The Deep

The Deep, March 2020
by Alma Katsu

G.P. Putnam's Sons
432 pages
ISBN: 0525537902
EAN: 9780525537908
Kindle: B07T3XDM9F
Hardcover / e-Book / audiobook
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"Horror at its finest... steeped in history and folklore!"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Deep
Alma Katsu

Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted March 22, 2020

Paranormal Historical | Romance Historical

The story and tragic fate of the Titanic is well known. Lesser known is the story of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, which also sank four years after the Titanic. Violet Jessup was a survivor of both ship sinkings and served as a stewardess and a nurse. THE DEEP features her fictional friend, Annie Hebbley. Anne is a stewardess on the Titanic and a nurse on the hospital ship, Britannic, but it appears demons from the past are lingering on both ships. What shadowy whispers are haunting both ships?

I have long been fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic, so I couldn’t resist picking up THE DEEP. In THE DEEP, we meet a whole host of intriguing characters, some historical and some fictional. I enjoyed delving into the worlds of Benjamin Guggenheim, John Jacob Astor IV, and Lucy Duff-Gordon. However, it was some of the lesser known historical figures, like boxers David John Bowen and Leslie Williams, as well as the controversial William T. Stead, who add depth to the storyline so that it’s not all glitz and wealth. Instead, we see the darker side of humanity, interestingly contrasted with the unspeakable horror of certain death at the sinking of the Titanic. Alma Katsu portrays some very poignant moments as passengers are put in a choice of life or death, some choosing to sacrifice themselves to help others.

Horror is a tricky genre, as much of modern-day horror is focused on gore and the fear factor. THE DEEP harkens back to the classic horror tales, more reminiscent of Dracula or Frankenstein, where the literary telling and the building of atmosphere and character are crucial to the storyline. Alma Katsu excels on all accounts and her brilliant retelling of the sinking of the two ships is classic horror at its finest.

THE DEEP is told through alternating timelines, weaving seamlessly back and forth between 1912 on the Titanic and 1916 on the Britannic. Alma Katsu brilliantly incorporates a paranormal element into the story as we explore the tale of the dubheasa. Alma Katsu’s lyrical writing evokes a haunting atmosphere that permeates the entire narrative of THE DEEP. Each word, each phrase is to be slowly savored as the tension heightens masterfully with the unfolding of each scene. I didn’t want to put THE DEEP down, even as I wanted to take time to relish Alma Katsu’s poetical use of words. THE DEEP is a shining example of atmospheric horror and highly recommended for fans of the classic horror tale.

Learn more about The Deep


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.

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