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Monday, May 1, 2023

Book Review: Deep, by Melanie Boksted Horav

Ryler is a young resident of Deep Blue, an underwater colony that's home to the last survivors of a global environmental disaster. A disaster that wiped out humanity hundreds of years ago, leaving the surface air toxic and the last hope of humanity beneath the waves. After the devastating and unexpected death of his grandmother, Marna, who also happens to be the president of the colony, Ryler teams up with his friend Anna to uncover the truth behind her suspicious demise.

Their investigation takes them down a dangerous path, as they discover shocking secrets and a killer on the loose who will stop at nothing to keep the truth hidden. With time running out and their own lives on the line, Ryler, and his friends must race against the clock to solve the mystery and escape the clutches of an invisible enemy. Will they make it out alive?

I have to admit, I snagged this one to read based on the cover. I had a dream recently about Michael Crichton's Sphere, (which just went into my stack to be reread.) So, I was caught a little unaware by the story line. I wasn't expecting dystopian fiction, I guess. 

Not to say I didn't really enjoy this book. Because I really did. The world-building alone was enthralling. Without a map, an ocean colony could potentially be unwieldy to carry in one's head, but even with the detailed descriptions, was easily imaginable. I could "see" the houses, the garden, the engineering areas, etc. where scenes took place. The story is fast-paced and it draws you in quickly.

The characters are so well-done and interesting. Ryler and Anna (the leads) are relatable and deep. Supporting characters are just the ones that are needed in the spaces they arrive. I particulary like Red, who is rough-edged and brings an element that shows us that human nature is the same, even with and despite technological and sociological advances.

I do think that it's very obvious that this is intended to be a series. I often "get" this as a book is winding up, but thinking back over it, I feel like there's a lot left untended or unanswered. One of the characters mentions severe back pain often enough that it's part of the story line, but we aren't told more than that there's pain and medication for it. A few scene changes felt very abrupt. The story is going strong along an arc, and then stops because a character is distracted by something. It was unsettling, which maybe was the point.

Overall, I'm definitely going to find the next book because I want to know the answers to some things. It's a good story, and done well.

What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from Enter Text Here through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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