Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
The Abyss Surrounds Us Paperback – February 8, 2016
See the Best Books of 2017 So Far
Looking for something great to read? Browse our editors' picks for the best books of the year so far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Life on the sea is anything but relaxing and safe. Pirates will attack and pillage any unprotected ship they come across. Ships must be ever vigilant to protect their passengers and cargo. To ensure the safety of those traveling by the sea, genetically engineered sea monsters are trained and tasked with protecting the ships. Cassandra Leung is a Reckoner trainer, a trainer of these creatures. Her family has been in this business for years, and Cassandra cannot wait to take her beloved sea monster on their first solo mission. However, her dreams of success are dashed by Santa Elena, a pirate leader with her own agenda. Santa Elena has acquired her own creature and expects Cassandra to train it for evil instead of good. Her sea monster destroyed and Cassandra a captive, the girl must find a way to survive and protect her heritage. Choosing sides becomes more difficult as she becomes deeply engrossed in the pirate lifestyle and develops a kinship and interest in one of the pirates. On whose side will she end up? Skrutskie adeptly creates a fantastical world of ruthless pirates; lovable, deadly creatures; and dynamic characters. Readers will be constantly changing their opinions on which side they're rooting for. VERDICT Sci-fi and adventure fans will enjoy this quick read and escape into a new world.—Jessica Strefling, US Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit Library
"[A] fresh and fascinating look at a lawless future." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"This is a solid, well-crafted, new adventure story with an interesting, unusual hook." --Booklist
"Skrutskie creates an intriguing fantasy world full of floating cities, ruthless monsters, betrayals, and unlikely friendships." --Publishers Weekly
"The Abyss Surrounds Us is highly original and addictive." --SLJTeen
-[A] fresh and fascinating look at a lawless future.- --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
-This is a solid, well-crafted, new adventure story with an interesting, unusual hook.- --Booklist
-Skrutskie creates an intriguing fantasy world full of floating cities, ruthless monsters, betrayals, and unlikely friendships.- --Publishers Weekly
-The Abyss Surrounds Us is highly original and addictive.- --SLJTeen
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
Cassandra Leung’s entire family is involved in the industry that creates and trains gigantic sea monsters, Reckoners, to escort ships and provide protection from pirates. Cas is a trainer who has just been given her first solo mission when everything goes terribly wrong. Her Reckoner is killed, and Cas herself is captured by pirates led by pirate queen Santa Elena. And Santa Elena has a plan. Somehow, she’s gotten a hold of a Reckoner pup, and she’s going to use it and Cas to change the balance of power on the high seas.
The Abyss Surrounds Us is set sometime in the future, when rising sea levels have drowned cities and coastal lands, leading to huge numbers of stateless people who live on ships and floating cities. Almost their only means of survival is piracy. But does that justify the theft and murder? And are the corporations who have sea monsters created to protect their ships justified in utterly annihilating the pirate ships? It’s a complex issue and the book doesn’t present any easy answers.
The writing wasn’t gorgeous or anything, but it wasn’t overly simplistic either, a problem I’ve had with some other YA new releases. There were no plot holes that I noticed, character motivations made sense… Basically, everything worked like it should, and there were no problems that jolted me out of my enjoyment of the story.
If you can’t tell from what I’ve said about the book so far, it’s very diverse. Cas is Chinese and a lesbian, with a love interest who’s another teenage girl. The supporting cast is similarly diverse, which makes utter sense given that the book’s set primarily in the Pacific Ocean.
I also liked how the romantic relationship played out. I actually cared about it, which is pretty unusual for me. Cas’s and Swift’s relationship wasn’t insta love and grew naturally through the book. I was a bit worried about the possible power dynamics of Cas being a prisoner on the ship and Swift being one of Elena’s lackies, but it was actually handled fairly well.
My biggest quibble would be that The Abyss Surrounds Us was so short. What with that and the fast pace, I blew through it in under a day. Luckily, there is a planned sequel so I’ll get more of Cas and the sea monsters eventually.
The Abyss Surrounds Us is one of the best new YA novels that I’ve read. I can’t wait until it comes out in February 2016 so I can start shoving it on all my friends.
This a free and honest review written in exchange for a ARC copy obtained through Netgalley.
In this futuristic alternate universe, the world's seas are overrun with pirates and to protect the innocent ships, science has created Reckoners -- giant monsters trained to defend their charges during their voyages. Okay, let's stop there because GIANT. SEA. MONSTERS. Sold. Right there.
But the story is so much more than that. This book felt like a fantasy but had a lot of science scattered throughout. You're introduced to the story in the midst of a scene and given just enough to go on before the story progresses. The world-building was a delicate balance that fed all my fantasy-loving needs while also not bogging the story down too much.
And this is probably one of my new favorite worlds. I thought the idea of the Reckoners was so original and the world both brand new but similar enough to make it seem like a plausible future for our world (which is both scary and cool). Plus, the biologist in me would love to be a Reckoner trainer. That would be SO AWESOME.
Speaking of Reckoner trainers, I loved Cas. She's young but strong and has her flaws, yet doesn't let them stand in her way. She does what it takes to survive among the pirates and definitely isn't the same person she started out as upon her capture.
The rest of the cast was distinct without being overwhelming. This ship has a decently large crew but the characters didn't overwhelm the story with their own subplots. I loved the captain. I need a prequel about her because that has got to be an amazing story in itself. And then there's Swift.
Swift was great. She's gruff and standoffish but has a lot more beneath the surface that really brings her character to life. And Skrutskie knows exactly when to reveal each tidbit for maximum impact.
Though I've seen some talk against the romance in this book, I really loved it and shipped Cas and Swift from their first meeting. Theirs is a relationship built on trust gained from aiding each other. It's a slow romance but blooms beautifully by the end. And wow, that ending was rough for these two.
This book was a fast read. I finished it in roughly two hours and couldn't believe that it was over already. I'm thankful to have the sequel because the end of The Abyss Surrounds Us wasn't QUITE a cliffhanger but left enough of the story open to keep me wanting more.
Now this book wasn't perfect. The writing was a bit rough at the beginning though I didn't notice much once the story really picked up. And, at times, the story felt a tad rushed. But overall, this is a great fantasy that I think everyone needs to get their hands on! Can't wait to see what Skrutskie does next in The Edge of the Abyss!