- Hardcover: 128 pages
- Publisher: Subterranean; Deluxe Hardcover edition (April 7, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 159606708X
- ISBN-13: 978-1596067080
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 139 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,228,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rolling in the Deep Hardcover – April 7, 2015
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From the Inside Flap
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.They didn't expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth.This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
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I enjoyed this story of the first expedition to the Mariana Trench aboard the SS Atargatis in search of elusive mermaids. The book is super. I truly enjoy Mira Grant's books.
One thing I forgot to mention in my review of the book and that also appears in this prequel is the admirable handling of deaf characters. Both the prequel and the book have different deaf characters and the prequel has some other characters with different disabilities and author Grant does a wonderful job telling their stories.
I am hoping this will be another series.
The story is broken down into five sections, each prefaced with a transcript from a documentary about the Atargatis and its missing crew, warning viewers about the footage they are about see...err, read. Whatever. Roughly the first three-quarters of the book are devoted to the various passengers, mostly the ship's captain, the documentary film crew, and the scientists. This is a quick, breezy read, paced well enough to hit the approximate run-time of a longer found-footage flick.
The downside to this, though, is that readers are not given much time to really get to know the people aboard the Atargatis or to really get into anybody's head. Thanks to the rules of found footage stories and the various documentarian notes coming up at regular intermissions, we know perfectly well that the fate of these men and women are sealed. Unfortunately, we're not given an opportunity to really get attached to any of these people, despite the slow burn toward the big finish. But that finish itself? Oh boy, does it ever get going; the mayhem really kicks things up a notch.
Besides the violent, frenetic climax, the thing I most appreciated about Rolling in the Deep was Mira Grant's focus on the science. She's an author who can take mythological premises like mermaids, or horror staples like zombies in her Newsflesh series, and give them enough scientific credibility to make it plausible. Here, we get plenty of discussion of how mermaids would be evolutionarily credible in light of things we already know about deep sea life (the use of bioluminescence and symbiosis in attracting prey, for instance). Personally, I love Grant's knack for taking what might otherwise be little more than a riff on B-movie horror tropes and elevating them with scientific rigor, grounding all that face-ripping, throat-tearing goodness in a measured bit of reality. By the time the monsters make their grand entrance, we're all but primed to accept their existence and welcome them into the world with arms spread wide.
I actually purchased the first book in this series, Into the Drowning Deep, before I realized there was a prequel. The description of Into The Drowning Deep mentions nothing about mermaids, but does mention the Mariana Trench, which I find fascinating. I was hoping for a great shark book, but got mermaids instead. Needless to say, I did a lot of eye rolling, but decided to go with it because of all the great reviews. I even purchased this prequel in good faith.
And it was good!
Some of the science is a iffy, as are the descriptions of the Mariana Trench. And if we're being picky, the plot is pretty implausible. None of those things stop this from being good, old-fashioned entertainment. It's a great little novella. I'm looking forward to diving into book 1 tomorrow!