Reading Level: Adult
Length: 128 pages
Release Date: April 7, 2015
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Rating: 4/5 stars
When I saw that this book by Mira Grant was being released by Subterranean Press I was immediately dying to have it. I am a huge fan of Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire). This ended up being an intriguing and well written fantasy/thriller/horror of sorts. It is a pretty short novella and would have made a wonderful full-length book.
The cruise ship Atargatis has been hired by Imagine Network to go on a journey like none other. The Atargatis is supposed to journey over the Marianas Trench in a quest to prove that mermaids are real. The boat is full of the world’s leading researchers on marine life; experts who…while not necessarily looking for mermaids…are excited to have someone else foot the bill for their scientific equipment and give them a chance to learn more about deep sea life.
Imagine Network (never one to leave anything to chance) also brings along their own troupe of mermaids, normal women who really want to be real life mermaids and are darn good at it. What they find is more disturbing and alarming than anything they imagined.
This book is set up in a very journalistic type way…much like Grant’s Newsflesh series. Each section starts with an excerpt from a book about ghost ships, so right away you know things went horribly wrong with the Atargatis. The story is very much a slow build with disaster striking quickly and decisively right at the end of the book.
I was a bit worried about how many characters are introduced right off the bat, but I shouldn’t have worried. There are a lot of characters, but they were easy to keep track off. The book also switches POV between different characters quite a bit, but this worked well and gave the story a broader focus without being too scattered.
I also enjoyed some of the science talk around marine biology and a look into the lives of women who want to assume the lifestyle of mermaids.
Parts of the book do get pretty gory and disturbing at the end, so you’ve been warned.
My only complaint about this book is that it is so short. There were so many interesting areas in this story that could have been explored at greater depth (no pun intended). I wanted to know more about everything in this book and was disappointed at how quickly everything was presented and wrapped up.
Overall this is an engaging and entertaining thriller/fantasy of sorts. The story is fast-paced and interesting. I wish it had been a bit longer and more fleshed out.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge