By: Nick Cutter
Format/Source: Advanced Reading Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster CA
A strange plague called the ’Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys…then the not-so-small things like how to drive, or the letters of the alphabet. Then their bodies forget how to function involuntarily…and there is no cure. But now, far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, deep in the Marianas Trench, an heretofore unknown substance hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered—a universal healer, from initial reports. It may just be the key to a universal cure. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab, the Trieste, has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But now the station is incommunicado, and it’s up to a brave few to descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.
Part horror, part psychological nightmare, The Deep is a novel that fans of Stephen King and Clive Barker won’t want to miss—especially if you’re afraid of the dark.
I read Nick Cutter’s debut novel, The Troop (review), last year and really enjoyed it despite not being much of a reader in the horror genre (Also had the opportunity to ask the author a few questions!). So when the opportunity came around to read his latest novel, The Deep, I jumped at the chance. This book will be available on 13 January 2015.
The Deep really grabs the reader from the beginning. The ‘Gets is a really creepy, very scary condition. And that’s just the beginning for this novel…The further you go in the story, the stranger the novel gets. I thought it was very interesting and compelling how the author uses the character’s memories and weaves it into the more tense moments in the story, adding to the psychological elements of the horror. The setting also provides a claustrophobic feeling to the story, which again adds to the creeping horror and suspense.
Luke Nelson is an interesting character, and is simply the perfect character to follow as we step into this strange story. He’s immediately likeable, relatable, and it’s clear from the first few chapters that he is a character with a lot of emotional baggage and history on him. Over the course of the novel, it’s clear that he’s also a very compelling character as his backstory is revealed; you really feel for him and his loss and what spurs him onward in life, for the sake of just functioning, but it’s clear that the past haunts him. The situation around him, down in Trieste, aggravates his guilt and his regrets, pushing them to the max, that it’s just maddening. And just in case:
Other characters were also interesting: I thought Al–Alice Skye, the military officer who accompanies Luke to Trieste–was really cool, very level-headed as things got weirder and takes Luke down the rabbit hole so to speak. I wish she had more scenes, but it made sense that she was often off to handle the more technical aspects of what’s going on at the station. I wasn’t sure what to think of Luke’s brother Clay at first: I wasn’t sure if he had some psychological condition or if he was really just an unaffected douchebag. The reveal of what was going on in his head certainly answers it.
I admit, the final third of the novel was a bit of a jump; the revelation of what was really going on/what those things that Clay and his team were examining seemed a little too out there, but in the context of the story and everything that had been laid out earlier in the novel, it made sense. So maybe it might’ve just been whatever mood I was in when I finished reading the novel.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Deep, it was quite a difficult book to put down after a while! I also think it would make a very cool movie, very atmospheric and suspenseful. But, as a bit of PSA, I wouldn’t recommend this book if you
- are afraid of being kilometres deep in the ocean
- don’t like small spaces
- get queasy very easily
- afraid of the dark and related creepy items/stories/monsters under the bed growing up
But if you’re into horror/suspenseful novels in the vein of Stephen King (who always has something great to say about his books, by the way!) or psychological suspenseful novels or looking for a scary read, definitely pick up this title! In the meantime, I can’t wait to read whatever Nick Cutter writes next 🙂