This will be a review of both Into the Drowning Deep and Rolling in the Deep as they are basically the same story.
When I found out that Mira Grant was writing a book based off of oceanography/marine biology featuring mermaids, I knew I just had to read it. I enjoyed her Newsflesh Trilogy even though I had a few issues with the second book, nonetheless Into the Drowning Deep sounded like a perfect read for me at the right time. About a week before my library hold came in, I found out that she actually wrote a novella, Rolling in the Deep, in this world, and that Into the Drowning Deep was a direct sequel. So I immediately purchased the ebook novella of Rolling in the Deep and devoured it. I’m so happy I read Rolling in the Deep first because the suspense and mystery aspects of these books were more pronounced in Rolling in the Deep because the author introduced the mermaids in it. Into the Drowning Deep assumed that you already knew what happened in Rolling in the Deep and that we saw what the mermaids can do. So in this way, I highly recommend reading Rolling in the Deep first.
Moving to Into the Drowning Deep, I was super excited to jump right in. The story set up its main points of view, a marine biologist whose sister died in Into the Rolling Deep, a media personality that is only comfortable with other people when she is in front of the camera, three sisters with two of them that are deaf, and a mermaid expert that used to be married to the man running the expedition to find out if the mermaids filmed during Into the Rolling Deep was a hoax or not. There are a plethora of other side characters but these are the main ones. What is great about the characters in this book, which is the book’s strength, is how diverse they are. Each character, regardless of page time, is completely flushed out and engaging to the reader. There is a myriad of scientists involved in the expedition to prove the existence of mermaids and it really ends up being a book about science people doing science stuff to figure out how to save their lives.
While reading this book I had a great time seeing the character development, especially the media personality falling for the marine biologist, and them having a very realistic relationship. When chaos ensues the characters that have integrity step up while the ones that the reader is wary of only look out for themselves. A large portion of the book is talking about the scientific aspects of the mermaids and I should have realized Grant would include a lot of science in her book. For some people, the book might slow down in the midpoint with all the science experiments but I thought there were enough thrills to excite.
If you are looking for a book with a diverse group of characters(a lot of women, LGBT, deaf representation), some great science, and mermaids tearing out the throats of people with Phd’s, then give Into the Drowning Deep a try. Do yourself a favor before you read this one though and grab the ebook of Rolling into the Deep before reading Into the Drowning Deep, as the connections definitely make Into the Drowning Deep a stronger book.
17/25 Possible Score
3 – Plot
4 – Characters
3 – World Building
4 – Writing Style
3 – Heart & Mind Aspect