Review: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant || Two Words—Killer. Mermaids.

Do I think they found mermaids? Yes. Of course I do. And I think the mermaids ate them all.

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Publication date:  November 14, 2017

Publisher: Orbit

Genre: Adult, Horror, Sci-fi

Synopsis: Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

Content Warnings: Animal death, graphic depictions of death and injury

I read this way back in the beginning of May (believe it or not, for autism awareness month, which was in April—I’m a mess), and I’m only posting my review now because trying to describe the uniqueness of the writing in this book was so hard. I’m not even sure if I’m making sense even now. But I really liked this book, and I’m so excited to share my thoughts with you!

Having read this and the Wayward Children series by the same author, I can confidently say that Seanan McGuire, also known as Mira Grant (her pen name), writes like no other. You know how in most third person points of views, technically, there is “someone” narrating the story, but that “someone” isn’t really a character–just some narrative voice that you don’t really give much thought to? Well, in Seanan McGuire’s books, it’s almost as if the narrative voice is a character of its own.

It narrates to us the lives of each of the scientists on board the Melusine, along with what is going on beneath the ship as the sirens plan their attack. Its insights about environment, our loss of empathy for the plant and animal wildlife around us, are incredibly chilling.

It’s like the narrative voice is the character we’re closest to in the story, because we only get to know the actual characters when the narrator tells us facts about them, and a big part of this book is reading about the narrator’s opinions on the book’s events. Some may say that this is telling and not showing, and that may be true, but for me, it just added to the uniqueness of the writing.

Basically, the third person omniscient POV in Into the Drowning Deep is akin to a shrewd and all-knowing presence who’s watching the whole story unfold while providing commentary and exposition so that we may understand the story as well.

The trouble with discovery is that it goes two ways. For you to find something, that thing must also find you.

I know I said that the characters are introduced in a tell and not show manner, with the narrator simply giving their scientific credentials and some of the more memorable parts of their personality, but they were incredible characters nonetheless. I loved the casual diversity that the author seamlessly wove into her characters.

Victoria “Tory” Stewart– Our main character, whose sister, Anne, died in the Atargatis. She is determined to find out more about the circumstances of her sister’s death, because she knows that there’s more to it than meets the eye. She’s also explicitly bisexual, and has dating history with guys, girls and even a nonbinary person.

▪️Olivia Sanderson– The reporter on board the Melusine in charge of interviewing the residents and chronicling the goings-on inside the ship. She’s very good at her job, an autistic lesbian, and I loved her relationship with Tory so much. They both know what they want from their romance, and they deeply care for each other, but their first priority will always be the mermaids trying to eat them.

Dr. Jillian Toth– The world’s leading expert in sirens, a sirenologist. Most people believe her work to be a joke but they are in for a surprise. I also would be perfectly fine with it if she stepped on me.

Hallie, Heather and Holly Wilson– Heather and Holly are deaf twins with Hallie working as their interpreter. I really liked how Heather and Holly’s deafness is never used to diminish them, and the book always make sure to state that their lack of hearing has never been a hindrance. I also loved that Hallie constantly reiterates that she will never feel bad for being her sisters’ full-time interpreter.

I had a hard time getting into Into the Drowning Deep at first. From the start, information is just thrown at you, and you’re expected to keep up. There is so much technological and scientific jargon present within the pages, and I didn’t understand most of it.

Though I didn’t understand half the science in this book, I did love learning more about the anatomy of the mermaids. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book featuring mermaids that really delved deep and tried to define their anatomy and psychology before. The surgery scene was my favorite!

When I got used to the writing, and the plot started to move forward, I had such a grand time. Mermaids are attacking a ship and eating people–how could you not have fun? No, I’m serious, I’m the type of reader who delights in reading about violence for some reason. (I promise I’m not a serial killer.) And Into the Drowning Deep is filled with descriptions of people getting eaten. It was so brutal and I loved it. But I do understand if reading about a lot of gore is not in your best interests.

I’ve seen a good number of people complain about the ending. Many found that it was anticlimactic, and though I wasn’t mad about the ending, I do agree with them. I think the author may have done that so that she could have a chance at writing a sequel though. And I, personally, would love a sequel!

Bottom line, if you’re tired of stories that romanticize mermaids and portray them as ladies who fall in love with the first man they comes across, this is definitely the book for you. The writing and story concept is unlike anything I’ve ever read before.

The Verdict: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Have you read this book? If so, what did you think about it? If not, is it on your TBR?

40 thoughts on “Review: Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant || Two Words—Killer. Mermaids.

    1. What OMG it’s amazing that you actually took my opinion so seriously! Ohhh, i thankfully found out a long time ago but i actually don’t remember how 😂 Thank you so much, Leelynn, and i hope you *love* the book 💙💙


      1. Thank you… that’s what’s so great about these blogs – we can easily agree to disagree about genres and books and stay friends/followers. Such a ray of sunshine in light of all the divisive politics out there!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wow… this sounds like such a unique read!! I like the sound of the narrative– so interesting and definitely would add an atmosphere to the story.
    The characters sound great too– and such a variety of diversity which I love!!
    I’m so glad you liked this book– it is one I would love to try out now!! It’s a shame the ending was slightly anti-climatic but you still had a good time on the journey.
    Great review– I will have to check this book out!! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is!! It may not be a new fave, but I have never read anything like it! It definitely did add an atmosphere, albeit it was hard to get into at first.
      Yes, that’s why I love Seanan McGuire’s book so much! She always makes sure to include so much diversity and important discussions in them!
      I hope you love it!! Just be prepared that no matter how much I said that i enjoyed the gore, it does get pretty dark. Yeah, it is, but I’d totally be down for a sequel!
      Thank you so much Sophie!!❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Sarah!! I didn’t quite adore this book, and it actually is a bit of a 3.75 for me if I’m being accurate. But I will stand by the fact that it’s one of the most unique books I’ve ever read!

      OMG SAME SAME. I forgot to include it in my review, but I had the exact same thought while reading the book. Like the book actually follows characters filming a documentary so IT’S PERFECY

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Animal Planet did make a mermaid mockumentary once- I can’t tell if that was what inspired the book- but I’d love to have a part two that sort of follows the story of this!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! This book has been on my TBR for years since I read and loved Rolling in the Deep. McGuire/Grant’s one of my favourite authors so I need to read it soon. 🙂 I love her science fiction because of all the detail she considers for the science – if you haven’t read Feed, I recommend it! She puts so much thought into how society would function after a zombie breakout and it’s brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you Jess! oh, i actually read this without having read rolling in the deep, and i’ve actually heard good things about that novella, so I may pick it up in the future (probably just to up my reading challenge). And yes, McGuire is such a talented writer! oh, i have actually only read the wayward children series and this book from her. i really need to change that because she’s written such a variety of books, and they all sound amazing, and I’ve heard amazing things about them. but i do agree that she put so much work into this book when it came to researching the technical bits. I’ve heard a lot about Feed! if it’s not too dark (even though I said that I liked the gore in this review it was a bit too dark at the same time), I’ll have to read it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, this book definitely took me for a ride and I appreciate it so much for its uniqueness! Omg, it delves DEEP. Just be prepared because this book has so much technical and scientific jargon in it. And I know that the gore put off quite a number of people, so definitely be aware of that! You’re so so welcome 💛💛💛


  3. I have had this book on my TBR for a while, and it honestly keeps getting lost in my TBR. With your review, I’m totally moving it up. This book sounds so intriguing, and that quote you started your review off with is totally helping sell me on it. Wonderful review! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, I definitely know of books like that! But yay, I’m so glad that you’ve chosen to move it up! Intriguing is definitely the right word for it because it actually takes the myth of mermaids on a scientific level instead of a fairy tale one. And this book is chock full of haunting quotes! Thank you so much for stopping by Mandy 💙

      Liked by 1 person

  4. ooooooh yes this has been on my TBR for a while! I didn’t actually know that Mira Grant was Seanan McGuire (or maybe I knew at some point and forgot 😅) but I love the Wayward Children books so now I’m even more excited for this one. casual diversity is something I love and something that McGuire definitely does really well, and the science of killer mermaids sounds fascinating. great review as always, Caitlin!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. same, this has been on my tbr for so long and I’m so glad that autism awareness month finally pushed me to read it! yay, I’m glad that I was able to help you remember/let you know! something I’m coming to realize is that Seanan Mcguire is sooo good about adding casual diversity to her stories–it is unreal. I’ve also never read anything that examined mermaids on a more scientific scale, and it was such a unique experience that I think a lot of people will appreciate! thank you so much, Isabelle ❤❤

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a great review, Caitlin! Sadly I cannot handle horror in the slightest so I don’t think I’d be able to read this one, but it sounds absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Arin! Oh yeah, this is most definitely not the book for you if you can’t stomach horror. It’s brutal and I respect everyone who knows that this book isn’t for them! and yes, it is a super unique and well-written book!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow, great review – I didn’t know much about this book before but now I’m intrigued! Scary mermaids and a unique narrative voice that makes telling rather than showing interesting? I’m definitely curious! And all those characters sound so awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Oh yes, this book has those things in spades! I’m so glad my review put this book on your radar! yes, they really are. I think that they’re a welcome break for the typical YA characters we usually see because they are clearly adults haha


    1. Ugh, yes, it’s so unique and chilling! I keep saying this but I’ve never read anything like it before! I’m so glad that this review was able to put the book on your radar! Oh, and don’t worry, I know you aren’t lmao. It really is interesting to see their violent sides, and this book explored that so well! Thank you so much Chana 💖💖


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