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. Into the Drowning Deep is always going to have a really special place in my heart. Not only was it the first full-length Mira Grant/Seanan McGuire book I read, but push comes to shove, I think it’s still my favorite of hers (Middlegame and Down Among the Sticks and Bones are tied for a close second place). I can’t remember if I even knew that Rolling in the Deep was the prequel to Into the Drowning Deep before or after reading Into the Drowning Deep, but I’ve been really looking forward to this!
I started obsessively buying up her books well after the hardcover release of Rolling in the Deep, so I’ve naturally spent the last couple years assuming that a copy will fall from the sky one day & I won’t have to pay the insane prices people are charging on Amazon. But then I just got too anxious to actually read it, bought it digitally, and am now featuring my first-ever “photoshopped” image, which I feel kinda weird about…but anyway, BRING ON THE KILLER MERMAIDS!!!!
It’s almost a weird thing, reading a prequel to a book you’ve read. Because you know how things are gonna turn out. Hell, the synopsis for Rolling in the Deep even tells you how it’s gonna turn out…”lost at sea with all hands.” But of course, this is a Mira Grant story, and you’re in for a fucking ride. Let the screaming commence.
You learn quite a bit about the Atargatis’s doomed voyage in Into the Drowning Deep, but this brings the story to life in a whole new way, and it’s terrifying. Like in Into the Drowning Deep (and really all her books), there’s an incredibly diverse cast of characters. For such a short book, there’s actually quite a lot of characters in this. But each of them is well-developed & comes with their own unique reason for being aboard this ship.
One of the things both of these books capture in alarming detail is how utterly vast & terrifying the ocean is. And Grant spins this story in a way that makes it seem entirely too real. Like, Mira Grant is not at all concerned with whether you believe in mermaids or not. This book will pull you in regardless, and freak you the fuck out. I know I mentioned it in my review for Into the Drowning Deep, but to me, these stories really occupy a similar space as Jurassic Park. And you’ll be reading this like “yeah, but what if this really did happen…”
Rolling in the Deep is a really quick read, owing as much to its brisk pacing as its relatively short length. I read this late at night on my Kindle, lights out, and honestly just on edge the whole damn time. The way Grant describes these killer mermaids of hers is…straight fucking nightmare fuel, for real.
I know that Rolling in the Deep was optioned for a film, so fingers crossed that happens. And on her Twitter feed, Seanan McGuire has mentioned more than once that writing a sequel to Into the Drowning Deep is not up to her, but to her publisher. In this case, Orbit. So what I’m seriously hoping for is that the Rolling in the Deep movie comes to fruition, which leads to more books? Is that too much to ask for?
Because this is a story that’s got legs. Or…fins. Tails. And teeth. Honestly, I’m just hoping against hope that I get to hop into another big ship bound for the middle of the ocean, and try to live to see the sunrise. The mermaids are real, and they are always hungry.