Title: The Vanishing Deep
Author: Astrid Scholte
Genre: YA, Science Fiction
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers (Penguin Random House)
Date published: March 3, 2020
A physical copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.
But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.
⤖ My Review ⬻
I read Astrid Scholte’s debut novel, Four Dead Queens, early last year and absolutely loved it! I loved the world, I loved the characters, the plot, the twists. It was easy to give it 5 stars. So, it was a no-brainer for me to request her new book, The Vanishing Deep, as soon as I heard about it! The synopsis also intrigued me, of course, since I’ve been wanting to read something YA with Waterworld vibes for a while now! I don’t usually like reading books that focus on siblings, due to personal taste and because they tend to really hit me in the feels…but since this is a Scholte book, I decided to give it a go. The world had me very intrigued, especially in the beginning when more details were given.
But then, some of the things that I found so very interesting in this world (such as the reference to gods that live beneath the water) never really went anywhere. I also didn’t really click with any of the characters. Yes, I wanted them to get to the end of their adventure in one piece, but I can’t really say that I loved any of them…and this could be because I think the characters could have used more depth too. The plot also underwhelmed me a little, and the ending felt particularly rushed. While this was not the book for me, however, I still loved Scholte’s previous book enough to keep an open mind and read whatever she publishes next. I also know for a fact that other readers have loved The Vanishing Deep, so please don’t let my negative experience hold you back (also please keep in mind that I read and am reviewing an advanced reader copy, a.k.a. a copy of that book that didn’t go through all rounds of edits)!
⤖ About the Author ⬻
Raised on a diet of Spielberg, Lucas and Disney, Astrid Scholte knew she wanted to be surrounded by all things fantastical from a young age. She’s spent the last 10 years working in film, animation and television as both an artist and manager. Career highlights include working on James Cameron’s AVATAR, Steven Spielberg’s THE ADVENTURES OF TIN TIN and HAPPY FEET 2 by George Miller. She’s a visual writer and aims to capture the vivid stories that play like movies in her head. When she’s not writing, she’s painting her favorite fictional characters and obliging her furry overlords, Lilo and Mickey. Her debut YA novel, Four Dead Queens, was an international bestseller. You can find her posting about books, cats and Disney on Twitter and Instagram @AstridScholte
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⤖ Let’s Chat ⬻
THANK YOU FOR READING MY REVIEW! HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? WHAT DID YOU THINK? AND IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET, DO YOU WANT TO, OR NOT? HOW COME? LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS IN THE COMMENTS!