Set aboard the Titanic and aboard her sister ship, the Britanic, Alma Katsu weaves a haunting tale of love, grief, crime and class. Buy your boarding pass now!
I am a fan of alternating timelines and THE DEEP utilized that format. It was sometimes a little jarring, (I mean this in the best of ways), because of how vividly it brought home the differences between the Titanic, (the luxurious ocean-liner catering to the best of the best), and the Britanic, which by 1916 had been converted into a hospital ship serving during WWI. Men facing sudden, life- changing amputations and injuries vs. the creme de la creme of society in their fancy suits and gowns. It's a sharp contrast.
The characters here are well drawn and there's nice variety too: Gay boxers/con-men, those that are obsessed with the spiritual world, degenerate gamblers and cheaters galore. In this way, the writing reminded me a lot of Edith Wharton's characters and settings, and also the characters of Charles Dickens. What a weird combination, right?
Behind all of these interesting characters lurks a bit of a mystery, and perhaps a supernatural one at that. A woman survives the sinking of the Titanic only to find herself on her sister ship a mere four years later. It's quite a different trip this time around but one is left wondering who was haunted here? The ships or the woman?
I'm not gonna lie, I went into this expecting a horror novel. I didn't get one. Turns out, that was okay because I got a fascinating historical fiction story instead. To be honest, as the tale progressed, I was more interested in the goings-on of both ships, than the lack of any real horror. (Other than the horrors of what happened on both of these boats.) To my unpracticed eye, the research seemed well done and like I said-the details of the daily lives of the passengers stole my heart and attention.
THE DEEP may not have been what I expected, but in the end, I think that made me love it all the more.
Available March 10th, here: THE DEEP
*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this tale in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*