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The Abyss

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  15,018 Ratings  ·  95 Reviews
Far beneath the blue Caribbean sea lies Deepcore, the world's most advanced high-technology drilling station. When a mysterious force sends the submarine USS Montana spinning out of control, Deepcore is commandeered as the base for a naval rescue operation. Lindsay Brigman, designer of Deepcore, insists on joining the team. When the operation gets underway, she witnesses s ...more
Published January 5th 1991 by Pocket (first published 1989)
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Apr 08, 2009 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was an incredible work of science fiction. I read it as a teenager the same summer that the movie came out. A friend and I were big fans of James Cameron's "The Terminator" and "Aliens," so when we heard he had a new movie coming out, we were pretty excited. Then my mom brought home this book by Orson Scott Card, and I knew it would be great.

Once again, you can understand my bias on things. The protagonist in "The Abyss" is a female aeronautical engineer. I really admired her and saw a
May 14, 2008 Sackinger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: every man, woman, and teen on the planet.
If I said, "A tour de force" would you hit me? I saw the movie, "The Abyss" and consider it to be excellent. Better by far than any other scifi/adventure movie made after 1930.

When I heard that Orson Scott Card had made a novel based off the movie, I was sorely disappointed. No novel from show ever works. Movies should be made from nothing larger than a novelette in my opinion. So why was Card making substandard work?

Then I read it.

I apologize most sincerely, Mr. Card, for ever having doubted y
Sarah Rains
Jan 09, 2008 Sarah Rains rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who loved the movie
Recommended to Sarah by: my grandfather
This was a really great book. If you liked the movie you'll LOVE the book. So many times in science fiction there isn't a lot of characterization.........not with this book. You know these characters and you can relate to them in some way.
Mel Campbell
I haven't read a novelisation since I was a kid, when I used to borrow heaps of them from the library. I used to read them completely credulously, without judging them in relation to 'proper novels'. If I'd seen the film, reading the novelisation was like having it play again in especially vivid detail. If I hadn't seen the film, I just read the novelisation as if it were any other novel that had subsequently been adapted to film.

Also, I have a special relationship with James Cameron novelisatio
May 12, 2014 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have to stop getting drawn in to nostalgic reads - seriously I have nothing but praise for this book (recent controversies aside). Orson Scott Card was introduced to me by a friend at University (yes while one friend was getting me to read fantasy and Raymond E Feist, another was getting me to read Enders Game and Orson Scott Card). Well this was a happy mix for me - and one even now I cannot resist re-reading - even with so many new and untried books to explore.
The book pretty much follows t
I can watch the movie again and again, and can read the novella again and again. It is spectacular, and contains more background than the movie did. One of my favorites, actually.
Apr 23, 2010 Allison rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2010
Eh. This book was okay in some ways, and occasionally you could see a glimmer of OSC genius poking through, but there were two major flaws for me: A) it was a bit cliche, which I guess isn't really OSC's fault since the novel is based on a screenplay by James Cameron, who is talented in some ways but not even on the same level creatively as OSC, but... really? Aliens down at the very bottom of the sea who are human enough to have eyes and hands and who give a crap about humans? Who have somethin ...more
Dec 08, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
a book based on the movie screenplay and dailies much like 2001.

Card writes exposition rather than demonstration here. but the characters are fleshed out quite well, both human and alien. at the beginning, it’s a little like reading through an expanded character list of a play complete with character bios. at certain points, Mr. Card seemed compelled to insert detail from the movie visual-verbatim to make sure that iconic shot or gesture or whatever made it into the scene playing out in your hea
James Caterino
One of best novelizations you will ever read. But to call it a novelization would be a dis-service. It is a brilliant epic science fiction novel by a master writer in top form. It pulls off the seemingly impossible and manages to take the vision of one of the most gifted cinematic storytellers of all time and translate it to the novel form.
Jul 08, 2012 Mcgranes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Always loved the movie, but the book added so much more depth to it. The book was written while the movie was being filmed, so when you're reading it, you can picture every scene almost perfectly, but what Orson Scott Card did was add so much depth to the characters that you've now got additional into their motivations.
Brenda Duvernet
Jan 17, 2012 Brenda Duvernet rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good read. As I remember, it was not violent and didn't have profanity.
It was a page turner.
Aug 25, 2015 Neil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I enjoyed the book. It has been many years since I watched the movie, and I remember reading the book when the movie first came out [or bits of the book, anyway]. Maybe I am getting it mixed up with the Dark Horse comic adaptation [which was from Bud's perspective]. It definitely followed the movie, and it gave deeper insight into the NTIs [aliens] than the movie did. I do not think it ever got quite as suspenseful as the movie, but the movie had music and sound effects to help create the tense ...more
John Wheeles
Oct 20, 2015 John Wheeles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orson Scott Card is a master fiction writer, and he again doesn't disappoint with The Abyss! The characters are well developed, and draw you into their lives and story. The plot is thrilling and has a few unexpected twists and turns. The story is written in such a way that you will not see the major plot twist coming. If all you know about The Abyss is the movie, do yourself a favor and read the book... it's soo much better!
Walter Herrick
Feb 07, 2016 Walter Herrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Orson Scott Card does an excellent job writing a novel from the movie screenplay. It's not the usual novelization, the first three chapters occur before the movie starts and were so good, that James Cameron gave them to the actors, to provide their backstory, motivation.

Not only that, but all the dialogue from the movie is included, yet much is added so that the entire story is fleshed out very realistically and makes a richer story. Very well done
Nov 02, 2014 Lisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this over and over. Card added a backstory for the three main movie characters that helped them in their performances. It's my favorite Cameron film, and a novelisation by my favorite author is a perfect blend. It helped me enjoy the film even more. The language is horrendous to my reading ears, but somehow I look past it, which I don't to most of the time.
After seeing and enjoying the movie, this book added depth and a greater understanding of the characters involved. Knowing their backgrounds and why they were involved in undersea exploration was so much better than just reading a written outline of the movie after it's made. But then it's Orson Scott Card -I expect no less.
Mar 15, 2015 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this in junior high after seeing the movie many times. I LOVED it. I'm sure I wouldn't rate it as high if I reread it, but who knows. I think everyone's five star books are a personal thing. Just because I loved it does not mean I think it's a masterpiece or that everyone else should love it as well.
Jaime Contreras
This was a decent novelization by a skilled writer. The story itself is novel and plausible if you believe in aliens. I found it a good read and reflective of the film. I also commend OSC for his fleshed out characters which are better than the plot. Overall, this is agood book but not great.
Kelly Knapp
Oct 21, 2012 Kelly Knapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I am used to books being different than their cinamatic counterparts, this one surprised me with the amount of differences. From character' names to the state of politics, everything seemed different.

Perhaps the greatest difference was that instead of a hurricane as the catastrophy up on the ocean's crest, it was more about politics. Then, I did a little reading and was amazed to find that the book was not the inspiration for the movie, but in fact, the movie inspire Orson Scott Card to w
Arnoud Visser
Orson Scott Card is able to present aliens hidding just below us in the most natural way. He also is able to present the background of the main characters in just one chapter. Yet, the characters are so extreme the best in their profession, it is difficult to feel sympathy for them.
Feb 06, 2015 Adrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I watched the movies many times and read lots of Card's books, so I was interested to read his novel adaptation. It added more depth to some of the characters and was competently done.
Matthew Lee
Jul 18, 2015 Matthew Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abyss is one of my favorite movies, even though it came out the year I was born. After recently reading Ender's game, I found out that there was a novel.

The novel follows the plot of the Director's Cut of the movie exactly, and I found myself quoting the lines of the characters. One would think that that would be boring, but hearing the thoughts of the characters brought me deeper into the story. What REALLY interested me was reading the thoughts and intentions of the aliens, which neither versi
This is a novel adaptation from the movie. I didn't know they did that. I was a good read and I relived everything I loved from the movie as I turned the pages.
Patrick Razo
Dec 24, 2014 Patrick Razo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's rare when a novelization is better than the movie. But a novelization of a James Cameron movie by Orson Scott Card of "Ender's Game" fame? Perfect combo, and an awesome read.
Sep 16, 2014 Samantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
One of my all time favourite movies beautifully adapted into a novel including the original deleted sub plot James Cameron couldn't include in the movie.
Jul 21, 2014 Vicki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first I didn't think I liked this book at all. But as I kept reading, it sort of grew on mr and in the end I really enjoyed it
May 13, 2015 PC rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Really entertaining! And that is coming from a reader that does not particularly care for any story bubbling up from the briny depths. I am a fan of dry land formats. This book, however, combines interesting characters (both human and not-so-much) with excellent and exciting interactions between each other. Edge of your seat suspense taking place at frequent intervals and an exceptionally surprising and unexpected otherworldly ending make this one of my absolute favorites - even with all the moi ...more
Andrew macgibbon
surprisingly very good, it even had the exact same dialoge as the movie.
Aug 08, 2008 Greg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mostly, movies are either based on existing novels or short stories, or else the novelization follows the movie. In the latter case, the novels are usually forgettable. In this case, the novel was written in concert with the movie. Novelist Orson Scott Card and and director James Cameron collaborated as both the movie and the novel developed, and each made adjustments along the way to accommodate the visions each developed for plot and characterization. The result was both a movie and a novel th ...more
Oct 26, 2013 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is wh I prefer books to movies. I don't remember crying durring the movie and yet I'll admit I did while reading. I think movies do their best to make it seem real while books make us want it to be real. James Cameron wrote "seeing is believing." Sorry I think we only beleive what we chose to. It's reading that allows me to turn off reality and live in the book. I like watching the movie, but it was a lifetime ago. Now I want to rewatch the movie,but there is no doubt that the master Card h ...more
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What was wrong? 4 40 Apr 29, 2009 05:21PM  
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Orson Scott Card is the author of the novels Ender's Game, Ender's Shadow, and Speaker for the Dead, which are widely read by adults and younger readers, and are increasingly used in schools.
Besides these and other science fiction novels, Card writes contemporary fantasy (Magic Street, Enchantment, Lost Boys), biblical novels (Stone Tables, Rachel and Leah), the American frontier fantasy series Th
More about Orson Scott Card...

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