Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Abyss Surrounds Us (The Abyss Surrounds Us #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  3,334 Ratings  ·  756 Reviews
Cas has fought pirates her entire life. But can she survive living among them?

For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops i
Paperback, 273 pages
Published February 8th 2016 by Flux
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Em by: no
Are you guys aware that there's a book about lesbian pirates and sea monsters and it exists here on this earth amongst us plebeians and we get to live on the same planet every day?

[screams "YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK" into a bottle and releases it to the sea]

But she underestimated me. I played my cards, I laid in wait, I let myself be beaten and manipulated. If she keeps that promise she made to me, I’ll show her the truth I’ve learned on her boat.
...I don’t just raise monsters.
...I am one.

Elise (TheBookishActress)
But she underestimated me. I played my cards, I lay in wait, I let myself be beaten and manipulated. If she keeps that promise she made to me, I’ll show her the truth I’ve learned on her boat. I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.

So like, I know that I boost my review of this book every day and it’s annoying, but every single time there is someone who says they haven’t read it, or worse yet, have NOT HEARD OF IT. Which is a travesty, because The Abyss Surrounds Us is one of my personal favori
“I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.”

One of the best book recommendations I’ve received to date is Elise recommending me The Abyss Surrounds Us. Friends, I fell totally in love with this story and it surpassed every high expectation I had for it. The writing is addicting, the story is so unique, and this book holds my now favorite enemies to lovers, angst-filled relationship of all time. Oh, and it’s between two girl pirates. Sold yet? You should be. This book was a gift.

First off, this
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
Hi, yes, I would like to place a call to Hollywood to demand why they haven't made this into the world's best movie yet. They're sleeping on pure gold here.
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
goodbye, I'm going to rob a ship and sail the seas as a lesbian pirate.

(review to come)
Feb 01, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
This is my debut novel. It's a book about sea monsters, pirates, the future, girls with edges, hard choices, fast boats, and big turtles. It's big and wild, and I love it. I hope you guys do too.
We need more books like this. We need more books with morally grey areas and lesbian pirates. Why, you ask?

Reason #1: The Romance

● they sleep on the same bed
somehow, they wake up tangled together
● they’re enemies at this point
● did I mention it’s enemies to lovers aka my second favourite trope
● “equal footing”
● y’all don’t know power dynamics till you’ve read this book

My heart is still pounding in my chest, and it takes me a few seconds to realize that I’m clutching her hand as if it’s
may ➹
wow. I adored this. the morally grey gay pirate girls were my favorite thing ever and I fell in love with a stupid killing machine monster creature. y’all are sleeping on this but you SHOULDN’T

// buddy read with the purest angel


huh. so no one thought to tell me that the protagonist of this was Asian??? literally all I heard was that she was lesbian. aaaaaand nothing else

this was already high on my TBR, and I was sure I would find my sapphic self in these sapphic
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, buddy-read
“I don't just raise monsters. I am one.


Holy shit, I love pirates. Even more so, I love sci-fi books with gay main characters and sea monsters in them.

I honestly don't understand why this book isn't all over the internet yet. GUYS. THERE ARE GIANT TURTLES IN THIS!!!!

(And also, a f/f couple to die for)

“Equal footing? Equal footing.


I see so many people being disappointed by the lack of (good) f/f relationships in fantasy/sci-fi/books in general, i see you and i'm with you, but how dare you sl
✨    jamieson   ✨
But she underestimated me. I played my cards, I laid in wait, I let myself be beaten and manipulated. If she keeps that promise she made to me, I’ll show her the truth I’ve learned on her boat. I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.

I can't even remember the last time I read a book this fast THAT is how much I absolutely adored this book. It literally has everything. Sea monsters, pirates, morally ambiguous characters, fantasy and lesbians in love. my gay ass is thriving

The Abyss Surrounds Us i
Update: oops. It's been a while since I've done a NetGalley review. Anyway -
A copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. No external considerations went into this review.

This book is everything, everything that I wanted it to be - and more.

I've been excited about it since the cover was first released, and I actually overhauled my entire NetGalley profile specifically to request it. Being that invested in the potential of a book is risky,
⚔ Silvia ⚓
Buddy read with this beautiful soul who deserves all the cakes in the world

4,5 stars

My real review:

My proper review because I feel like such a Fake on goodreads lately:
I legit lost the ability for words and my friends have all reviewed this book much better than I ever could, but basically this caught my attention right away and believe me when I say I was surprised because except for me being a well-known lover of pirates in any shape or form, I actually don't really like sea-stories (I'm a wal
I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.

4.25 stars.

Pirates. Sea monsters. Floating cities. Lesbians. If none of that has sold you on this book yet, idk what will or what’s wrong with you. It’s been 24 hours and I’m still not over how fricking awesome this was.


I’d fallen into a bit of a reading slump last week, but thanks to this and few other great reads, this week is off to a MUCH better start.

The Abyss Surrounds Us follows the story of Cas Leung, a sea monster trainer who finds herself kidnapp
well. this was underwhelming.

excuse me while i cry tears of salty disappointment.



listen, i already love pirates, but gay asian (!!!) pirates... i might as well go ahead and 5-star this already.

i will actually cry if this ends up being disappointing.
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Flux and NetGalley.)

“It’s just a rite of passage,”

This was an interesting fantasy/pirate story, with genetically engineered beasts!

Cas had to make some tough decisions in this book, and I didn’t blame her for the choices she made. Being kidnapped by pirates does not sound like fun!

The storyline in this was about Cas’ kidnapping, and the expectation that she would train an illegal Reckoner pup for th
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was unique and predictable at the same time. But I thoroughly enjoyed this book! The writing felt simplistic and straightforward, but still solid. Full RTC


I went into The Abyss Surrounds Us with low expectations. It’s not a very popular book, but it had suddenly been making the rounds on my Goodreads account and I just had to know why no one had rated this book under four stars.

I now know.

The Abyss Surrounds Us is a tale unlike any other I have read. That may be because I’m not a fan of sea monsters or pirates usually, but this book does it so fantastically I simply enjoyed my precious opinions. T
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was honestly such a surprise! I picked it up because I saw a good review, and thought it sounded vaguely interesting. Like, ALL I knew coming in was sapphic pirates, and something about sea monster trainers.

Which sounds amazing, of course! It was enough to make me pick this book up after seeing only one review, which I rarely do. But still, I went in with exactly zero expectations.

And then the beginning was a bit slow...

But this book blew me out of the water! (I'm sorry, bad ocean puns
Jul 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My only complaints?? This wasn't longer, only took me around 4 hours to finish, and left me an empty husk at 1 in the morning.

When, just 25 pages in, you cry a little, you know it's going to be a great book, right?

A lovable/monstrous narrator, lovable/monstrous lady pirates, lovable/monstrous.....sea monsters. Everyone and everything here is written with moral complexity and ambiguity. The world-building is pretty great, doesn't drag you down, and makes you want to ask a few more questions abou
Katherine Locke
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Five fucking stars for 288 pages of non-stop action packed adventure. LESBIAN PIRATES AND SEA MONSTERS IN A MORALLY CORRUPT WORLD. I mean, if that doesn't sell you on the book, why are we even friends?
Heidi Heilig
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book took a bite out of my heart.

Oh, Cas. OH SWIFT. OH BAO!!!

I don't know how best to sum up this thrilling sci-fi adventure-at-sea. There are sea monster battles, pirate ships, floating cities in the Neo-Pacific, a hate-to-love romance, an awesome pet, deep philosophy, high stakes--but really, this book is about discovering who you are and accepting that "who you are" is not all sunshine and lollipops. I love--absolutely love--stories like that, and this one is no exception. There's a real
Lex Kent
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
2 1/2 Stars. I really wanted to love this book. With all the good reviews, I was so sure I would, that I grabbed book 2, without even reading this one. Now I wish I hadn't. If book 2 wasn't a Netgalley, I would honestly skip it. Maybe I will get lucky and it will be great, but sometimes you just don't click with a book, and that was my problem with this one. The writing was good and the subject was so creative and different.... unfortunately, nothing else really came together for me.

I read lesbi
Full review also on my Blog

Sea Monsters, Queer pirates and a villain to die for: You Want This Book!

The Abyss That Surrounds Us is a Young Adult, sci-fi novel told from the POV of 17 year old Cassandra “Cas” Leung. Cas has trained reckoners( Scientifically engineered sea monsters) all her life. The reckoners were engineered to protect sea vessels, such as cargo ships or cruise ships from pirates at sea. On her very first trip Cas is unfortunately kidnapped by pirates and that is where our stor
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
OH MY GOODNESS. I LOVED THIS. Review coming soon!
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
I am very furious and very very annoyed right now. This book had everything I would ever want in a book: Asian, lesbian mc, pirates, sea monsters, floating cities, cruel captain... It could be everything, EVERYTHING, but in the end it was so boring and underwhelming as fuck.

A part of my fury is directed toward myself too because in many ways I didn't understand this book. I didn't understand some of the scenes, I didn't understand the characters and their choices and I didn't understand where wa
Jan 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Flux for providing this ARC.

Lord have mercy, I loved this. So. Freaking. Much. I literally have no words. I had no idea at all that I’d love it this much. I mean, I got so attached that 25 pages in, I was crying on the train, while avoiding the weird looks that people were giving me. Eh, the hazards of being a bookworm. Absolutely amazing book, full of action, intense, with no dull moments or filler chapters, easy to get into, easy to read. I honestly have nothing but
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016-releases, lgbt
I really wanted to love this book, especially since I bought my own copy after receiving an ARC of the sequel, but sadly it let me down. The elements were all there but I found myself so frustrated with the characters and rolling my eyes that I even picked up and finished another book when I was a third of the way through. I love pirates and books with LGBT elements. I even liked the plot and the idea of trained sea monsters that protect ships but the characters and their developpement didnt wor ...more
Nov 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In the world of the NeoPacific, governments broken into smaller groups and a large population living on floating platform-cities, sea trade is more important than ever. Piracy is also rife, and shipping companies use giant, terrifying genetically-engineered beasts called Reckoners to defend their ships from pirates.

Cas Leung is a trainer of Reckoners on her first mission at sea when she is captured by a pirate crew. The pirate captain Santa Elena forces her to raise and train a Reckoner for the
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
3.5 rounded up.

Overall this is an entertaining book. Skrutskie has a nice, visual style to her writing and does an excellent job with the action sequences. And really, in a book about pirates and giant sea monsters trained to attack ships, those action sequences are important!

I did also like the underlying coming into adulthood storyline. The main character is wrestling with some very complex issues while in a dangerous and stressful situation, and that always makes for an interesting story. How
Tara Sim
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I was extremely fortunate to read an early draft of this book. To put it simply: this book is awesome, and I can't wait for it to come out so that everyone can read it. If you're looking for a story that's intense, but still has heart, then this is for you. The brutal maritime world and the fascinating morally gray characters make this a story you won't want to put down. You won't know who to cheer for, and that's part of the fun. Also, there are pirates. And giant sea monsters. And floating cit ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • A Darkly Beating Heart
  • Georgia Peaches and Other Forbidden Fruit
  • Bleeding Earth
  • As I Descended
  • 27 Hours (The Nightside Saga, #1)
  • When the Moon Was Ours
  • Of Fire and Stars (Of Fire and Stars, #1)
  • Under the Lights (Daylight Falls, #2)
  • About a Girl (Metamorphoses, #3)
  • Willful Machines
  • On the Edge of Gone
  • The Raven and the Reindeer
  • Timekeeper (Timekeeper, #1)
  • Girl Mans Up
  • Style
  • The Reader (Sea of Ink and Gold, #1)
  • Beast
  • Lizard Radio
Emily Skrutskie is six feet tall. She was born in Massachusetts, raised in Virginia, and forged in the mountains above Boulder, Colorado. She holds a B.A. in Performing and Media Arts from Cornell University, where she studied an outrageous and demanding combination of film, computer science, and game design.

Her short fiction has been published by HarperTeen, and her debut duology—made up of THE

Other books in the series

The Abyss Surrounds Us (2 books)
  • The Edge of the Abyss (The Abyss Surrounds Us, #2)

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Son of the Dawn (Ghosts of the Shadow Market #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Sanctuary (Nomad, #2)
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Genome (The Extinction Files #2)
    $5.99 $2.49
  • The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Mechanica (Mechanica, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Wired (Wired, #1)
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Bandwidth (An Analog Novel Book 1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Bees
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Land: Founding (Chaos Seeds, #1)
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Gone (Gone, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Friday
    $6.99 $2.99
  • Dhalgren
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Moon Chosen (Tales of a New World #1)
    $8.51 $2.99
  • Homeworld (Odyssey One, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Recurve (The Elemental Series, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Deviants (Dust Chronicles #1)
    $4.49 $0.99
  • Before She Ignites (Fallen Isles, #1)
    $6.49 $1.99
  • The Kill Society (Sandman Slim, #9)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Out of the Black (Odyssey One, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Menagerie
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Infinite (Gates of Thread and Stone #2)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Black Bird of the Gallows
    $7.99 $0.99
  • Eighth Grave After Dark (Charley Davidson, #8)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Heart of Matter (Odyssey One, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Lumière (The Illumination Paradox, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Royal Ranger (Ranger's Apprentice, #12)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Birthday of the World and Other Stories
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Obsidian Son (The Temple Chronicles, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • CyberStorm
    $4.99 $2.49
  • Departure
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Renegades (Renegades, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
“But she underestimated me. I played my cards, I laid in wait, I let myself be beaten and manipulated. If she keeps that promise she made to me, I’ll show her the truth I’ve learned on her boat. I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.” 23 likes
“And it sucks, because I want to kiss her. It's infuriating how perfect it would be to kiss her right now, perched on a cannon on a pirate ship under the stars. That sounds like something off the pages of an adventure novel. But my life isn't one of those stories. My story is a hurricane, and here with Swift is just the eye.” 16 likes
More quotes…