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The Deep

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  503 ratings  ·  235 reviews
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.

Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories,
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published November 5th 2019 by Gallery / Saga Press
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Judah WHAT?! I've been crossing my fingers and hoping and praying that someone would take that song and develop it into something MORE for several years…moreWHAT?! I've been crossing my fingers and hoping and praying that someone would take that song and develop it into something MORE for several years now! (I'd hoped for a comic, really, just for the visuals, but totally down for a book!)(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  503 ratings  ·  235 reviews

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Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Giveaway win!

5 Stars isn't enough!

Water dwelling creatures who are the descendants of African slave women.

How could I not read this book.

The Deep is filled with flowery poetic language that I normally hate. Flowery language often comes off sounding pretentious and it usually leaves me rolling my eyes. But that flowery type of language fits The Deep just perfectly.

The Deep is a modern day take on African folklore. The same folklore that was brought to America on slave ships and pa
Charlie Anders
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is amazing. As a fan of Clipping and their Hugo-nominated song that this book is based on, I was already excited for this one---plus it's written by Rivers Solomon, author of An Unkindness of Ghosts. But wow, this book is intense. I won't give away any spoilers except to say that Yetu, the hero, is a unique character who is forced to make some tough choices to find herself, and ends up making a really beautiful and unexpected friendship as a result. I'm going to be thinking and dr ...more
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Sep 18, 2018 marked it as releases-2019
releases: June 2019
BITCH okay I was waiting I was watching I was desperate for something more by Rivers Solomon, whose work I have vowed to keep up with after loving their first book so much, and now it's HERE and I am READY
So excited to 'dive' into this novella!
Keeping New Release November rolling smoothing along...

I think the premise of this sounds absolutely haunting.

Thank you so much to the publisher, Saga Press, for sending me a copy to read and review.

destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
I love mer-people, I love clipping., and I love every single speck of the premise for this. I need this SO BAD

(Also, if you haven't already, check out the song that inspired Rivers Solomon to write this)
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is INCREDIBLE. I am overwhelmed by the creativity, pain, and beauty of this brief story. I only just finished, and already want to re-read it to try to absorb more of its wonder.

I won an ARC of this book in a GR giveaway.
wanderer (Para)
ARC received from the publisher (Saga Press) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I have first heard of the book on twitter and got curious when I learned it was inspired by a song. At the time, I haven't read any of Solomon's books (though my friends have recommended me An Unkindness of Ghosts plenty) nor have I heard of Clipping. But I went and listened to The Deep - it was not my usual type and yet I liked it. I liked it a whole lot.

And the ever-important question: Was the book
Jenny (Reading Envy)
The Deep by Rivers Solomon is in conversation with a song by William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes and performed by Daveed Diggs, based on the underwater mythology of the 90s Detroit electro band Drexciya. (You can hear the song on Episode 623 of This American Life.)

Mercreatures descended from enslaved women murdered and thrown overboard when they were pregnant live in communities on the ocean floor, with the ability to connect telepathically. Yetu is the historian and bears the weight of
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
A whole chorus of the deep. Wajinru. We are not zoti aleyu. We are more vast and more beauteous than that name implies. We are a song, and we are together.

The Deep is a gorgeous piece of literature mourning the tragic and traumatic history of the African slave trade, as well as celebrating a renewed sense of belonging and togetherness. This novella is crushing and beautiful and emotionally impactful beyond belief for something of its length, and I don’t think it’s possible to truly express how this book/>The
Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a genealogist of twenty five years searching for my West African enslaved ancestors, this book called to me.

The mythology, stunning imagery and writing style held my attention from the beginning and continued until the last page ( which I wanted to continue I loved it so much!)

The story is extremely plausible and I would tag this historical fantasy and speculative fiction. With each chapter, Yetu’s remembrance made me cheer for the descendants of the women who were thrown overboard pregnant
Sep 17, 2018 marked it as anti-library  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs


...tells of an underwater society inhabited by descendants of African slave women.' OMGGGG
Leah Rachel von Essen
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
THE DEEP by Rivers Solomon is directly inspired by the song of the same name by the group clipping., made up of Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes. The song and book tell of water-dwellers descended from pregnant African slave women who were thrown overboard by slave owners: their babies were nurtured and protected by whales, and they adapted to an underwater life. In Solomon’s novel, a single person takes responsibility for holding the traumatic and violent past of the entire soc ...more
Karma♥Bites ^.~
Holy shite, Saga Press! US$9.99 for novella? For new(-ish) author?

Get buzz & economics, but damn... Way to cut out segment of potential audience/fans :(
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it

Lovely, devastating, and wholly original. Thank you, netgalley, for providing me an e-ARC!! RTC very soon.
The Artisan Geek
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

What a lovely story! A story about remembrance of history that alone would be too painful to bear. I could not have read this at a better time!

Holy cow!! I just saw Daveed Diggs explaining the premise of the story and I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! Here's the link to the video: The Deep.

You can find me on
------------------VIDEO REVIEW------------------

What a lovely story! A story about remembrance of history that alone would be too painful to bear. I could not have read this at a better time!

Holy cow!! I just saw Daveed Diggs explaining the premise of the story and I NEED THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW!!! Here's the link to the video: The Deep.

You can find me on
Youtube | Instagram | Twitter | Tumblr | Website
Liz Janet
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this book, based on the song of the same name by the group clipping., we follow the past and present of the wajinru, or song/chorus of the deep. These are mermaid-like descendants of pregnant slave women thrown overboard of the ships by slavers during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. It is a fantasy Afrofuturistic tale that blends memory, history, and mythology to bring us a perfect story, not only with a different twist on what mermaids can be, but also on how important memories are to shapin ...more
"The water-breathing descendants of African slave women tossed overboard have built their own underwater society—and must reclaim the memories of their past to shape their future in this brilliantly imaginative novella inspired by the Hugo Award nominated song “The Deep” from Daveed Diggs’ rap group Clipping."

OMG this novella sounds incredible!! You can listen
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Also, Rivers Solomon’s preferred pronoun is they/them.

I pre-ordered this novella in July, and at the time a group of people were upset that Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in the live-action Disney remake of the Little Mermaid. While people kept claiming that it was because her hair wasn’t red, the “backlash” basically bullied down to Bailey being black because some stupid/racist people thought black mermaids weren’t a thing. I was finding books about b
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

The Deep is a compelling novella focused on the importance of history as a part of cultural identity, specifically within the black community. This short tale is focused, coherent, and was written to convey its message clearly and concisely: even if the past is painful and full of trauma, it is key to understanding our modern identity both as individuals and as a larger cultural group. Our past leaves an indelible imprint on ou
Renee (The B-Roll)
Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This book tells the story of Yetu, a 'historian' who keeps all the memories for her people who are descendants of pregnant Africans who were thrown overboard during the Atlantic Slave Trade.  Yetu is not content in her position as the historian and seeks ways to get out of her obligation to her kin.  Eventually, she succeeds in escaping and finds herself damaged and stuck in a shallow tide pool until she has healed.  Unable the hunt for herself she befriends some 'two-legs' who help her heal and ...more
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 / 5

Note: I'm basing this review on a sample text, with only 20% of the story provided.

Hope and forgiveness pulled from the depths of a wounded history.

The world-building is one of the first aspects of the story that leaps out at you. Solomon introduces us to Yetu and Amaba while also providing a background of their people's ties to the ocean, their past struggles, current dangers, and uncertain future. It feels like a mix of mythologies and fables set in a unique atmospher/>Hope
This was fascinating and original and so, so beautiful. Rivers Solomon has this amazing talent for writing about incredibly painful topics in a way that makes them feel bearable. Instead of being overwhelmed with dread, I'm all tender and open and ready to receive the devastating gut punch of sorrow and joy when it inevitably comes.

While this obviously touched me deeply, it also made me think a lot about things like loneliness, community and our responsibilities to each other, and th
Vanessa Halls
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tom Waits said once, "I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." You can feel the fact that this book is based on a song: the prose is lyrical and lush, rhythmic and flowing, the kind of writing that carries you through the story like a musician through a beloved album. But it isn't just the story of Yetu and her people, it's a story about history itself, and unfortunately for humanity, our history gets pretty grim. How do you feel hope for the future when the past is riddled with su ...more
Intense, fluid and haunting, moody; rich in history and subtle magic. This is a book about the past and about the present and about heritage and who we are without it. This is a book about cruelty and wanting, anger and love, the deep emotions that fill us up and destroy us and make us who we are.

This book is not for white people. Every white person should read it. To understand legacy and heritage, remembering and forgetting, loss.

This book is slow and melodic, and it feels vividly and intensely.
Steven Shaviro
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Rivers Solomon recently wrote on their twitter feed: "me discussing writing today with a friend: i wanna be murdering ppl with every line... to clarify, i mean murdering readers. emotionally." This applies, I think to Solomon's new science fiction novella THE DEEP (I received an advance copy from the publisher in return for agreeing to write a review). The book just slays me. It is about about trauma and history, and about remembering and forgetting.
The book refers to the real history of the At
Painful, powerful, and so important. A definite must-read.
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, lgbt
I requested and received a copy of this book for honest review, thanks to Netgalley, the publisher and author.

The Deep is a novella inspired by the song of the same title by clipping, we explore the concept of what would happen if the pregnant African women thrown from slave ships to their death had led to a species of mermaids; babies who continue to breath water once the womb broke away. We enter on the character of Yetu, the historian of the Wajinru, the mermaid people who live an
Lois Young
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Whoa. That was a beautiful rollercoaster of a story. Everyone needs to read this book. Review coming soon.
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of The Deep as an #indigoemployee and I am so glad I did.

This is an incredible book about togetherness, survival, and the functions of history with regard to intergenerational trauma. The story of the wajinru and Yetu caused me physical aches and I cried at the end of it. Five stars out of a possible five stars.
♠️ TABI ♠️
Jan 17, 2019 marked it as to-read
Shelves: netgalley
oof this sounds like it's gonna be massively powerful
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SciFi and Fantasy...: Nov 12: "The Deep" by Rivers Solomon (BR) 24 56 Nov 10, 2019 08:29PM  
Bookish First Rea...: The Deep by Rivers Solomon and Clipping 3 5 Oct 31, 2019 06:17PM  
Into the Forest: FYI - Shout Out 7 18 Aug 25, 2019 05:49PM  
Semifinal Round
2,271,997 Votes Cast
Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home. They currently live and write in Cambridge, UK, but they originally hail from the US, where they received their MFA from he Michener Center for Writers and their BA from Stanford University.

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