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The Deep

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Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner's illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers - including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher - are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not - could not - have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . .

432 pages, ebook

First published March 10, 2020

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About the author

Alma Katsu

28 books2,731 followers
"Hard to put down. Not recommended reading after dark." -- Stephen King

"Makes the supernatural seem possible" -- Publishers Weekly

THE HUNGER: NPR 100 Favorite Horror Stories

THE HUNGER: Nominated for the Stoker and Locus awards

Author of THE DEEP, a reimagining of the sinking of the Titanic, and THE HUNGER, a reimagining of the Donner Party's tragic journey (Putnam);
THE TAKER, THE RECKONING and THE DESCENT (Gallery Books). The Taker was selected by ALA/Booklist as one of the top ten debut novels of 2011.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,771 reviews
Profile Image for Maureen .
1,328 reviews7,102 followers
December 5, 2019
**3.5 stars **

Stories surrounding the sinking of the Titanic on her maiden voyage seem to have an eternal draw, and this one is no different. What does make this one slightly different from the rest however, is the fact that it weaves within it’s storyline, a touch of the paranormal.

Using dual timelines, we follow Annie Hebbley, a stewardess serving the wealthiest passengers onboard the Titanic in 1912. Annie is fortunate enough to survive this great tragedy, and we follow her escapades some four years later as a nurse on Titanic’s sister ship Britannic, which had been refitted as a hospital ship during WW1.

Annie had spent the intervening four years institutionalised in a Liverpool asylum, and we discover that she has many demons, both real and imagined.

The storyline is both compelling and dramatic, but I felt a little disappointed with the paranormal side of it - it just wasn’t as creepy as I was expecting it to be. Nevertheless it was interesting to see just how popular the occult was as a pastime amongst the very wealthy during this period in history. Lots of characters are showcased, both real and fictional, though I’m not sure I really connected with any of them. Despite these issues, I did enjoy the storyline overall, but with some reservations.

* Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK, Transworld for my ARC. I have given an honest unbiased review in exchange *
Profile Image for Danielle.
791 reviews387 followers
July 16, 2020
I teetered between 3 and 4 stars with this one. 😬 What swayed me towards that lower rating was due to one part (too close to James Cameron’s version of Titanic). 🤔 I think this is a tough story to tackle. I mean... everyone only sees Leo and Kate aka Jack and Rose (queue Celine Dion... 🎼... you know that song is playing in your head now). The ghost aspects of this were just not as interesting as the ship and passengers. 😔 I think that’s due to the vivid pictures we’ve all been exposed to at this point. The spooky aspects took a backseat to the boat. 😬 But don’t worry, cause we'll stay forever this way- You are safe in my heart and- My heart will go on and on. Now you try to read this ghost ship story without that song playing in your head. Spoiler alert: there is no granny throwing a jewel in the ocean at the end. 🤪
Profile Image for Debra .
2,198 reviews34.9k followers
August 31, 2019
3.5 stars

Is something sinister haunting the Titanic? Four passengers (Madeline Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, Mark Fletcher and Annie Hebbley) believe something is haunting the ship. A series of strange events/occurrences and deaths have occurred since the Titanic set sail. Then of course there is the sinking of that great magnificent ship.

Annie Hebbley has survived the sinking of the Titanic and after receiving correspondence from Violet Jessop, another survivor of the Titanic, she agrees to work as a nurse on board the Britannic (the Titanic's sister ship). The Britannic is a hospital ship and during her duties, Annie recognizes a man. A man she thought had died on the Titanic. A man she feels drawn to, a man she has been thinking about...

Alma Katsu excels at blending history with the paranormal. If you have read her book The Hunger you will know what I mean. In this book she takes the sinking of both the Titanic and the Britannic to tell her story. She uses real life millionaires who died during the sinking of the Titanic (John Jacob Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, W.T. Stead) and a woman who survived both the sinking of the Titanic and Britannic (Violet Jessop). She utilizes their stories to tell her own story about someone or something which is haunting the Titanic.

This was a carefully crafted tale of a haunting that plagued both ships. I enjoy books that use real life events in their telling. I found myself looking to Wikipedia to learn more and was shocked to learn that one-woman, Violet Jessop not only survived the sinking of both ships, but before that working on a ship which collided with another. Bad luck or one hell of a lucky woman. After the sinking of the Titanic, I would not have set foot on a ship again, but she did repeatedly. But enough about history....

In this book she is but a minor character who serves to connect Annie to both ships. This book is told in multiple timelines, giving various characters perspectives and back/current stories. The paranormal element is seamless and not overbearing. There are little clues along the way that I didn't really connect until I completed the book and looking back had "aha, that was a clue" realizations.

Alms Katsu has proven once again that she is a wonderful storyteller who can take tragic historical events and beautifully blend them with paranormal elements. Everything comes out in the end (as it often does) and I enjoyed this seaworthy tale. As the synopsis says, Katsu utilizes this book to show "how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom." It didn't quite have the bite for me that the Hunger did, but it was still satisfying.

I received a copy of this book from Penguin Group Putnam and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews154k followers
April 19, 2021
My dear daughter, Annie, disappeared unexpectedly from our home...My wife and I have been searching for her ever since.
Annie was lost, and now she is found...somewhat.

Annie has spent the last four years living in a rather unconventional home.
Annie has come to understand the erratic ways of the insane....But no, she is not one of them.
And when she's released, she finds herself drawn to somewhere she never thought possible.
No. Now is not the time to mourn. If she looks back too long, she knows what will happen...How the grief and the loss and the horror will be too much.
She's on the Britannic, the sister ship of the Titanic, who traveled a doomed path across the Atlantic.

And back on it she is again...and this time she's not alone.
I pray that you will be able to end our nightmare...
There's something plaguing the ship. Something sinister and supernatural. Something only she is able to see.

Ahhhh... this one was solidly written, just the content threw me off.

I just never felt particularly connected to the characters.

Other than Annie, I didn't really enjoy most of them. They didn't feel vibrant to me and I couldn't get a good grasp on their personalities. I mostly got annoyed with their decision-making skills.

The plot just kind of happened. It was one of those winding plots where it meanders through the storyline without a ton of plot progress.

There were aspects that I enjoyed. The supernatural bit was intriguing but I was frustrated by the pacing.

Overall, this one wasn't just for me.

I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for karen.
3,976 reviews170k followers
May 20, 2020


a couple years back, i read this author’s horror-spin on the donner party tragedy, The Hunger. i loved her writing, and i thought the way she handled the historical details was excellent, but the horror elements seemed extraneous; they were fine, but they didn’t really contribute much to the story, which is a bit of history horrifically gruesome enough without adding supernatural elements to it. this one, however, is a perfect melding of history and horror, and it’s one of those books you just lose yourself in, blinking up out of bewilderingly when something in the real world startles you, like a bird dive-bombing you or the subway car suddenly going dark. both of which happened to me.

i snatched up this arc the moment i saw it, bewitched by that cover,

and knowing that, even if the horror element didn’t wow me, her writing would be exceptional. going into this, i wasn’t sure what shape that horror element would take; if this was a mermaid/siren situation or ghosties or some sort of sea monster, and i very much liked the not-knowing, so i’m gonna play coy in this review to give other readers the same discovery experience. i do think it’s funny that i specifically referenced the titanic in my review for The Hunger, speaking about the various ways other authors have combined horror and history, and i will only say that this one is NOT a zombie situation.

the story shifts between two historical disasters at sea, tragedies linked by a woman unfortunate enough to have been a passenger on both the titanic in 1912 and its semblable-ship, the britannic in 1914, both of which SPOILER ALERT FOR NAUTICAL HISTORY came to bad ends; one doomed by iceberg, one by naval mines.

there are multiple POVs here, but the main focus is annie hebbley, a young irishwoman who had served as a maid to the wealthy passengers on the titanic’s final voyage. she managed to escape the ship’s sinking, but had no memory of her experiences on the titanic, nor of her life before the catastrophe, and she had been institutionalized in a liverpool asylum ever since. over time, her memories had begun to return, along with an irresistible compulsion to return to the sea. when she receives a letter from her friend violet—who had also served on and survived the titanic—entreating her to join her as a nurse on the titanic’s sister ship, newly repurposed as a floating hospital for the war effort, she does not hesitate. me, i would hesitate. fool me once&etc, but annie is drawn to/by the sea and, once aboard the britannic, she encounters a wounded soldier whose face she remembers very well, indeed.

the action shifts between the titanic and the britannic, with katsu expertly manipulating several layers of cryptic plot-threads throughout, only some of which are supernatural. she does an excellent job prolonging the suspense on all fronts, even though the ending of the titanic storyline is a given, and it is a complex and rewarding read.

annie is the linchpin to the separate storylines, but the story is deliciously wide in scope, following the exploits of several passengers in its dual-ship/time period narrative, spooling out stories of the mostly-doomed, historically significant, passengers. there’s an almost edith whartony dramatic sensibility at work, detailing the lives and problems and secret vices of the wealthy as well as those…less gem-encrusted, providing a sort of—whatever the floating version of ‘upstairs downstairs’ is called—dynamic, rich in intrigue and romance and social envy. and—oh, those boxers…

it was such a perfect book to read for spookymonth—the story is compelling, dramatic, and fairly fast-paced while still being detail-rich, and the horror elements are gracefully woven into a story of grief and guilt and survival and fate and love.

i'm going to risk quoting an overlong passage from the arc because it's a great example of her writing style: immersive, descriptive, and almost lulling in nature, as annie boards the britannic for the first time, fragile and disoriented by the sudden transition from asylum to the larger world, processing her still-returning memories while being further unsettled by the blurring of the two ships in her mind; the unsettling superimposition of their similarities and differences. and alla that.

She marches up the gangplank. Everyone is in a uniform, without exception, and these are serious uniforms, not the White Star Line livery that she’s used to. The men wear drab olive wool, the nurses in sweeping blue skirts with capes over their shoulders against the chill, faces framed by wimples. Everyone is busy, intent on whatever it is they’ve been set to do. No one pays any attention to her.

Inside, it’s even more different. She finds it hard to imagine this ship was ever like the Titanic, it’s been changed so much, like a woman after childbirth—ragged and pale and vacant.

Inside, it could be any hospital. If you weren’t near a porthole or door, you wouldn’t know you were on a ship. Everything that made the Titanic sparkling and grand has been taken away. There are no deck chairs or card tables, no crystal chandeliers or wicker chaises. It is all antiseptic and uniform. Rows of cots for the patients, cupboards filled with supplies. And everywhere: bustle. Nurses supervise as men are loaded onto stretchers. Orderlies pass by with full stretchers, making their way to ambulances waiting on the dock below, then return with empty stretchers for the next lot. Some patients make their way on foot—arms in slings, heads wrapped, usually escorted by a nurse or orderly. There is as much commotion as on the Titanic’s boarding day. Annie remembers the crush of humanity that had come up the gangplanks that day and instinctively takes a deep breath. So many people, it had felt like she was being swamped by a giant wave. Swamped and sucked under.

But these are no guests, only survivors, each wth a story tucked inside their bandages—wounds, pains, visions of shrapnel, explosions, and terrors she can’t fathom. These are the half dead.

And the bustling staff have signed on to attend to them, to usher them either back to our world or into the one beyond. An altogether different kind of voyage.

phoar, right? a wonderful addition to the world of historical horror, and i'm ready to read what she does next! incidentally, if anyone has a working link to A Twitter ghost, send it my way? i'd like to read it as part of my december short story advent calendar project, but i can't seem to find it in its entirety, and i mistrust the one place i found that wants me to download some app-thingie because i am the kind of person who would NOT get back on a boat after surviving a watery disaster like the titanic. i do not court calamity.

come to my blog!
January 31, 2020
A sense of connection drove me to this story and an intriguing supernatural twist had me hooked. I would bribe the author, publisher or NetGalley if necessary to get hold of this book before release. For the record that’s how NetGalley works – the ARCs, not the bribery.

For years I worked in an office building just to the left of this photo and looked at this picture, as a poster, every day, never getting tired of it. The picture shows the Titanic and one of her sister ships, the Olympic, docked in Belfast in 1912.
The other sister ship was the Britannic, which was refitted as a hospital ship during WWI and also suffered a doomed voyage when it hit a German mine in the Mediterranean Sea and sank in 1916, leading to the stories that these liners were cursed.

Annie Hebbley is the main character in two timelines, firstly during her voyage as a maid on the RMS Titanic and secondly as a nurse on HMHS Britannic, and a survivor of both. While Annie is a fictional character in this novel, she is drawn in similar roles as her friend throughout, Violet Jessop. Violet Jessop was a real person who survived the sinking of both ships and was also on-board the Olympic when it encountered a major sinkable incident. The biographical story of Violet Jessop is an extremely interesting and fascinating one, and it was a very clever call from Alma Katsu to give her a place in this novel.

Alma Katsu is a wonderfully descriptive writer and weaves the fictional narrative of a story with the factual incidents and people of the time. The opulence of the Titanic and its wealthy passengers is really well portrayed along with their fascination with the Occult. The unique perspective Alma brings to this story is the threat of paranormal and demonic forces that are haunting the ships and threatening evil doings. Onboard the Britannic doors get locked and items go missing all without a valid explanation. The rumours start, that the ship is haunted, but then again it is war and the ship is filled with very sick often mentally hindered patients. What is unsettling for Annie is that she recognises an unconscious soldier as Mark Fletcher from the Titanic voyage but she believed he died when the ship sank. Mark was a first-class passenger with his wife and child but Annie had an infatuation with him and now he is alone and will finally belong to her.

Well, did I expect too much from this book? – Yes, I did. It didn’t come alive as much as I hoped or spark the pervasive menacing atmosphere that suggestions of curses and hauntings would invoke. The anticipated drama of paranormal activity didn’t really materialise and bring terror and fear, even with the Irish fascination of spirits and demons.

I enjoyed reading the book but just felt it lacked a strong storytelling plot, so I’ll rate it 3.5 stars. I would recommend reading this book and it may appeal more to readers who haven’t read, watched or visited as much about the Titanic story as I have. I would like to thank Bantam Press, Random House UK and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Profile Image for Beata.
714 reviews1,088 followers
April 1, 2020
The stories of two legendary ships, The Titanic and The Britannic, provide the background for the plot of this interesting novel. The imaginary characters together with the real ones and real events seem to blend nicely and make this read intriguing but not as gripping as I wanted it to be. The mysteries behind the main protagonist, paranormal, unexplained events are the strongest aspects of this novel. I enjoyed reading it as I find the blend of historical events and fiction fascinating, however, it was not a winner for me. I hesitated between three and four stars, then I decided against four since despite enjoying the time, I was not drawn to the characters and the story.
*Many thanks to Alma Katsu, Random House UK and NetGalley for arc in exchange for my honest review.*
Profile Image for Michael David (on hiatus).
618 reviews1,486 followers
March 3, 2021
A fictional, paranormal take on the sinkings of the Titanic and the Britannic.

Annie Hebbley worked as a stewardess on the Titanic during its fateful voyage. She survived the sinking, and is now working as a new nurse on its sister ship, the Britannic. As the story moves back and forth from 1912 to 1916, it becomes apparent that both ships might’ve been haunted in the days leading up to their horrific endings.

When Annie sees the familiar face of a patient on the Britannic, her memories take her back to the hauntings of the past as she tries to figuratively (and maybe literally) fight her demons and get to the bottom of what is going on.

I’m OBSESSED with the Titanic! I’ve read countless books, spent hours researching it online, obviously saw the movie a million times, and saw the traveling museum in Las Vegas. My friend and I even had pictures of us taken on a replica of the grand staircase. So you can imagine how eager I was to read this one.


This book starts out slow. Very slow....and with a large cast of characters that made it difficult to follow at first. I almost DNF’d it at numerous times, but something told me to keep going. Although it didn’t pick up until almost the middle, I’m glad I ended up soldering on.

There is an interesting ghost story that emerges, and I found myself really enjoying the characters and their different situations. Some of the characters were real life passengers (millionaires John Jacob Astor and W.T. Stead, as well as Violet Jessop, a woman famous for surviving both sinkings). The characters, once I could wrap my head around them, were the best part.

The writing is engaging, if a bit rushed towards the end. I would’ve appreciated that pace in the first half. While I can’t wholeheartedly recommend this one, I appreciated the entertaining liberties the story took once the plot set sail ⛵️ (lame pun intended).

This book is now available from Bantam Press.

Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com
February 28, 2020
Pages: 432
Expected publication: March 10th 2020

“The troubled mind can never know itself.
That is the sad truth of madness.”

Sinister and atmospheric drama infused with real people and facts regarding the voyage of the Titanic and the last Voyage of the Britannic. This was similar in ways to the Titanic movie in that it included some of the actual people who were on the Titanic. The story includes supporting characters such as John Jacob Astor and his young pregnant wife Madeline, Benjamin Guggenheim and a lady friend, Lucy Duff Morgan, a famous fashion designer and her husband Cosmo, as well as two boxers “Dai” Bowen and Leslie Williams.

Most of these people are more than just bit players, though the main story revolves around a stewardess on the Titanic who later becomes a Nurse on the Britannic by the name of Annie Hebbley, and a young couple Mark and Caroline Fletcher and their Baby, Ondine. Annie leaves a sanitarium four years after surviving the sinking of the Titanic to board the Britannic as a Nurse at the request of her former cabin mate and fellow stewardess Violet. The Britannic, having been outfitted as a Hospital ship with the ability to carry thousands of men injured in the war.

The story is is told in multiple POV, by Annie and the others and the reader is shown the events on the Titanic in flashbacks as Annie is working on the hospital ship and especially after she discovers Mark Fletcher as a patient on the Britannic. Annie had been taken with Mark and his Baby Ondine from the first time they met on the Titanic and she worried about the baby.

Odd occurrences plagued the voyage of the Titanic, starting with Madeline Astor’s young orphaned cabin boy, Teddy. The nine year old claims he heard singing from the sea and climbs the ships railing and nearly jumps into the sea, only to be pulled back at the last minute by the boxer, Dai. Some of the passengers decide to hold a séance that evening.

The séance happens and something eerie occurs, which may or may not have been an entity, depending on who you ask. The séance is broken up by a death on board. As the Titanic continues its’ voyage other things seem to happen and it is unclear to the reader if it is something supernatural, some sort of cabin fever where a few of the passengers and crew seem like they are either going crazy or they have very overactive imaginations.

Though the first half of the book went a bit slow for my liking, the second half made up for it. The entire book was interesting and informative. I always seem to have this issue though with a lot of fantasy novels. I don’t like the slow beginning, but then after reading the entire book, I think back and realize all the reasons for the slow beginning. In this case all the background is necessary to understand the story as a whole, but also I liked the fact that we didn’t get too many occurrences so that we weren’t really sure what was going on. Is there something supernatural happening or is it just in Annie’s mind? Even she is unsure most of the time.

”I know firsthand how easy it is for this kind of thing to happen in a confined space with few distractions. Someone gives voice to a concern and before long, it’s on everyone’s lips. Paranoia is itself a kind of contagion.”

The most interesting thing is the relationship between Annie and Mark. It is obvious she is interested in him. However, he is married and seems to be in love with his wife while they are on the Titanic. Throughout the book we learn more about Annie and her background as well as the Fletchers and how they came to be on the Titanic.

I don’t like to give away any spoilers aside from background information that occurs in the first part of the books I read. So I will just say that most of the book was unpredictable and I was constantly surprised by what was happening and especially the way it ended. I did end up really enjoying the book overall. I would give this a rating of 4.5, due to originality, historical information, great characters and wonderful world building.

I voluntarily read & reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 23 books3,927 followers
March 2, 2020
I have so many feelings! First of all, let me just say that Alma Katsu is probably the most committed author in terms of research and this translates to the story in the form of authenticity. If you're going to write historical fiction, do it as passionately as Alma Katsu. If you're going to infuse the legendary true story of the Titanic with fictional horror, use the same care and concern that Alma Katsu gives her novels. Her book, THE HUNGER is the *exact* same way in terms of honoring the past while also giving it new life.
THE DEEP surprised me. It really did. I thought it was going to have a certain air about it, so I was surprised when it took a different turn.
This is the story about Annie Hebbley, who serendipitously finds herself on both the Titanic and its twin ship, The Britannic at different times in her life. The book opens with Annie as a resident in an asylum so we get a sense that there's some complexity to Annie that will unfold during the course of the novel. It was a powerful hook.
At some point, I felt my reader's heart getting bogged down in the drama aboard the Brittanic. Annie becomes entangled in the affairs of some of the passengers, and I felt myself longing for the chills & thrills.
And those did come, but not in the way I was expecting. So I'd like to use this opportunity to set some realistic expectations for readers:
The atmosphere between THE HUNGER and THE DEEP are in stark contrast. In THE HUNGER, I felt a real sense of raw grit and the challenges of survival. The threat was coming from among the characters, man vs. man but also from the environment, man vs. nature. The potential for danger created pretty heavy suspense.
In THE DEEP, there's an air of sophistication that detracted from that potential for real danger. I kept expecting Katsu to utilize the horror elements to turn the tables; like splash some blood on the crystal chandeliers and expensive gowns. But I think she quite masterfully employed a quieter, more realistic, supernatural approach.
This will appeal to a broader audience, I think.
For me, I'm going to say the same thing I said in my review of THE HUNGER, I wanted more teeth.
There's no question that Alma Katsu is a brilliant writer. I will read every book she pens. I will recommend this book to everyone--but for my die-hard horror fans, it will come with the caveat that this leans into the historical fiction and supernatural thriller genre, more than the horror.
Mother Horror blurb: ""Alma Katsu is probably the most committed author in terms of research and this translates to the story in the form of authenticity. If you're going to write historical fiction, do it as passionately as Alma Katsu. I found THE DEEP to be a compelling, supernatural thriller that was both eerie and sophisticated. I found myself wanting more danger & risk but I'm a glutton for that high only horror can give."
Profile Image for sarah.
382 reviews260 followers
March 6, 2020
the summary
The Deep blends historical events with supernatural occurrences to create an atmospheric, haunting and engaging story. The novel is told in dual timelines- 1912 aboard the Titanic and 1916 on her sister ship the Britannic. We follow Annie, a stewardess on the Titanic who is experiencing unexplainable circumstances and thinks she is being haunted. Years later we learn she has been in a mental hospital and doesn't remember what happened. She becomes a nurse on the Britannic and slowly her memories return.

the atmosphere
From the very first page, you are transported to the titanic in all its lavishness and luxury, then to the Britannic, a more somber and conservative setting. The paranormal elements added another layer to the atmosphere, an unsettling feeling weaving through both storylines. I read this under blankets while it was storming outside, while listening to the Titanic soundtrack and that really elevated the experience.

“A ship so massive, and here we are, trapped on it, nowhere to run.” She shivered “One is always trapped within oneself though”

the characters
Told in multiple perspectives, we see the voyages through through different eyes. From John and Madeline Astor- first class passengers, to Dai and Les- boxers and con-artists. In particular, I liked Dai and Les' storyline, and appreciated that Alma Katsu didn't take the cop-out excuse of a historical setting for not including diversity.

the horror
I have heard this book pitched as a horror story aboard the titanic, but I feel like that is slightly misleading. While there are some unnatural occurrences included, it was more atmospheric and unsettling than full horror. That led to the book dragging for me in some places, as I wasn't kept on the edge of my seat.

the ending
after the slow build up to the end, it felt quite rushed and anti-climactic. It was predictable, and let me down considerably after theorising for the whole book. Because surely that was just a red herring, and wasn't going to be it, right? wrong.

the verdict
A largely slow paced, well written and atmospheric read- I would recommend this to someone looking to be immersed in a story with a hint of an unsettling feeling. However, if you are looking for a truely scary horror read- perhaps try elsewhere.

Thank you to Random House UK and Netgalley for this ARC

Release Date: 5 March 2020

*trigger warnings for graphic depictions of an attempted suicide, and an attempted drowning*
Profile Image for Sumit RK.
404 reviews451 followers
August 23, 2021
Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic. 18-year-old Annie Hebbley flees her family and takes a job aboard the Titanic. The ship contains every imaginable luxury, but soon, Annie and several others become convinced that the vessel also harbors evil spirits. Four years later, in 1916, Annie is at an Asylum, recovering from a head injury sustained in the Titanic’s sinking, when she receives a letter from fellow former White Star Line employee Violet Jessop. Now a nurse, Violet is about to set sail on the Britannic—a hospital ship that is the Titanic’s twin—and she wants Annie to join her. Annie has misgivings, but her doctor strongly endorses the plan, so despite having no medical training, she signs on. The hope is that the experience will help Annie heal; instead, it unearths painful memories that provide shocking clarity regarding what actually transpired during the Titanic’s fateful crossing.

This book is narrated in multiple timelines, giving various characters perspectives and shifting back and forth in time, between the Titanic and its sister ship, the Britannic. We follow Annie’s story as a stewardess serving the wealthiest passengers onboard the Titanic in 1912. The story attempts to blend history with the paranormal using some real-life and some fictional characters to tell the story of someone or something haunting the Titanic.

The Deep makes for an engrossing read with some page-turning twists and attention to historic detail which combine with an array of characters. There are several characters in this book but I didn’t really connect with any of them. Annie is an unreliable narrator but her actions are more frustrating than mysterious. There are many real-life characters in the Titanic including John Jacob Astor and his pregnant wife Madeleine, boxers David “Dai” Bowen and Leslie Williams but none of whom had really any impact on the story. In fact, much time was utilized in establishing these characters which felt unnecessary in the end.

The storyline is both gripping but the paranormal part of it felt underwhelming. Despite the talk of spooky things, demons and mermaids, it didn’t feel creepy enough as I was expecting it to be. The explanation about the paranormal activity was also confusing. The constant switching of timelines and POV’s also started becoming puzzling. The writing itself was good but some of the twists were predictable.

Overall, The Deep is a well-written and atmospheric read; albeit a bit slow-paced. If you’re looking for historical fiction with a dose of the supernatural, you will like this book.

Many thanks to the publisher Penguin Publishing Group and Edelweiss for the ARC.
Profile Image for Alana.
653 reviews1,245 followers
March 31, 2020
"Sometimes, when our feelings for the dead are very, very strong, it keeps them tied to us. It prevents them from moving on to the next world."

So this was...something else. I don't want to say that I'm fascinated by the sinking of the Titanic because we're talking about the one of the worst cruise ship disasters in history but I've always found the events and circumstances leading up to it's sinking so interesting. Therefore, I knew A LOT surrounding the tragedy before picking up this book, including the characters (who were real life passengers) that are aboard the RMS Titanic in this book. I've also watched the movie Titanic more times than I would ever like to admit but that's besides the point. Needless to say, I was STOKED to pick this up because of my interest and the fact that there is a supernatural twist in this story. And I'm not going to lie I thought this book was going to be a four star read but then the ending happened and here we are.

What I Liked

🔥 Slow burn story.  For a good portion of this book it was all the right amounts of revealing just enough information to keep readers interested and wanting to continue the story without feeling too rushed or too slow. The keyword there is "good portion" though.

🕐  Dual timelines.  I really liked that this was told from both the sailing of the Titanic and the Britannic, it made for a much more interesting story. If this was just told from Annie's POV while she was on the Britannic recalling the events that happened on the Titanic I don't think it would have nearly been as impactful.

🙅🏻‍♀️  Is Annie lying?  So much of this book was spent wondering if you could trust anything Annie said or did. The book starts off with her getting released from a mental hospital and even though they deemed her "normal" and not needing help it was clear something was going on with her mentally and physically. I've always enjoyed books that have an unreliable narrator and I have to say even though this book didn't work out the best for me, this was one of the things I liked the most throughout this story.

What I Didn't Like

🧐 What just happened?  90% of this book was such a nice atmospheric read, with a slow burn type of pace that keep readers intrigued. But the last 10% was so incredibly rushed and all over the place that it felt like such a mess.

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦  What about everyone else?  It truly bothered me that this book is told from multiple POV's and you only get a clear and concise ending for two of the characters. Obviously, not all of the characters are going to make it and while we do briefly learn the fate of a few who go down with the Titanic there are still a few characters whose fate we'll never know, and that honestly pissed me off.

🔮  Supernatural aspect.  It was definitely a big disappointment that the one part of the story I was really looking forward to didn't work for me at all. I did enjoy the parts of the story where the characters felt an ominous presence on the Titanic but it never gave me that truly sinister sense. And I'm not going to lie I'm genuinely confused as to how this is considered horror.

🔚 The ending.  No, no, no, no. I really HATED it. I think maybe it will work for others but for me it just felt like it didn't match the story at all, almost as if there were too many ideas packed into such a small amount of the book. I definitely didn't guess the plot twist at the end of the story but it felt so out of left field I don't really know how anyone could guess it. As for the overall ending of who lived and who died I was also not a fan unfortunately.

tw: suicide (briefly mentioned, not in detail), harming of a baby, drug use, drowning

Thank you G.P. Putnam's Sons for a review copy in exchange for a honest review!

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Profile Image for Beverly.
785 reviews279 followers
April 6, 2020
I love the idea of combining the fatal voyages of the Titanic and the Britannic into one story: sister ships that were uncannily alike, even in their untimely demise. Kudos to the author must be given for that creative twist. There is a real person, Violet Jessup who was actually on both ships when they met their fates. She survived both encounters and is a pivotal character here.

I have always been fascinated by the Titanic story and I liked that the author included real passengers along with the fictional ones. The Irish folk tales were interesting too. It's not too far fetched to say that both ships were doomed by supernatural forces that are beyond our ken.

There is some lovely writing here and I enjoyed reading it, but I felt the story had a little bit too much hemming and hawing, back and forth, about who's a ghost, who's crazy and who is who. It was very confusing to me at least.
Profile Image for Tammy.
506 reviews422 followers
October 3, 2019
Katsu casts her spell by weaving together the timelines of the sinking of the Titanic and the explosion of sister ship Britannic. There are ghostly goings-on, séances, marital strife, and the clash of class on the Titanic. All of which foreshadow the tragedy. The action on the Britannic provides closure to the mysterious occurrences. Despite some unresolved plot points, this is a haunting, paranormal novel that captures that cold, visceral feeling of impending danger and the terror of sinking ships.
Profile Image for Dannii Elle.
2,012 reviews1,405 followers
May 27, 2020
For all that was said about the Titanic, how superior it was, how well designed, how glorious and noble - as though it were a person, with a person's traits - it would do nothing to save them. The Titanic was indifferent to the humans crawling on its decks and would willingly sacrifice them to the sea."

I'm going to begin with some discoveries I made, whilst reading this book, that are unconnected with my review but fascinating all the same. Well, at least to me. The first discovery was that this featured a plethora of individuals who actually sailed upon the Titanic. Two of these were third-class boxers. A little research unearthed that these two boxers both resided no more than a mile from my home. I live in a quieter part of Wales and have never seen nor heard of my surroundings featuring in any books I have read so this was an unforeseen delight that immediately brought fresh sorrow. I felt some sort of connection to these men which made their eventual passing a more saddening affair than I had anticipated.

My later discovery, upon talking to my family about my research into this book, was that a recently deceased relative of mine actually worked for the infamous Mr Ismay, until right before his boarding of the fateful ship. My uncle's mother left her home at the age of thirteen and was employed into the household of Mr J. Bruce Ismay. Mr Ismay was most famed and ridiculed for first urging the ship to increase in speed and later of his fleeing the Titanic on the lifeboats reserved for women and children, in the guise of an elderly woman with a shawl wrapped around and covering his head.

These two discoveries might seem trivial but it made my connection and so my emotional attachment with this book that much stronger. Historical fiction, with its roots pressed deep into history, will always trump those with a more fleeting attachment, for me.

Onto my thoughts more connected with book's actual contents...

From the very moment I read the synopsis I was sold. It promised to feature "...an eerie, psychological twist on one of the world's most renowned tragedies, the sinking of the Titanic and the ill-fated sail of its sister ship, the Britannic." So, basically everything I could ever want in a book!


It delivered the necessary emotions that these tragedies required as well as a Gothic and suspenseful twist that felt entirely unprecedented. I would say that this did not horrify but the sinister turn of events did intrigue and ensured I had no idea of how this narrative shift would conclude. The multitude of perspectives were interwoven to provide a complete picture, which resulted in many tears shed from me and an unforgettable story delivered.
Profile Image for Char .
1,615 reviews1,464 followers
March 9, 2020
Set aboard the Titanic and aboard her sister ship, the Britannic, 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 Britannic, 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.

Highly recommended!

Available March 10, 2020 here: https://amzn.to/2IApX65

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this tale in exchange for my honest feedback. This is it.*
Profile Image for Michelle.
1,341 reviews115 followers
March 13, 2020
Having enjoyed The Hunger by the same author I was really looking forward to this, the level of research she put into the Donner Party I just knew I'd be in for a well researched book on two of the most famous sister ships in history, the Titanic and the Britannic and indeed I was.

This is historical fiction with horror / paranormal elements thrown into the mix. Dual timelines running simultaneously which was little confusing for me, with the ships being so similar and a overlap of characters I really did have to think about which ship I was on and in which time period in every chapter which hindered my enjoyment to an extent.

Very well researched and the author did a fantastic job of weaving fact and fiction seamlessly. These ships felt alive to me, I could envision myself on them both.

I enjoyed the horror element to a point, at first I was really sold on it however I felt towards the end it got a little silly.

While this didnt blow me away it is a solid three star read.
Profile Image for Теодор Панов.
Author 4 books128 followers
April 15, 2022
„Дълбините“ беше една от книгите за 2020, която очаквах с голям интерес. Историята проследява паралелно събитията на Титаник през 1912 г. и тези на Британик през 1916 г., като за вдъхновение за създаването й е послужила Вайълет Джесъп (персонаж в романа, но и реално съществуваща личност, която е била на борда и на двата кораба и е оцеляла след потъването им) - та само това прави книгата достатъчно любопитна.

От друга страна обаче написването на книга базирана на исторически факти и събития си е голямо предизвикателство. Още повече пък, когато добавиш към реалното и загадъчни духове, същества от ирландската митология и персонажи с размътени умове и включиш и Титаник (като не забравяме и филма от 1997 г., който успя да вдигне много високо летвата, със своята интерпретация за съдбата на кораба и пасажерите), очакванията стават наистина огромни. И в резултат на това има безспорен риск мнозина да се окажат разочаровани накрая. Е, лично аз не съм от разочарованите. Книгата „Дълбините“ ми допадна, та чак не ми се искаше да свършва историята на Ани – Марк – Лилиан.

Дали Алма Катсу е сътворила шедьовър? Ами по-скоро – не, но пък ни предлага една наистина интригуваща и добре изградена с факти и художествена измислица, любопитна и различна интерпретация. Хареса ми, че освен събитията около Титаник и пасажерите му, авторката е отделила и също толкова голямо внимание и на случващото се след това с Британик.

Отделно да кажа, че и изданието на Orange Books ми допадна много. Книгата е с хубави твърди корици и приятно оформление отвътре. Направо си беше истинско удоволствие за четене. 😊

Крайна оценка: 4.3
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,092 reviews1,508 followers
January 1, 2022
The Deep by Alma Katsu is a supernatural historic horror novel. The story inside is a twist on the real life events of the sinking of the Titanic and the Britannic ships. This is a book that tells the story in different timelines on the different ships and changing the point of view between various characters.

At the time of the Titanic sailing there are passengers that believe there is something sinister going on onboard the massive ship, Madeline Astor, Benjamin Guggenheim, Mark Fletcher and Annie Hebbley. After the Titanic sinks Annie who had survived hears from an old friend about an opportunity aboard a new ship, the Britannic. The Britannic will be a hospital ship and Annie decides to board the ship and take on this new job.

The Deep was much like Alma Katsu’s previous novel that I had read in which it uses the real characters and events from that time to give the story that realistic feel while also adding in it’s own elements to make a whole new version of events. Being somewhat Titanic obsessed I was quite interested in the story as I read but felt it had a slow pace in building the supernatural plotline. When finished with The Deep I would rate this one at three and a half stars having gained my interest in the events but feeling I’d wanted more to happen at a quicker pace.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Diana Stoyanova.
574 reviews118 followers
April 15, 2020
4.5 ⭐

Тази история е посветена на събитията около потъването на пътническия кораб Титаник и неговият близнак Британик, който се преобразува във военно-болничен кораб по време на Първата световна война. И тук Алма Катсу умело е вкарала мистериозни и свръхестествени елементи. Много ми е приятно да чета Катсу в оригинал. Тя разказва простичко, но изключително въздействащо; успява да прикове вниманието и да те накара да искаш да четеш още и още. Всеки знае каква е съдбата на Титаник, но тук Алма Катсу успява да покаже различна перспектива и някак си да направи историята по- лична, по- емоционална. Покрай книгата се поразрових за повече информация около Британик и определено научих неща, които преди не съм знаела. И " Глад" („The Hunger“) беше интересно представена интерпретация на експедиция „Донър“, но „ The Deep” определено ми хареса повече, може би защото по принцип темата за Титаник ми е била винаги по- любoпитна.

Алма Катсу използва много интересен подход при вкарването на свръхестествени елементи в нейната проза. Духовете и митологичните създания сякаш обитават повече умовете на нейните герои, отколкото да се вихрят самостоятелно в историята. По този начин, Алма Катсу сякаш провокира въображението на читателя, отколкото да му сервира истински реален ужас.
Ако някой очаква по- директен хорър, може да остане разочарован от тази книга. Аз обаче търсех загадъчното вплитане на свръхестествени елементи, и получих точно това. Смятам, че Алма Катсу се справя прекрасно с мистериите и тънката загадъчност.

Историята започва с младата Anney Hebbley, която след драматични събития в семейството й решава да избяга от него, започвайки работа на Титаник като стюардеса. Повествованието се движи напред и назад във времето, когато Ани работи на Титаник, а после и на Британик, разкривайки ни ключови събития, обясняващи една от версиите за съдбата на знаменития кораб. Изправяме се пред страховете и параноята на героите в книгата, предизвикани от странни случки. Започват да изчезват бижута; едно момче, което за малко да скочи в океана, приканвано от мистериозни гласове, впоследствие умира при необясними обстоятелства; бременната Мади, е убедена, че има нещо зловещо на кораба, което се опитва да погуби бебето й; семейство Fletcher, чиято съдба се преплита с тази на главната героиня Ани, е изправено пред внушенията на съпругата Caroline, която си е втълпила, че младата стюардеса има афера със съпругът й Mark и се опитва да нарани невръстната им дъщеря Ondine. И докато героите са потънали в своите опасения, Титаник бавно, но сигурно се отправя към своята гибел.

Историята започва бавно, а Алма Катсу представя последователно персонажите си и разкрива техните индивидуални истории, докато се развива основната сюжетна линия. Общото между тях е, че всеки един има нещо в миналото, от което се срамува и от което иска да се отърси, да го скрие дълбоко, да го заличи от мислите си. И сякаш пътешествието с Титаник им дава тази надежда за ново начало и шанс за изграждане на нов живот.

Колкото повече чета историята, все повече се убеждавам, че идеята на Алма Катсу да вкара сцени и епизоди от Британик, изобщо не е случайна. От една страна Британик има сходна съдба с тази на Титаник, а от друга тя свързва отно��о Ани и Марк и доразвива тяхната история, хвърляйки светлина върху тяхната взаимосвързяност, както и върху някои скрити събития. По този начин Алма Катсу дава завършеност на своя замисъл.

Харесах много " The Deep" и добрата новина е, че се очаква да бъде издадена скоро на български под името " Дълбините". Горещо препоръчвам!
Profile Image for Lou (nonfiction fiend).
2,771 reviews1,617 followers
March 4, 2020
The Deep, Alma Katsu’s latest novel, is a fact-meets-fiction take on the devastating tale of the Titanic and is a refreshingly original and utterly unique historical thriller with elements of the supernatural, horror and mystery and featuring a mish-mash of folkloric entities. It tells the story of Annie Hebbley, an Irish girl who was a maid entrusted with the care of the First Class Deck on the disastrous maiden voyage of the doomed ship in 1912; she survives against the odds and is inexplicably on board Titanic’s sister liner, hospital ship Brittanic four years later in 1916 where she is employed as a nurse tending to wounded World War I servicemen. Annie had spent the intervening time period between the two voyages languishing in a mental asylum for conditions seemingly brought on by the enigmatic and deeply frightening voices and apparitions that frequented the decks of the Titanic enveloping them in an eerie calm.

Whilst I didn't feel this hit the heady heights of its accomplished predecessor The Hunger or will be enjoyed by the same wide audience there is no denying that this is a mesmerising gothic-tinged tale and one of the areas Katsu continues to excel at is creating a profoundly unsettling atmosphere. The amount of research the author has done in order to weave an authentic story is astonishing; I only wish all writers cared as much about how their book will be perceived. It's a tale ripe with engaging, complex characters, both real and imagined, and the writing tempts you into the narrative from early on and continues in a propulsive fashion for its entirety. You may be forgiven for believing the iceberg was the monster in the Titanic story but here a very different but no less dangerous beast lurks in the frigid waters.

A creepy, disturbing and cracking read full of nuance and sophistication with a genuinely engrossing plot. Many thanks to Bantam Press for an ARC.
Profile Image for J.D. Barker.
Author 24 books4,643 followers
September 16, 2019
THE DEEP takes us back to the final days of the Titanic, her sister ship the Britannic, and the mysterious woman who links them both. In a haunting story of love and revenge, Alma Katsu blends paranormal and historical fiction as only she can—a spellbinding tale where desire knows no bounds and death is only a beginning. Another fantastic story from the author of THE HUNGER.

Many thanks to Ms. Katsu and her publisher for the advance copy!
Profile Image for Carol.
1,370 reviews2,122 followers
September 12, 2020
THE DEEP combines fact with fiction in a reimagined story of the Titanic that sunk in 1912 and sister ship Britannia in 1916. There are some true life characters, a touch of folklore and the supernatural....an evil spirit that intends to cause harm, but nothing the least bit eerie that would classify it in the horror category (for me) aside from the truth behind the actual disasters.

The story follows one haunted survivor of Titanic through her service on the refitted Britannia hospital ship four years later until its horrific end.

It alternates timelines between 1912 and 1916 which is not a problem, but I don't know....there was just something disconnected about the whole read (for me). I kept losing focus and interest despite my love of historical fiction concerning the Titanic....despite the curse, the seance, the blackmail and dalliances....despite the con-men, deceit and mystery behind it all. Perhaps THE DEEP just tried to do too much, again (for me). I really preferred Alma Katsu's THE HUNGER by comparison.

Profile Image for Monica (crazy_4_books).
660 reviews115 followers
February 26, 2021
This “reboot/retelling” of the TITANIC tragedy was very underwhelming. The concept behind the premise had potential (a haunted spirit actually caused the ship to wreck instead of human negligence); although the crew in charge really sucked and the story when the iceberg comes does not go further from history. The supernatural element is only present and “sort of” explained at the very end, which makes this book mainly a revision through the mundane lives of the first class passengers aboard the Titanic until disaster strikes. More melodrama and none horror or mystery elements. I am not a fan of the film “Titanic” – I know I am in the minority because people love that movie. I just think that making millions of dollars out of such a tragedy was in poor taste by director J. Cameron. However, this book made me want to go watch that movie again. Let’s explore the main cast of this book using real actors, as if it were to be filmed an adaptation nowadays, keeping main couple Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in some capacity and adding a whole bunch of other Oscar winning actors because dah, you need stars if you want to sell tickets. Mark Fletcher (DiCaprio) and his second wife, Caroline (Jennifer Lawrence) are among the first class passengers on board. They have a baby, Ondine. And a personal stewardess, 18 year old Annie (Ellen Fanning, because she knows how to speak with a decent British accent). Kate Winslet is the dead first wife of Leo’s Mark, and Jennifer Lawrence’s Caroline is an American rich bitch addicted to laudanum and cocaine (yep, those were legal back then I guess). Besides this ridiculous love triangle, not much happens with many sidekick characters based on real ones but unnecessary here. The timeline aboard on the Britannia, the Titanic twin ship, during WWI does not add much to the main plot until the last three chapters with the reveal of whose spirit haunted both ships.
Concept: ★★★
Character portrayals: ★★★
Pacing/Length: ★★
Enjoyment: ★★★
April 14, 2020
I listened to this on audio and loved it. I'll be writing a review for it, but it won't be as detailed as if I had read a physical copy with a chance to annotate. However, without a doubt, this novel was packed with all the goodness of Alma Katsu's THE HUNGER, tenfold!!!
Loved it!

Profile Image for Marc.
205 reviews21 followers
May 2, 2020
This was a hard call but I'm going for 3.5 stars and rounding up to 4. I thought this was very well written (although there is a reference to "Her Majesty's government" that took place in 1916 which I believe should have been "His Majesty's government" because George V was King). But I quibble. I thought the combination of history with fiction was very well done and I liked this novel. I think I was expecting a truly scary story and I didn't get that and the ending seemed a bit rushed. But I enjoyed this and I will definitely be reading more of Alma Katsu's novels!
Profile Image for Marialyce (absltmom, yaya).
1,938 reviews722 followers
October 17, 2019
2.5 stars and I wish I could have liked it better

Everything and I mean everything about the Titanic fascinates me. When this book became a download on Edelweiss, I jumped at the chance to read this advanced copy. As much as I wanted to love it, I didn't, and of course mixed into that was disappointment.

This is a story about a haunting and ships that was destined to sink and lives that were destined to be lost. The story linked a fictional character, Annie, based on a real person, Violet Jessup, who managed through fate to survive both the sinking of the Titanic and the Britannic.

In this tale, a tale of the paranormal blended with reality, we follow the character Annie, as she experience things that go bump in the night, and eeriness. She has visions and in reality thinks she might be possessed and that there lurked an evil spirit walking the decks of both ships. Of course at the time, the occult was a topic that many of the well heeled passengers on the Titanic clung to, so it did fit the mood of many of the travelers to believe there was something out there.

There was much mention of spooky things, silkies, sirens, demons, and other creepy characters and yet I just couldn't gather up enough scariness to say this was a chilling and ominous story. I held my attention for the majority of the story but there were some holes in the telling and I sometimes found myself doing a bit of skimming.

However, there are many reviewers who enjoyed it greatly so take a look and see what they thought.
Thank you to Alma Katsu, G.P. Putnam's Sons and Edelweiss for a copy of this book due out in March of 20202.
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