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Kindle Notes & Highlights
“Water sings,” said Tory. Luis could talk for hours about the words used to describe the ocean. If she let him get started, they were going to be here for a while, and she wanted to get to the lab as soon as possible. “It’s a function of the way it moves. Everything makes a sound, and vibrations hang in water for much longer than they can hang in air. They travel further, too.
Something was down there. Something that could slaughter sperm whales and leave research vessels floating abandoned and unmanned. Something that mimicked the sounds it heard, using them to lure its prey. Something that defied belief. And whatever it was, Tory was going to find it, and make it pay for what it had done to her sister.
The Theodore Blackwell who’d protested whaling practices with her, surfed with her in the waters off Hawaii, and proposed to her on Oahu, that man was dead and gone and surrendered to the sea. This man, this virtual stranger … he was something different. Something dangerous. The best predators always learned how to masquerade as things that wouldn’t seem threatening. That was how they got close enough to strike.
“I didn’t go out with the Atargatis because Imagine demanded too much ownership of my research.” And because she’d been afraid. Afraid that they would find exactly what she’d said they’d find; afraid that when faced with the reality behind her theories, she would learn that she’d been right. About everything. And she had been.
There’d be time to worry about the future soon enough. That was the thing about the future. It didn’t wait. No matter how hard you tried to run, it always caught up with you in the end.
The guilt was the reef upon which her marriage had crashed, combining with all the other factors to make their love unsustainable. Sometimes she thought she was still crashing there, drowning inch by inch under the weight of what she’d done.
“A media personality is someone who’s famous for being famous about being famous. We live in the shadow of our own tautologies.”
“I mean if the mermaids are real—and they are—and if the mermaids are smart enough to be watching us—which they also are—they don’t have anything to do with humans. They evolved on their own. They stayed in their own environment until we started sending ships into their living room. To them, we’re the myths. We’re the monsters. We appear out of nowhere, we’ve probably snagged more than a few of them in fishing nets and trawler rigs, and half the things we have on us at any given time are going to be incomprehensible to a preindustrial society with no concept of manufacturing. They aren’t our ...more
Science was all about curiosity. It was a world where the kids who touched hot stoves and poked sticks down mysterious holes in their backyards could get better tools, protective gear, and bigger holes to poke at. Asking scientists not to look into an open box was like asking cats not to saunter through an open door. It simply wasn’t practical.
Even in a submersible pod designed to withstand the crushing depths, descent was a delicate business, best taken slowly, methodically, and with the utmost respect for the drowned world around her. This was not where she belonged. This had never been where she belonged. Humanity had chosen the land over the sea millennia ago, and sometimes—when she was letting her mind wander, when she was romanticizing what she did and how she did it—she thought the sea still held a grudge. Breakups were never easy, and while humanity was hot and fast and had had plenty of time to get over it, the oceans were ...more
Heather was still a dreamer. She’d known she could never be an astronaut since she was a child, that no one would put a deaf girl into a rocket and tell her to reach for the stars, so she’d looked around until she’d found the next best thing, and then she’d done what she had to do to make it her own. She was one of the best in her field, and a lot of that was because after giving up on one dream, she’d be damned before she gave up another.
Everything that threatens us in the sea has its counterpart on land, with less of the gravity-defying freedom the water offers. So what could have driven us away? Nothing more nor less than an equal. One whose mastery of the waters outpaced our own, and left us with the choice to flee as predators, or to live as prey
the problem with trying to define nature is that nature is bigger than we are, and nature doesn’t care whether we know how to define it. Nature does what nature wants.”
The thing people forget about survival of the fittest is that it doesn’t work. You really think the giraffe was the fittest? Or the kakapo? Even our friend the axolotl has no business existing. Nature has made and rejected and lost and remade more biological diversity than currently exists.
“When someone kills an American citizen, we don’t say, ‘Oh well, we killed one of theirs last week; we’re calling it even,’” she said. “We declare war. We sweep civilizations off the face of the globe. They won’t care that they started it. They’re only going to care who finishes it, and to be honest, I’m not sure it’s going to be us.”
Dr. Jillian Toth, the world’s foremost expert on creatures like this one, creatures that had been only myths and legends until a ship sailed above the Mariana Trench and sent footage home, stood looking at the body in front of her. She was missing something. She knew that she was missing something. And if she didn’t figure out what it was soon, they were all going to pay for it. One way or another, someone always, always paid.
The trouble was, humans had been domesticated by their own hand. Humans had given up violence as a way of life, and that was a good thing; that was the reason they had civilization and universities and scientific missions, rather than living in a great chasm in the earth, mirroring their aquatic cousins. But the sirens had never domesticated themselves. The sirens were still nature, red in tooth and claw, and while they might die, humans died so much more easily that it was almost comic.