Lilyn G. | Sci-Fi & Scary | Empathy Shouldn't Be That Hard To Understand, People.'s Reviews > The Devil and the Deep

The Devil and the Deep by Ellen Datlow
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Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this from Edelweiss for review consideration. If you think that affects my review, you don't know me very well.

The Devil and the Deep was an anthology that sounded kind of interesting to me, but I had no true desire to read it. Mostly because I'm still a bit biased against anthologies, even though I've had some pleasant experiences lately. However, when I saw that it was available on Edelweiss  for immediate download, I figured there was no harm in giving it a look-see.

I liked it. Maybe I didn't love it, but I really liked it. It wasn't until I was looking back over the book for this review that I realized exactly how much I had liked it.


Deadwater by Simon Bestwick - the opening story in The Devil and the Deep - immediately got me. I've read Bestwick before, and was as impressed with his ability to make sympathetic characters and handle difficult situations in Feast of All Souls as I was in Deadwater.


Fodder's Jig by Lee Thomas - This was an interesting one. I didn't like most of it because hit on one of my pet peeves. (I can't tell you what it is for spoiling an important part of the story.) However, it was a delightfully open-ended tale, and I liked the whole idea of it.


The Curious Allure of the Sea by Christopher Golden - I normally make neat little notes to remind myself of what I liked about the story on Goodreads. My note for this one was a simple "Hoooooooooooooooooooolllllllllllllllllyyyyyyy Ssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiit!!!" So, that's all I'm going to say about that one.


What My Mother Left Me by Alyssa Wong -  I like the take on Selkies, though I suppose that's not quite the word. It's a much darker, more gruesome thing than the seal-pelts I'm used to reading about. This was deliciously dark, though I do think the acrylic nails thing was overdone a bit.


Sister, Dearest Sister, Let Me Show You to the Sea by Seanan McGuire was a absolutely fantastic re-telling of the Little Mermaid. It'll send shivers down your spine. (And no, it's not related to her Into the Drowning Deep book.) I absolutely loved this story from beginning to end. Never a misstep!


Shit Happens by Michael Marshall Smith - This was well-written, completely gross, and fun to read. If you're put off by the idea of reading about bodily functions, I highly suggest you avoid this story.


And, of course, the offering of Broken Record by Stephen Graham Jones was the straight up level of weird that I'm coming to expect from him.  That man has an odd, odd mind.


Favorite Quotes (Quotes may change in final copy):
"It's the absences that get you, with any death. The gaps, the depths, the holes people leave behind: they're what we mean by ghosts." - Simon Bestwick, Deadwater

"I've watched enough horror movies to know that if we sleep here, it's going to murder the f*ck out of us." - Alyssa Wong, What My Mother Gave Me

"The problem with social media is that it'll recycle bullsh*t without anybody stopping to check it has any basis in reality-" Michael Marshall Smith, Shit Happens

Overall, while it wasn't my favorite anthology, The Devil and the Deep had a strong showing. There are a few stories in here, such as Golden's, that should emit a siren's call for any horror fans. Definitely one worth checking out.
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Reading Progress

October 24, 2017 – Shelved
October 24, 2017 – Shelved as: site-ref-list-not-wishlisted
February 13, 2018 – Started Reading
February 13, 2018 –
7.0% "Deadwater by Simon Bestwick - "It's the absences that get you, with any death. The gaps, the depths, the holes people leave behind: they're what we mean by ghosts." - This was a good start. I sympathized with the main character, understood her compartmentalizing, and how she could be 'real' without being real. And I get what she did, too. In another life, I'd have done the same. 5/5"
February 14, 2018 –
15.0% "Fodders Jig - Lee Thomas

I liked the open-endedness of this story. I definitely wasn't expecting it to wrap up the way it did, and the idea of what's behind the jig is fascinating.

I was irked for quite a bit during the read because it had touched on one of my pet peeves, but luckily the author saved the story from this insignificant reader's wrath.

4/5"
February 16, 2018 –
20.0% "The Curious Allure of the Sea by Christopher Golden - Hoooooooolllllllyyy shhhhhhhhiiiiiiiitttttt 5*"
February 17, 2018 –
26.0% "The Tryal Attract by Terry Dowling - Felt nothing about this one. A let down after Goldens story. 3*"
February 18, 2018 –
32.0% "The Whalers Song by Ray Cluley - This is okay. Well-written and sorrowful. 3*"
February 20, 2018 –
41.0% "A Ship of the South Wind by Bradley Denton - Another 'meh'. It was well-written enough, and sure, the play on the 'sea' was a change-up, but I don't enjoy stories set during that time, so I was less than thrilled. The imagery of the wagon was cool, though. 3*"
February 20, 2018 –
47.0% "What My Mother Left Me by Alyssa Wong - Now this was a good one. I like the take on Selkies, though I suppose that's not quite the word. It's a much darker, more gruesome thing than the seal-pelts I'm used to reading about. This was deliciously dark, though I do think the acrylic nails thing was overdone a bit. 4*"
February 20, 2018 –
54.0% "Broken Record by Stephen Graham Jones - By now I feel like I'm learning what to expect from SGJ. Complete weirdness that you can't really classify. That definitely describes Broken Record. I enjoyed it, I just can't... Its.. yeah. Freaking strange. 4*"
February 20, 2018 –
59.0% "Saudade by Steve Rasnic Tem -Melancholic, thought-provoking, and I didn't quite expect it to take the turn that it did. What did that whole scene in the middle mean?
4*"
February 21, 2018 –
65.0% "A Moment Before Breaking by A.C. Wise - Almost got it. I think it was longer than it needed to be. My attention wandered, even though I did enjoy the end. 3*"
February 23, 2018 –
69.0%
February 23, 2018 –
69.0% "Sister, Sister Let Me Show You to the Sea by Seaman McGuire - That's how you do a little mermaid story! 5*"
March 1, 2018 –
82.0% "He sings of Salt & Wormwood by Brian Hodge - First real bomb for me. Just couldn't get into it. ended up skimming."
March 2, 2018 –
89.0% "Shit Happens - Michael Marshall Smith - My third favorite in the book. This was absolutely disgusting and yet a fun read.

Wish it would have been a tad longer. I wanna know what was happening exactly!!"
March 2, 2018 – Finished Reading
April 11, 2018 – Shelved as: anthology-or-collection
April 11, 2018 – Shelved as: request-edelweiss

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