“Humanity destroys the things it loves. Something mysterious and unique enough to be the source of mermaid legends? We’re going to be all over destroying that.”
Spoiler Free Review
Title: Rolling in the Deep
Author: Mira Grant
Series or Standalone: Rolling in the Deep, #0.5
Genre: Nautical Horror, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Mermaids & Short Stories
Publication Date: April 6th 2015
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Star Rating: ★★★★☆
Rolling in the Deep is the story of the Atargatis – a cruise ship commissioned by Imagine Network to assist in filming a documentary on mermaids. Imagine expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.
They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.
Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy. Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.
“Our goal is not to sensationalise this tragedy, but to better understand what transpired in that single long and unforgiving night.”
I was surprised I enjoyed this book. Not because I don’t like Mira Grant or mermaids, quite the opposite. It’s just that I generally haven’t had success with novellas or stories under 200 pages, and this story is closer to 100.
I’m so happy to admit this novella was the exception.
Rolling in the Deep is the first published story in Mira Grant’s killer mermaid series and is the prequel to one of my favourite books of all time Into the Drowning Deep. This novella is essentially a nice little taster for Into the Drowning Deep. My recommended reading order would be to read this novella first, because I do believe Into the Drowning Deep is way more impressive and enjoyable as a story. Which sounds impolite, but it’s just because it’s full length and there is more meat to it.
“Are mermaids the hallucinations of lonely sailors? Or are they real?”
As mentioned, this is like a snippet of what to expect for Grant’s full-length novel about killer mermaids. Granted, Into the Drowning Deep has a more exciting plot and is a more tension filled experience. But as someone who is easy to scare and doesn’t read a lot of thrillers, I was on the edge of my seat. The passengers and crew aboard the Atargatis aren’t taking this trip seriously (with the exception of the captain running the cruise ship…) But who would? Their goal is to film a mockumentary about mermaids and no one really expects to find anything. Also, no one is SAFE, Mira Grant is as ruthless as George R.R. Martin.
This book is also filled with as many interesting and diverse characters, which is to be expected from Mira Grant. Seriously. There are numerous accomplished female characters in spades. Namely accomplished scientists, as is the case with Into the Drowning Deep. As well as a hard woman in charge of running the Atargatis cruise ship, an ambitious journalist who is the face of Imagine Network on this cruise, and a troupe of performance mermaids. Two of which are disabled and a second mate to the Atargatis captain who happens to be deaf – meaning there is ASL in this book! I will say, that connecting with characters here is difficult, this book is so short and the point of views rotate very frequently.
Also, as someone who didn’t take science in high school beyond the years it was required, Mira Grant manages to make science so interesting for me. (It’s shocking, really.) I mean, this is a novella about killer mermaids, so I think that does half of the work. But I was so interested in learning about the professions here. There was a Marine Chemist, Bimolecular Biologist, Ichthyologist, Cetologist, Marine Psychologist, Bimolecular Biologists and Deep-sea Cartographer – are these all real professions? The answer is beyond me, but it’s obvious that Mira Grant knows what she’s talking about.
Mira Grant continues to wow me with her incredible work and exciting plots. If you’re a fan of science fiction, expeditions, or mild horror/nautical horror (oh, and mermaids!) don’t let this series go under your radar.