Full disclosure: I’m a sucker for anything related to the Titanic, I love a good ghost story, and historical fiction, especially with multiple timelines, is sort of my jam. So, when I saw the description for this book, I was pretty sure it was written especially for me. I mean, check out this description from NetGalley:
Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. Between mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, the guests of the Titanic have found themselves suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone from the moment they set sail. Several of them, including maid Annie Hebley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, are convinced there’s something sinister–almost otherwordly–afoot. But before they can locate the source of the danger, as the world knows, disaster strikes. Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together. Working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic’s sister ship, the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship, she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier fighting in World War I. At first, Annie is thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the sinking, but soon, Mark’s presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past–as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over. Brilliantly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.
This book most certainly did not disappoint. Katsu’s writing is so good: descriptive and lovely. It’s clear that she did her research on both the Titanic and the Brittanic, and I absolutely adore the way she incorporates point of view for multiple characters. While Annie is our main protagonist, the wandering POVs put us in the heads of ship staff, interesting steerage travelers, and some first class passengers (including Madeline Astor!). As promised, there is a supernatural undercurrent throughout the storylines, as well as a mystery that I am pleased to say I didn’t have all figured out before the ending. Just enough romance for my tastes and fast-paced plotlines kept it interesting throughout. If anything could have been improved upon (for my tastes) it would be even more time spent aboard these ships and with these colorful characters.
I whole-heartedly recommend this book for fans of historical fiction with a paranormal twist. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for my copy in exchange for an honest review.