Title: The Deep
Author: Nick Cutter
Published: January 13th 2015
Genre: Adult, Horror
Length: 400 pages
Source: eARC from NetGalley
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
Afraid of the dark? You should be … Part horror, part psychological nightmare, The Deep by Nick Cutter is a novel fans of Stephen King and Clive Barker won’t want to miss.
A plague is destroying the world’s population. The ‘Gets makes people forget. First it’s the small things, like where you left your keys … then the not-so-small things, like how to drive. And finally your body forgets how to live.
But now an unknown substance with extraordinary power to heal has been discovered in the depths of the Pacific Ocean. Nicknamed ambrosia, it might just be the miracle cure the world has been praying for.
A research lab has been established eight miles below the sea’s surface, but all contact with the team has been lost. Dr Luke Nelson’s brother is down there and as desperation for a cure outweighs common sense, he agrees to descend through the lightless fathoms … perhaps to face an evil blacker than anything he could have imagined.
I got this book ages ago, I believe it might have actually been one of the first books I was approved for on NetGalley and yet it took me months, if not an entire year before I finally finished this book. Despite it being a horror book that was supposed to be terrifying, I found it to be rather lacklustre.
When I first started reading The Deep, I was intrigued by the virus that was spreading – the Gets – which makes people slowly forget everything: it starts with little things like what they ate the night before and gradually builds until they completely forget how to breathe and eventually die. The disease itself sounded like it would be a horrific event in and of itself, with the main character slowly forgetting things and I assumed it would eventually drive them mad.
What actually happened was Luke voluntarily went into an underwater fortress because his scientist brother apparently asked to see him. Even though they were long estranged, Luke didn’t have anything keeping him where he was and so he went. The thing is, the lead up to this was long and slow and, quite honestly, very dull. I ended up putting the book down before Luke was even on the boat to head out to the fortress.
After a few months away from the book, I picked it back up hoping that I had just been in the wrong mood for a horror. Once Luke is actually in the deep sea station, things do pick up and get more interesting. The mysterious substance dubbed Ambrosia is everywhere and could possibly have a life of its own. The locked laboratory that seems to hum constantly. And then, of course, there’s Clayton’s steadfast refute of the fact that he asked Luke to be there.
Trapped miles under the surface of the ocean, Luke tries to figure out just exactly what is going on without losing his mind down there in the dark and suffocating depths.
Now, forewarning, this next thing is a bit of a spoiler but not a huge thing. There’s a dog – one of the test subjects – that becomes a companion to Luke while he’s on the station. If you’re anything like me and hate reading about any kind of animal being killed, this might not be the book for you. Although it turns out that the dog is actually okay, there was a scene where it looks like it dies and I was bawling.
The thing about this book is, the dog incident got the most reaction from me. Nothing else made me feel scared or angry or anything. So, that says a lot to me about the quality of the horror.
In the end, I think this was an okay book. It took me way longer to read than I would have liked and I didn’t completely put it down and leave it so it wasn’t a complete write-off. I think it’s a good read for people who like a bit of mystery along with their scares. Although there wasn’t really any outright terrifying moments that would make you scream and throw the book away out of fear, but there were some rather chilling psychological moments that make you doubt whether the events are really happening or not.
Overall, this turned out not to be a great read for me, personally, but I really feel that other horror fans will enjoy it.
About the Author
*Picture from Goodreads