Fear The Drowning Deep is a book I wanted to read as soon as I saw the premise. A girl hates the sea after her grandfather jumped off a cliff- with a smile on his face. She believes that something called to him from the waves, but of course none believe her. And it's set on the Isle of Man. I'm in! And the nice reviews didn't hurt either. So I was pretty predisposed to like this one. And I did- maybe not quite as much as I thought I would, but it's a solid debut and it's oozing with atmosphere.
Bridey is a girl who hates and fears the sea, and the horror of what happened to her grandpa returns when a dead girl washes ashore. People start disappearing and Bridey hears strange fiddling in the night- and when a strange boy washes ashore with serious wounds she gets sucked into a harrowing situation where she may be the only one who understands the threat. There's also a witch who has a strange relationship with her mother, and Bridey goes to apprentice for the woman to help ends meet. The witch seems to know more about the sea and believes Bridey when no one else does. but it's the strange boy who takes over the story. He has no memory of who he is and Bridey decides to call him Fynn.
From there we have folklore and a chilling tale about an ancient evil that may visit the isle and doom those who go to sea. The folklore elements are pretty well researched and the author does a great job evoking the feel of a mist shrouded island in the early twentieth century. Bridey is a likable protagonist and I was impressed with her spunk and determination as she had to face down all of her terrors to do the right thing. I thought her family were convincing as well, as were the townspeople for the most part. The witch is a bit of an enigma, I wasn't quite sure about her throughout but she wasn't entirely what I expected.
The nature of the evil occurring in the waters off the island wasn't exactly what I was expecting either- I mean just by reading the blurb you have an idea what's going on, but it's spoilery to say anything other than the folklore of the area plays a role. I thought this was handled well for the most part, it's a very atmospheric story but at the same time I thought the nature of the threat could have been more ambiguous and therefore perhaps more compelling. I was actually surprised we got as much information as there was, I thought it would be more mysterious or vague, but other than that I have no real complaints. Maybe a minor issue with Fynn and his relationship with Bridey- I thought things moved a little fast there, but there is a story rationale and given the circumstances its plausible.
I also liked the supporting cast- Bridey's sisters were portrayed well and I liked Lugh, a friend of Bridey's who is perhaps more. She has a thing for Lugh before Fynn shows up, and the book flirts with a love triangle but thankfully the author handles that well and surprised me by dispensing with the usual angst before it takes over. This is a tale of mysterious creatures from myth and I think it works in lot of ways, and the setting and time period of the story only add to the mix.
I feel like you really like books that involve the sea? Between the mermaids and ships in storms and whatnot. This one does sound really atmospheric though just from reading your review. And a likeable MC is always good. That's kinda funny though, you don't see many reviewers saying a book should've been more vague lol. Glad you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
This looks really awesome :) I hope I'll get to read it soon!ReplyDelete
This sounds really intriguing, especially the setting. I'm glad to hear that the author avoided an all-out love triangle, too!ReplyDelete
The cover is definitely eye catching. I love the setting.ReplyDelete
This is one book that I will read for certain that is outside of what I normally read. I have read some wonderful reviews, and the synopsis caught me from hello.ReplyDelete
This sounds spooky and slightly scary. I think I would like to read this one.ReplyDelete
The Isle of Man is steeped in folklore and maniacs in motorbikes too!! That cover is so beautiful, as some who can't swim I think this book would give me the shivers, thanks for sharing!ReplyDelete
Ooo this one sounds really atmospheric and a little creepy. I'm glad that you enjoyed it and the folklore sounds interesting. I'm glad to hear that it was well researched. That's always a big plus for me. Fantastic review!ReplyDelete
I haven't read this but I do like your thoughts that perhaps some things could have been left a little more vague, especially if there's a lot of folklore/legend involved. Seems like that would have really added to the suspense. Great review!ReplyDelete
Ohh I am glad you liked this one! I was a fan, like you said, the atmosphere is amazing. And the setting is SO perfect and definitely compelling! I do agree with you about the stuff with Fynn, but also that it wasn't a dealbreaker at all. Great review, glad you enjoyed it!ReplyDelete
The folklore elements you've described intrigue me so, especially as it has to do with the sea. And this won me over when you said the author dispenses with the love triangle lolReplyDelete
This sounds really interesting to me! I like the idea of the concept and the setting...not to mention the folklore!! Anything to do with the sea is a must for me :DReplyDelete
This one has been on my wishlist for months now. I get more excited about it with every review I read!ReplyDelete
I can see why the premise of this one got your attention. It's rare to find a book with a lot of atmosphere, so that's great this book had that. The Folkore parts sound interesting. Great review!ReplyDelete