Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

Rolling the Deep, #1

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves. But the secrets of the deep come with a price.

“The trouble with discovery is that is goes two ways. For you to find something, that thing must also find you.”

This is horror that takes itself seriously and isn’t cheesy considering it’s about killer mermaid creatures out in the great white blue. Though, like any cheesy horror story with throw-away red shirt characters and people who have no common sense, this book had to toss in a few for good measure too.

It may not even be what the author intended originally, but with these two brilliant women I have to wonder:

Woman one: “The Captain told everyone to stay locked securely in their rooms because of the killer mermaids.”
Woman two: “Definitely. But I’m still going to prop this door open so we can let some fresh air in.”
Woman one: “Okay, but what about the monster mermaids? They’ve already brutally killed a few people, and we don’t have any weapons at all.”
Woman two: “True, but they won’t bother us.”
Woman one: “Okay. Should we make some weapons or something while we wait with the door open?”
Woman two: “Nah, how about drinking some of this brandy and getting drunk?”
Woman one: “Oh, okay, that sounds more fun.”

A few minutes later….
Mermaid: *Munching*

There are a lot of characters in the book, but thankfully the author didn’t go overboard *coughs* in shifting points of view. We get into the heads of several main characters who have different personal stakes invested. The main lure at first is Tori, whose sister was the unfortunate reporter who got too close and personal with the mermaids in the prequel novella. She’s been obsessed with finding the beings who destroyed her sister, making revenge her number one goal for half of the book…until she gets on the boat. Then, you know, she kind of starts changing her mind because these mermaids are actually intelligent. There’s no point having revenge on intelligent creatures after all, even if they seem to be mean as hell, but…

Jill Toth is also a worthy head to be in for the first part of the book where she bemoans her guilt in getting everyone killed in the first book. I don’t fully get her reasoning, but you know how guilt makes little sense most of the time, so whatever. 
I will say the character became less enjoyable after floating on the boat awhile because she becomes downright repetitive. She makes a point to keep thinking how we left the sea and the sea isn’t forgiving. 
Um, okay. Or how we left the sea but the sea won’t let us return to it. Um, okay again.

Determined from the start they their voyage is doomed and they stand no chance against the vicious critters, instead of at least trying something, she just sits there and waits and projects doom like Crazy Ralph from the Friday the 13th series.

Random Person: “Hey scientist Toth, since you’re smart and the mermaid expert, how about we try to think of a plan?”
Toth: “It’s pointless. We are in their space and they belong here, we do not.”
Random Person: “Yeah, but….how about we make some kind of weapons and arm more people on board?”
Dr Toth: “This is their world, not ours. The sea is not forgiving.”
Random Person: “Hey, they are smarter than we thought, but how about we start thinking too and lay some creative booby traps? The ship is filled with smart scientists, after all.”


If you think I’m exaggerating with how weird and senseless this expert gets, here’s an actual scene from the novel:

Troy stopped when she saw Jillian, her eyes going wide. “Dr. Toth!” she said. “What are you doing out here? It’s not safe?”

“No, it’s not. I’m on my way to the lab. I have some blood samples for analysis.”

Yeah, because that makes sense. Wouldn’t it make more sense to survive first and then analyze the samples later? If you analyze first and then die anyway, no one will know so…. Oh, nevermind.

Then you throw in Theo, the corporate climber who used to fight for the rights of animals and aquatic life until he was almost paralyzed helping Orcas.

Random Person: “You’re sending three dolphins into the water with the mermaids?? Won’t they be brutally killed?”
Theo: “They were given a choice of their freedom, and if they die it’s in the name of Science.”
Random Person: “Um….Okay, whatever. But why send them at all when we know the mermaids will kill them?”
Theo: “The mermaids will not kill them because dolphins are too smart.”
Random Person: “Um….but we don’t know how smart the mermaids are yet.”
Theo: “They cannot be as smart as dolphins.”
Random Person: “But….”
Theo: “And dolphins are really fast. They’ll be fine.”
Random Person: “But we have no idea how fast the mermaids are!”
Theo: “They are not as fast as dolphins.”

Yeah, RIP Poor dolphins. :( You get stupid decisions like this. Damn the humans.

Speaking of damning the humans, there’s this big game hunter couple salivating at the chance to kill mermaids. Sure we hate them and their morals, but at least they’re bad-ass some of the time and don’t just sit there without weapons or much effort.

Luis, however, is awesome. From his sarcastic wit and actual common sense, he was a favorite.

As were the dolphins..... 😟

That said, it’s still an interesting book, although it drags on a bit too long. The prequel was good but this was better. I think the prequel was creepier, but this one more complex and fleshed out. I especially liked the bond with the captive and the sign-language.

I will check out any sequels.

   Book Quotes:

“The seas did not forgive, and they did not welcome their wayward children home.”