Author: Nick Cutter
First Published: 2015
Page Count: 394
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
What starts out as a creepy deep-sea horror story quickly unravels into a crazed, hard to follow conclusion.
*Unique Setting *Thrilling Pace
*Sloppy Ending *Animal Violence
“There is a specific depth you’ll hit where the soul finds it impossible to harmonize with its surroundings.” Amidst a plague that is attacking humanity, Luke has been called on by the government to journey down into the depths of the Mariana Trench. A lab has been set up to study and harvest a newly discovered substance known as “ambrosia” that could be the key to stopping the plague. His brother, Clayton, is one of the scientists studying the new discovery, but Luke has no idea what awaits him in that isolated station at the bottom of the dark Pacific Ocean.
This was one of the first books recommended to me by Goodreads whose description actually jumped out at me. It seemed like a mysterious and utterly terrifying story that would be right up my alley. It almost felt like reading a Dan Brown novel. The chapters are short with cliff hanger endings so the pace of the story reads like a thriller. This book is more creepy than outright scary. The setting is very unique because it lends itself to a sense of isolation and darkness that could only be replicated in space. A lot of times the deep-sea lab felt like something out of the movie Alien or Prometheus because the outside environment is hostile to human life and the lab is not easily accessible. The deepest, darkest places in our oceans are still uncharted territory so it is easy to imagine horrible things happening to an isolated group of people so far beneath the sea which makes this book so appealing.
Everything was going great in terms of how much I was enjoying the book until the end. Most of the book consists of unexplained occurrences and chilling bumps in the darkness that progressively increases the tension as all horror stories should. However, the conclusion unleashes a whole can of crazy that I couldn’t wrap my head around. Is Luke seeing things? Is this another dream sequence that will amount to nothing when he wakes up? Or are his dreams and visions real and he only thinks he is seeing things or dreaming? It was hard to keep track and I felt like I was going just as crazy as Luke. Add on top of that the gory, sad stuff that happens to animals throughout this book, and I just could not handle how the story panned out. I’m not convinced Cutter was including the animal scenes just for cheap thrills since the animals had a part to play, but I’m just not one of those people who can handle that kind of story.
I was entertained throughout the entire book and I’d much rather read an exciting story then something that bores me. However, the way I felt coming away from the book was disappointed. The twists and turns of the story are so wild and insane that by the end of the book the story felt way overblown for me to accept that conclusion. And then of course, if you can’t handle any violence involving animals don’t even try this book. It hasn’t deterred me from wanting to pick up Cutter’s other books. I’m just hoping for a horror story that I feel more satisfied with at the end of the day.