The Vanishing Deep
By: Astrid Scholte
My Rating: 3/5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Page Count: 432
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.
But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.
This review will be spoiler free.
This book has been sitting on my shelf for an embarrassingly long time. I received this ARC from Penguin Random House in exchange for an unbiased review, way back in December. School ended up consuming a lot more of my time than I had planned, and I had to make my way through several other ARCs I had received first, and sadly it took a national quarantine for me to finally finish this book. I know I am a bit late, since it has been released already, but that’s just how things go sometimes.
Before stating this book, something about it was already a little off to me, it just wasn’t jumping out at me as exciting and I kept forgetting I had it. It wasn’t a bad read, in fact the premise was quite interesting and there were some nice twists in the story. However, it did have some glaring issues which stuck with me and made this an average read, instead of a great one.
First, The story was rushed. We spent a long time setting the scene, and getting to the action, but then a whole lot of action was stuffed in the last quarter of the book, and it didn’t feel like I had enough time to digest everything before the book was over and I was left thinking, ok… that’s it? Second, though this may have been my issue because I kip putting the book down, but it took me almost half the book to realize that the second POV was a male character. I don’t think we were told his name or gender until at least several chapters in, and it was very confusing because the tone between the two POVs barely changed. If you are going to do a dual gender split, you need to really change the tone so it is obvious that we are seeing things through a different perspective, and I didn’t feel like this book accomplished this.
Overall, this book just wasn’t for me, I don’t think I will be picking up a sequel (should there be one). I ended up giving it 3 stars instead of 2 because I felt that a lot of my issues with the book were my own lack of connection with the characters, and that the writing itself wasn’t bad. I won’t say you shouldn’t read this book, I would just warn that it felt a step below the quality I was expecting. I will say that this finished cover is pretty cool (the copy I received just had a blue ARC cover).
Stay tuned tomorrow for my Magical readathon TBR announcement! I am so excited to be doing my first readathon, and I hope some of you will be giving it a go as well.