Welcome to my stop on the FFBC Blog Tour for The Deep by Alma Katsu! I am so excited to share with you my thoughts on this fabulous book and give you a chance to win your own copy!!

The Deep by Alma Katsu
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on March 10, 2020
Pages: 432
Source:Copy provided by publisher for review, via Netgalley

Someone, or something, is haunting the Titanic.

This is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the ship from the moment they set sail: mysterious disappearances, sudden deaths. Now suspended in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone during the four days of the liner's illustrious maiden voyage, a number of the passengers - including millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim, the maid Annie Hebbley and Mark Fletcher - are convinced that something sinister is going on . . . And then, as the world knows, disaster strikes.

Years later and the world is at war. And a survivor of that fateful night, Annie, is working as a nurse on the sixth voyage of the Titanic's sister ship, the Britannic, now refitted as a hospital ship. Plagued by the demons of her doomed first and near fatal journey across the Atlantic, Annie comes across an unconscious soldier she recognises while doing her rounds. It is the young man Mark. And she is convinced that he did not - could not - have survived the sinking of the Titanic . . . Brilliantly combining fact and fiction, the historical and the horrific, The Deep reveals a chilling truth in an unputdownable narrative full of unnerving moments and with a growing, inexorable sense of foreboding.

Ah, Titanic. The ship of dreams. Or nightmares, as it turns out. Well, I knew I was in for some historical, horrific goodness after reading the author’s The Hunger last year and legit devouring it. One of the first notes I made on my Kindle this time was “I’m going to end up down a Titanic Wikipedia rabbit hole, I can feel it”. And how true it was! I think my favorite part of Ms. Katsu’s books is that she somehow seamlessly intertwines the real with the fantastical. Usually, I have some disbelief that I must suspend, but not here. Somehow, it seems almost like it was a true part of the Titanic story. Honestly, screw Rose and Jack, I’m here for the ghosts. 

This book weaves us through two timelines: That of the Titanic, and that of the Britannic. Both real, both ill-fated, and both containing two of the same women. One is Violet Jessup. She’s legit, she was actually on both ships, and I’m not saying you’d want to jump ship if you saw her joining your Caribbean cruise but… actually, that’s exactly what I’m saying. But for our purposes, the story mainly follows Annie Hebbley through both timelines. She’s an interesting character, perhaps not a fully reliable narrator (which you’ll see from the start, no spoilers here!), but the true thrill is seeing her interact with so many others. Some of them actual humans who were on the Titanic, some fictional, all wholly intriguing.

Because one thing that none of this motley cast of early twentieth century seafarers are is boring. Everyone had layers upon layers to their story, and no one was what (or who) they seemed at first glance. The question that penetrates both timelines is this: is there more to the happenings on these doomed ships than meets the eye?

Bottom Line: Get ready to go down an old-timey, character-driven exploration of these famed ill-fated ships, all while wondering if there’s something paranormal, or just plain old bad luck.

About Alma Katsu

Alma Katsu is the author of The Hunger, a reimagining of the story of the Donner Party with a horror twist. The Hunger made NPR’s list of the 100 Best Horror Stories, was named one of the best novels of 2018 by the Observer, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Books (and more), and was nominated for a Stoker and Locus Award for best horror novel.
The Taker, her debut novel, has been compared to the early works of Anne Rice and Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander for combining historical, the supernatural, and fantasy into one story. The Taker was named a Top Ten Debut Novel of 2011 by Booklist, was nominated for a Goodreads Readers Choice award, and has been published in over 10 languages. It is the first in an award-winning trilogy that includes The Reckoning and The Descent.
Ms. Katsu lives outside of Washington DC with her husband, musician Bruce Katsu. In addition to her novels, she has been a signature reviewer for Publishers Weekly, and a contributor to the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins Writing Program and Brandeis University, where she studied with novelist John Irving. She also is an alumni of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.
Prior to publication of her first novel, Ms. Katsu had a long career in intelligence, working for several US agencies and a think tank. She currently is a consultant on emerging technologies. Additional information can be found on Wikipedia and in this interview with Ozy.com.

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Would you have survived the Titanic? Or really, any oceanic disaster?

Posted March 12, 2020 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Blog Tour, Giveaway, Review / 38 Comments

38 responses to “The Deep by Alma Katsu: Review & Giveaway!

  1. I feel like the story of the Titanic is pretty horrific in and of itself, but I am so here for some oceanic horror too. It sounds like this is a good one. And I am not sure what I would have done on the Titanic myself. I am not sure I would have survived because I would be worrying about my sisters first and foremost…

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe

  2. i would like to believe i would survive. i’ve read one book about an alternate reason for the titanic sinking and now every time i see a book like this i want to read and see what another author could come up with. great review
    sherry @ fundinmental

  3. Me when I first saw the cover: Oh hey, that looks like the Titanic!
    Me reading the first line of the synopsis: Oh hey, it IS the Titanic!

    I honestly just thought it was a ship that looked shockingly similar to the Titanic at first. If you can’t tell I don’t read much historical fiction, or many books that feature ships and boats, I guess. But this book sounds so cool! I love when books mix reality with fantasy or sci-fi because it makes an otherwise unrealistic scenario seem super plausible. Like how The Martian was based on science, and therefore felt like it could happen even though it was fiction. Plus ,I feel like you learn some cool facts in the process of getting entertained by the book you’re reading! I’m so glad you enjoyed!

    • Yessss I think you are right, this IS that sort of thing- it seems more realistic because so much of it actually DID happen! Now you have reminded me that I really want to read The Martian. And goodness yes, I learned SO MUCH and am now fixated on the whole event ?

  4. Beth W

    This one is already on my TBR list (I mean, ‘cmon, EVIL on the Titanic? I had to). But I’m glad to see it did not disappoint! Poor Violet Jessup, though. I admire that she must’ve thought, “What are the chances I’d sink on TWO cruise liners?” but talk about Fate having a wicked sense of humor. 😀

    • Beth W

      (and no, I would totally go down with the ship. I’d be in steerage, trying to calm people down, and probably end up a weeping ball of anxiety, offed by hypothermia)

    • Right, Violet MUST have been cursed. And i feel you there- I’d be rocking in the corner crying hahah. It must have been so freaking terrifying! I’d like to think I’d find myself in a lifeboat but let’s be real, I’m not rich ?

  5. You had me at “screw Rose and Jack.” xD I think what originally caught my attention about this is the way Katsu plays with actual history and transforms it into a work of art! Not that I’ve finished reading this, but I love when there are little tidbits of actual events in books. They make for an interesting jumping-off point. I’ll hopefully be reading this in the coming week, so I’m really excited to see that you enjoyed it!

  6. This sounds fantastic. The Titanic does fascinate me, but I don’t think I could ever actually go on a cruise. The ocean freaks me out. LOL I have this on my TBR now, and I know my sister would like to read it too.


  7. Ooh I’ve been curious about this. It sounds nicely eerie but I also saw some other reviews mention the paranormal aspect or lack thereof, so I wasn’t sure if it was my thing. Sounds like it’s maybe a little ambiguous? Which, frankly, can really work sometimes, so maybe that’s not a bad thing if it is? I guess I should check it out!

    • There is a paranormal aspect- or there is MAYBE a paranormal aspect, no one is quite sure during the book! I think The Hunger was a little better, but this one was good too! I think that I am not a huge fan of paranormal but it didn’t bug me in this book, I liked the actual story. Do you like historical? Because that is probably the key.

  8. Oh wow this sounds like such a cool concept.
    Also it is just me or are there a lot of new books called The Deep recently? I kept seeing the one by Rivers Solomon around last year.

  9. Debra Branigan

    I have been a big fan of Titanic lore and I find the premise of this book fascinating. Yes, it is definitely in my TBR. I think I would definitely end up as one of the victims…I don’t think I’m much of a survivor these days…but who knows.

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