The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
Writing - 8/10
Development - 8/10
Overall - 8/10
User Review( votes)
The Vanishing Deep: A Tale of Deep Waters and Death
The Vanishing Deep is the latest standalone novel from Astrid Scholte. She became an instant sensation with her novel, Four Dead Queens, so it’s no surprise to see her at it again. However, her latest novel has taken a completely different turn.
In a world where water has taken dominance, humanity has done what it can to survive. New technology has been invented in this world, allowing for some amazing – and terrifying – changes. Such as the technology that allows us to bring back a loved one from the dead – but only for twenty-four hours.
Tempe grew up in this world. It may not have been the best world available, but she came to love many elements of it. That is, until one day. Having lost everything, Tempe was content to just try moving forward. Then she learned that everything was a lie. To find the truth, she’d have to bring her sister back from the dead, and demand some answers.
This is a chilling tale – as you can probably imagine from the description alone. I do feel it’s necessary to mention a couple of warnings before I begin. Neither are real spoilers, as they can be found in the book description. But this book covers subjects such as sibling death (obviously) and drowning.
The Vanishing Deep was a beautifully written novel. It took full advantage of how chilling the idea of this sort of world would be. Here Astrid Scholte combined several different themes, turning them into something completely new and never seen before.
There are two main characters in this story, Tempe and Lor. They’re about as different as you can imagine, seeing both sides of the conflict. But their backstories combined helped to flesh out the world even further, all while cleverly obfuscating the truth.
I can’t emphasize this enough; The Vanishing Deep was a highly emotional book. Tempe went through hell and back in this novel, and Scholte was not afraid to show off all the feelings she dealt with – all of which were justified.
But it’s more than that as well. Everything about this novel seemed to elicit emotional responses. From the history of the Great Waves to the new technology that has been invented. It’s all laid out in such a way as to get readers thinking – and feeling.
Providing two main perspectives for The Vanishing Deep allowed for fairly steady pacing. Every chapter, every transition revealed something new. As such, it was easy to stay invested in what was happening on the pages.
This was a novel full of twists and turns. Each new revelation put the truth back into question, and nothing was predictable. Tempe’s world was turned upside down at the beginning of this novel, and that was only the beginning.
It was fascinating seeing all of the tricks Scholte used to carry the story forward. To try and put the pieces of this puzzle back together. She did an excellent job of misdirecting in more than one instance. All of the information was provided – yet none of it in a manner that made it easily predictable.
So it’s probably not all that surprising to hear that the conclusion was not at all what I expected. I imagine many a reader will be feeling that way as well. In many ways, the conclusion felt…right. Honestly, this is one of those endings that simply hit my hard, and as such I’m still processing a lot of it. It makes me almost wish that this was more than a standalone novel so that I could get a sense of closure – ironic, given the dominant theme of the plot.
I mean it when I say that I couldn’t put down The Vanishing Deep. It was compelling and powerful. You can see how carefully this novel was written. It’s evident on every page. Everywhere you look there are raw emotion and lush details. It’s a brilliant follow up, one that proves that Scholte can write in a variety of genres and styles. That right there makes me very curious to see what she’s going to come out with next.
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