Into the Drowning Deep
Nary a seashell bustier nor a golden singing voice makes an appearance in this aquatic horror thriller from Mira Grant (Feedback), a pseudonym of urban fantasy author Seanan McGuire (Every Heart a Doorway).
In 2015, the Imagine Entertainment corporation sent the Atargatis into deep waters to film a cryptozoological documentary about mermaid sightings. The crew vanished, the only clue to their fate a shadowy, violent video showing an attack by voracious creatures evocative of mermaids. Now, seven years later, Imagine readies its new ship, the Melusine, to answer once and for all the question of what lurks in the deep. The crew includes Olivia, a media personality popular with the nerdy set; Tory, a marine biologist whose sister disappeared on the Atargatis; and Dr. Jillian Toth, the world's foremost scientific expert on mermaids. At their disposal is a facility with sign language that may allow for communication with the creatures, and three dolphins that volunteered to help in exchange for release at sea. The voyage steers hard toward disaster when the ship's presence awakens the terrors that dwell in the Challenger Deep, bringing clawed fins and hungry mouths of needle-sharp teeth to the Melusine for an easy meal.
Grant draws inspiration from clearly thorough research into marine biology, using it to create legitimately terrifying monsters that could have inspired folktales around the globe. Engrossing and adrenaline-fueled, Into the Drowning Deep succeeds Grant's novella Rolling in the Deep with blood-soaked scares that balance thought-provoking philosophical dilemmas. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads