Hello everyone! Welcome back to another week at The Reading Corner for All. Today we're featuring an astonishing read with blended narratives, a survivor of the Titanic, and whispered voices from unknown depths.
As I've mentioned before, I enjoy nothing greater than a well researched historical fiction read. While this is my first read by Alma Katsu, I was absolutely taken by Katsu's ability to breathe an authentic life into her work that remained faithful to the Titanic, the Britannic, and the spirit of the early 20th century.
The Deep was truly a unique story with an almost documentary style narrative that blends 1916 and 1912 in a story that has a core protagonist through Annie Hebbley, but simultaneously incorporates a compelling cast of characters who are all-in one form or another-linked to the haunting that followed the beginning of the Titanic...and the end of the Britannic.
The varying cast of characters enable a full vision that Katsu orchestrated towards an ending that makes you face the jagged teeth of the ocean and reach for the hand of darkness waiting under the waves. Annie Hebbley, in particular, was such a grounded character whose slowly unraveling background made for a flavorful read layered by her stay at the Morninggate Asylum, her experience hearing the siren calls of a familiar past aboard the Titanic, and how she had to face the aftermath of the war aboard the Britannic.
If you're ready to board a story that takes you to the terrifying heart of the ocean, The Deep by Alma Katsu should certainly be your next read!
"For a moment, the falling feels like something else entirely-like a brief, wild glimpse of freedom."
"It wasn't trust, or intuition, but something else that had swooped in, in the absence of both, to guide her."
"How he'd felt, just in that moment, like he would do whatever the song had said, because the music had made him unafraid of everything."
"He'd never had that feeling before-that feeling of wanting to fall."
"The living are often anchors for the dead."
"The presence-of life, of faith-emanating from beyond the door was strong and thrums with head and life-while he is dead and cold and has been four years since Lillian's death."
by Alma Katsu Publisher: Transworld Digital Release Date: March 10th 2020
Genre: Horror, Historical Fiction, Adult
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 . . .
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.
Prize: Win a finished copy of The Deep by Alma Katsu
Starts: 10th March 2020
Ends: 24th March 2020