To me, there’s nothing scarier than big bodies of water and what lies beneath. Naturally, this gives author Nick Cutter’s book, “The Deep”, an advantage in scaring my pants off. Let’s talk about it.
WHAT IS IT?
Written by Nick Cutter and first published in 2015, The Deep is a horror novel about Luke, a veterinarian, who ventures to the bottom of the ocean in a claustrophobic station who recently went AWOL while researching for a cure for a disease that’s plaguing the world.
WHAT DID I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
I went into the book expecting a creature feature at the bottom of the ocean, as it’s been described as such to me. While it is just that, it’s also so much more. I was surprised by how much this book, published by a big-name company (Pocket Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster), assaulted me on various fronts.
Without going into detail, this book is part creature feature, part body horror, part psychological horror, and part cosmic horror — boiled in a melting pot of moments, each more disturbing than the last. The author does a great job not letting anyone off scot-free. He goes into detail about the horrors faced by our characters. If they end up victimized, it’s describe in disgusting detail, with relatable comparisons so you can also paint that scarring mental picture.
It doesn’t feel exploitative, though, as each event feels crucial to the plot. Dare I say, there’s not an ounce of fat here. The story is a slow-burn yet I was compelled to finish it in a shorter amount of time than I am used to!
That said, author Nick Cutter does a great job establishing characters that are both interesting and worth rooting for, especially our protagonist Luke. I sympathized with him and I eagerly turned each page when he encounters a new horror within the Trieste, the undersea research station, which the author smartly makes claustrophobic. I say smartly because not only does it do wonders for scares, it also makes the story feel grounded. After all, even if the story is set in a distant future, it’s still consistent with current technology.
WHAT DIDN’T I LIKE ABOUT THE BOOK?
This is a 5-star (out of 5) read for me. No complaints from me. Trigger warning, though, for animal violence and sexual violence.
The Deep is a surprisingly meaty novel with a lot of depth (pun intended). There are plenty of layers of horror to peel back that can probably appeal to even seasoned gorehounds and casual fans. I’d say this is a must-read!
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Dustin is a horror fan and sometimes short story writer who hails from the Philippines. He likes a lot of the horror genre but usually goes for slashers and arthouse/slowburn stuff. Currently, he’s trying to make up for lost time in the horror literature world by digesting as many horror books as he can.