3 out of 4 stars
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The Deep tells a story beneath the sea with dangers lurking at every corner for the unsuspecting protagonist. Mariam Sheriff takes the reader on a journey of discovery, betrayal, and wonder. It's the first book by the author I'm reading, and I have mixed feelings about it.
When Mrs. Anderson asked Stanley about her son, Jason, he had no idea his life would change. With the unsuspecting visit of his estranged father, Stanley was in for a ride into a strange new world. A group of elderly folks captured and took him to a strange world. In this new world, he became a king for a moment. What mystery lay in store for him to discover? What would be the aftermath of his ordeal?
Using Greek mythology isn't new, but this is the first book I've seen where the sirens play a significant role in plot development. I commend the author's world-building. It is rich and well-detailed. The pictures aid visualization and bridge the gap between fantasy and reality. The author's appropriate usage of sea animal characteristics and behaviors shows an accurate level of research. It's always lovely to know due diligence is done.
The author wrote quite well, the flow was rhythmic, and it was easy to get immersed in the story. The humor was appropriate in a family-friendly way. There were no ambiguous words and fillers, and I would love to read her future works because of her writing style.
Unfortunately, I felt the characters were rushed and lacked depth. It could be due to the book's length; a book in this genre would typically be twice or thrice the volume. A proper backstory was almost non-existent, except for the main protagonist, Stanley. The plot was good, but I felt the story could be longer to help the author explore the plot entirely. The ending left a lot of questions. Except the author's desire was for the reader to choose their ending, a sequel should be underway. The created world could utilize many possibilities, and I hope the author would capitalize on them.
The Deep had its moments and was a good book. The editing was professional, as I found only one error in it. However, I would rate it 3 out of 4 stars because of the lack of depth in character development and plot exploration. I would recommend it to lovers of sci-fi stories that explore strange worlds. In the absence of strong language, there should be no age restriction for this book.
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