Into the Drowning Deep

Cover of Mira Grant’s book Into the Drowning Deep - under black water, red hair and a hand seem to sink

Title: Into the Drowning Deep
Author: Mira Grant
ISBN: 9780316379403
Publisher: Orbit
Publication date: November 14, 2017
Page count: 512
Genre: Science Fiction/Horror
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars!

Goodreads description:

Seven years ago, the Atargatis set off on a voyage to the Mariana Trench to film a “mockumentary” bringing to life ancient sea creatures of legend. It was lost at sea with all hands. Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.

Now, a new crew has been assembled. But this time they’re not out to entertain. Some seek to validate their life’s work. Some seek the greatest hunt of all. Some seek the truth. But for the ambitious young scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the waves.

But the secrets of the deep come with a price. (From Orbit Books)

My Review:

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek! I finished this book with full-body goosebumps and chills!

Into the Drowning Deep is a TERRIFYING and FUN read! If you’re trying to stop biting your nails, this is maybe not your best choice of books, because YIKES, the pacing is tight! I mean, killer mermaids?! What more do you really need in life?

This book is super page-turnery – I was frustrated every time I had to put it down to deal with real life. It has a BIG and fantastic cast of fleshed-out characters (more flesh for the mermaids to eat? Hahahahaha, I digress). There are queer & bisexual main characters, deaf twins (who are not having the hearing world’s crap, thankyouverymuch), so many smart scientists and someone called a sirenologist, which sounds like a pretty great job if you ask me. This book passes the Bechdel Test so many times over that I think it made up for books I’ve read in the past that didn’t. I loved that the story pivoted around climate change repercussions!

This looks to be the beginning of a new series from Mira Grant (aka Seanan McGuire in case you didn’t know). Surprisingly, there is no cliffhanger ending, so do not let that hold you back from picking it up. However, the door is HUGELY WIDE OPEN for future books. I can’t WAIT!

Thanks to Orbit and Netgalley for a copy of this this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1

Cover of the book The Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1 by Ilona Andrews

Title: The Innkeeper Chronicles Volume 1
Author: Ilona Andrews
ISBN: 1596068361
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Publication date: May 31, 2017
Page count: 768
Genre: Urban Science Fiction/Fantasy
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 4/5 stars!

Goodreads description:
Meet Dina Demille, a nice Texas gal who runs a seemingly ordinary, quaint B&B. But Dina’s inn is a magic, thinking entity; her fluffy Shih-tzu, Beast really is a beast; and her guests are the kind that no one on earth is supposed to know about: guests like a dethroned galactic tyrant with a massive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced—and superhot—alpha-strain werewolf.

So don’t expect a normal stay…and don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.

I used to read a lot of urban fantasy – for a few years, I read it almost exclusively. Needless to say, I got pretty burned out on the UF tropes. I continued to read my favorites (The Hollows by Kim Harrison, Mercy Thompson by Patricia Briggs), but I didn’t actively seek out new authors in the genre.

All this to say – I can’t believe I missed Ilona Andrews! I am so excited to have found this writing duo through this book (and SO excited that they have so many other books out for me to read!)

This book is an omnibus of three books: Clean Sweep, Sweep in Peace, and One Fell Sweep (as an Innkeeper, Dina has a magic broom, hence the punny titles). Each of the books was released serially and for free on the authors’ website; once each was complete, it was edited and repackaged as an ebook for sale (they currently run $4.99 each). I am desperate for news of when the next book will start being released!

These stories have a lot of humor and a lot of heart. I would often read funny passages aloud to my husband, and he giggled along with me. There is also a bit of romance, but it is not the focus of any book (there is no over-the-top hand-wringing angst, which I tired of in a lot of other UF series. I never wanted to smack Dina upside the head, bonus). But the real stars of the series are the characters. The cranky and overly-dramatic porcupine-like chef, the bloodthirsty, calculating yet charming Caldenia, requisite vampires and werewolves that somehow don’t fall into the usual pitfalls of those beings, the adorable Shih-tzu that guards the Inn, and the Inn itself – Gertrude Hunt is a mysteriously sentient being in her own right. Bottom line: if you enjoyed the Scooby gang vibe in Buffy or the found-family feels in Firefly or Guardians of the Galaxy, you will dig these books. Heartfelt and delightful are the words that most often spring to my mind.

And really, the whole series is worth reading for the alien chef’s take on Christmas alone.