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Wednesday 23 October 2019
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‘The Devil and the Deep’ book review

Stranded on a desert island, a young man yearns for objects from his past. A local from a small coastal town in England is found dead as the tide goes out. A Norwegian whaling ship is stranded in the Arctic, its crew threatened by mysterious forces. In the nineteenth century, a ship drifts in becalmed waters in the Indian Ocean, those on it haunted by their evil deeds. A surfer turned diver discovers there are things worse than drowning under the sea. Something from the sea is creating monsters on land.

How do you get a good scare on dry land while reading about the sea? That’s easy..explore Ellen Datlow’s The Devil and the Deep. With so many talented writers contributing to this anthology, it was hard to chose a favorite. Each one had something to offer of course, and while some of them were shorter than others,overall,they were well crafted.

There are fifteen stories which include Deadwater, Fodders Jig, The Curious Allure of The Sea, The Tryal Attract,The Whalers Song,A Ship of The South Wind,What My Mother Left Me,Broken Record, Saudade,A Moment Before Breaking,Sister Dearest Sister,Let Me Show To You The Sea,The Deep Sea Swell,He Sings Of Salt And Wormwood,Shit Happens,and Haunt.

The anthology opens with a story called Deadwater by Simon Bestwick. This was the first story I’ve read of his and it was definitely a good choice to start this book. While there aren’t any supernatural monsters in this one,a watery grave works just fine.

I thoroughly enjoy reading stories by Christopher Golden and his contribution to this collection The Curious Allure Of The Sea did not disappoint me. His main character Jenny is living a nightmare and for a brief moment, she believes the sea is finally going to bring her some closure. She’s dead wrong.

Another story which sticks in my mind is the Tryal Attract. It’s a creepy and spooky tale but without giving too much away,let’s just say this would make a great plot for a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie.

Moving on to a story called What My Mother Left Me this is a suspenseful yet chilling story revolving around a unique bond between a mother and her daughter and the deep,dark sea that awaits them both.

The collection wraps up with a story called Haunt. This is a classic tale of a captain, his crew, and some passengers who are in for the ride of their lives. Unfortunately the odds are against them as they discover the Supero Santo and realize their ship is marked for death.

Like I mentioned above,I enjoyed all the stories and highlighted just a few in this review. Ellen Datlow has an incredible talent for putting together great collections and The Devil and the Deep will take it’s rightful place among my collection of favorite anthologies.

I’m giving this collection four stars for taking me into its cold,dark and scary waters and stirring my imagination.

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