Rounding up!

filled star filled star filled star filled star star unfilled
alysa_h Avatar


3.5 stars, rounding up.

Having read Rivers Solomon’s previous book, An Unkindness of Ghosts, and found it to be great on concept and character work but rather wanting for plot, I was very curious about this novella. It’s also worth noting that it was inspired by a song, which was itself inspired by other music and concepts (all of which is explained in the Afterword).

Once again, the concept of The Deep is really great. But it belongs to Solomon only in the sense that it belongs to everybody: the concept is being treated like a collective idea upon which any author or artist can riff!

Beyond that, the characters and the world-building are left intentionally vague. It all hinges on the reader's emotional responses. So if that doesn't work for you, you won't gel with this book. The plot, such as it is, feels like enough to sustain a short story rather than a novella of this length. I was really bored for the first half; I enjoyed the second half more because actual things start happening. All the while I was reading, I had a sense that I was doing homework, but kind of in a good way: it made me think. Actually, this would be an excellent book to assign in High School. Not all teens would be into it, but at least some would have an emotional response and they'd all be forced to think about the African slave trade, and the emotional scars of centuries of racism. Which is what this novella centered on "remembrances" is really all about.

(I received a Review Copy of this book via NetGalley)