The Deepby Published 05 Nov 2019
|Publisher||Gallery / Saga Press|
The Deep Ebook Description
The Deep PDF Book has good rating based on 689 votes and 280 reviews, some of the reviews are displayed in the box below, read carefully for reference. Find other related book of "The Deep" in the bottom area.
Yetu holds the memories for her people—water-dwelling descendants of pregnant African slave women thrown overboard by slave owners—who live idyllic lives in the deep. Their past, too traumatic to be remembered regularly, is forgotten by everyone, save one—the historian. This demanding role has been bestowed on Yetu.
Yetu remembers for everyone, and the memories, painful and wonderful, traumatic and terrible and miraculous, are destroying her. And so, she flees to the surface, escaping the memories, the expectations, and the responsibilities—and discovers a world her people left behind long ago.
Yetu will learn more than she ever expected to about her own past—and about the future of her people. If they are all to survive, they’ll need to reclaim the memories, reclaim their identity—and own who they really are.
The Deep Reviews
Incredibly compelling premise, genre-bending to the point where I’m not sure that the one it was nominated in, Best Science Fiction, is the most fitting. While books centered around slavery in America but reimagined with a magical aspect have primarily fallen into the historical category, such as 2019 Best Historical Fiction nominee The Water Dancer and 2016 winner The Underground Railroad, The Deep utilizes the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as a jumping off point before delving into a full-fledged fantasy world.
For those unfamiliar, this novella (less than 200 pages) is based off of a song by the musical group clipping. called The Deep. The three names after the author, Rivers Solomon, are the members of the band: Daveed Diggs, William Hutson and Jonathan Snipes. I’m not sure the extent of their contribution to the actual writing or the story as a whole, but they’re credited on the cover, so it must be somewhat significant.
I listened to the song before reading, and I still found the start of the book very abrupt, so I can only imagine what a person going in blindly would think. It’s written well, if a bit repetitive. Nothing is so complex that it needs to be repeated multiple times; once you get your bearings the story is not difficult to follow. I would have loved to explore the lore a bit more, but there’s only so far you can go in 170-odd pages. What the author does really well is explore the idea of shared history, memories, pain. It’s a complete arc and ends in a very moving crescendo. I liked it overall, very thought-provoking and full of life.
releases: June 2019
BITCH okay I was waiting I was watching I was desperate for something more by Rivers Solomon, whose work I have vowed to keep up with after loving their first book so much, and now it's HERE and I am READY
ARC received from the publisher (Saga Press) on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I have first heard of the book on twitter and got curious when I learned it was inspired by a song. At the time, I haven't read any of Solomon's books (though my friends have recommended me An Unkindness of Ghosts plenty) nor have I heard of Clipping. But I went and listened to The Deep - it was not my usual type and yet I liked it. I liked it a whole lot.
And the ever-important question: Was the book any good? Hell yes. Though I was a bit unsure at the start, it did pretty much exactly what I expected from the song, and more.
The concept sounded like nothing I've ever read and as someone whose creativity is inspired by music, I was doubly keen to find out what will the result of the collaboration be. So of course, I jumped at the opportunity.
Yetu is a historian, a vessel for the collective memories of the sea-dwelling wajinru people. They are the offspring of African slave women thrown overboard and have no long-term memories, instead choosing a historian to remember for them. The weight of it all is destroying her, so she flees to the surface, leaving the memories behind.
(If you wonder how they came to be or how can one person hold all of the memories, well, this is a fantasy book. There are explanations, but in short: magic.)
The worldbuilding is fantastic, too. The take on merpeople is fresh and their culture is well thought out. I especially liked the chapters told from the perspective of the wajinru as a group - they are beautifully written and it's not often that we is used instead of I or he/she/they.
The book deals heavily with themes of memory, trauma, and the individual vs. the collective. Yetu is a high-strung, anxious, sensitive person who cannot handle remembering centuries of trauma as vividly as if she experienced what those before her went through herself. And then there is another character who is the last of her kind and wishes dearly she had something of her people and cannot understand why Yetu would turn her back on her community.
If there's anything I didn't like as much, it's that the narration is fairly distant - I couldn't connect to Yetu or the story as much as I'd want to, especially in the beginning. And typical for a novella, it's not quite enough in places. But I'd recommend it regardless.
Recommended to: anyone who liked the song, those looking for a fresh take on merpeople and (neurodiverse, PoC, or LGBTQ+ representation
Not recommended to: those who don't like novellas
More reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.
Disclaimer: ARC via Netgalley. Also, Rivers Solomon’s preferred pronoun is they/them.
I pre-ordered this novella in July, and at the time a group of people were upset that Halle Bailey was cast as Ariel in the live-action Disney remake of the Little Mermaid. While people kept claiming that it was because her hair wasn’t red, the “backlash” basically bullied down to Bailey being black because some stupid/racist people thought black mermaids weren’t a thing. I was finding books about black mermaids to mention and this showed up. So, I pre-ordered. Then I got approval via Netgalley.
Look, the book is good enough that my pre-order is still in. Well, that’s not exactly true. I cancelled the kindle pre-order and pre-ordered the hardcover (from an Indie bookstore, so the fact that I am paying 20 bucks for a book that isn’t even 200 pages should tell you everything you need to know about this book).
It’s not the little mermaid. It isn’t.
Solomon’s book is inspired by Clipping’s song of the same name (the song appeared on an episode of This American Life) and the group has written the afterword. The story is about Yetu a member of a group of undersea creatures who are the descendants of women who were throwed overboard from slave ships.
But the book is in large part about the power – both good and bad – of memory. An while the timing is undoubtedly a fluke, it is important to note the response to the 1619 Project. If you have not read the NY Times Magazine, please do so. What it does challenge, in fact, is how we view the past and how we need to face and acknowledge that past as well as its effects if we are to move forward. Tetu is caught in the past and her response to gain her freedom details why knowledge of the past is so important.
The novella is in many ways a more interior story than an exterior story. It is to Rivers Solomon’s credit that their writing keeps the reader, and this is down, in part, though the use of two different types of storytelling. But the two styles are blended by Rivers Solomon’s skilled use of craft making the story not only strong and engrossing but also engaging the reader, almost bringing the reader into the time and place.
I love mer-people, I love clipping., and I love every single speck of the premise for this. I need this SO BAD
(Also, if you haven't already, check out the song that inspired Rivers Solomon to write this)