BOOK REC: Deepwater King (The Deepwater Trilogy #2) – Claire McKenna

Author: Claire McKenna (web site / twitter)

UK Publisher: HarperCollins

Genre: Fantasy

See Also: Monstrous Heart

Since dropping her nice like to the Queen of the Sainted Isles, Arden should fulfil an unattainable promise earlier than she will be able to return house – she should full the harmful Rite that may return Jonah’s spirit to the abyssal Court of the Deepwater King.

This units her off on a journey far out at sea to search out believers of the previous faith on the oil-slick and mysterious islands past the horizon. But such a accountability is not going to come with out sacrifice, for the Deepwater people who worship the King require essentially the most determined funds the soul, and with one man Arden might need to pay the best value of all…

I adored Monstrous Heart, once I learn it. So a lot in order that once I realised precisely how gorgeous the hardbacks had been (I’d obtained digital ARCs for each it and Deepwater King), I really went out and acquired exhausting copies of each. Because they’re gorgeous, and since I felt that e-book one was so particular I used to be sure I used to be going to wish to maintain this sequence and browse it many times. I cherished how atmospheric it was, and the way in which the setting and idea mixed to make the entire thing really feel distinctive. I hadn’t encountered a lot maritime Steampunk-esque literature, and this actually tickled me.

Deepwater King grew to become one other a type of books that I stored type of circling round as a result of I actually needed to savour it. What do you do when you’ve got a novel that felt so groundbreaking that you just wish to be in the appropriate headspace to learn the following one? When the primary one catches you unexpectedly it’s not an issue, however then the worry of your mind not being ready to benefit from the e-book as a lot as the primary time leads you to flannelling round to attend for the “excellent” second.

Just me?

This is a second novel in a trilogy – I’ve had a run of these recently – so it does the job of pushing a broader plot than e-book one, however not giving as a lot of a decision as a result of it’s increase for the large end of e-book three. It’s a difficult balancing act, however I really feel like McKenna does properly right here by adjusting the main target of the story. Book one was a darkish romance, a gothic novel with a thriller and trace of conspiracy. A villain was teased, a plot was hinted at, however the full particulars weren’t there. We depart e-book one with characters on the run, and one other needing a rescue.

There are two narrative strains on this. The first picks up with Arden on the run, and on the seek for Jonah. She and her two companions flee the management of the Eugenics society and the top away from the one world that Arden has ever identified, and her desires of progressing in her profession and gaining her personal independence, permission to marry and construct a life throughout the guidelines of her authorities. The transition away from the little “civilisation” she had discovered on the Vigil lighthouse is stark, and life exterior of the federal government’s attain is likely to be free, however it’s brutal. The different storyline follows Jonah in his captivity, and the punishments he’s put by by the not sane girl who everybody thought was lifeless.

Aside from the monsters of the deep, and there are the monsters on the land – each these clearly monstrous, and people extra deceptively sinister. Arden struggled sufficient with the marginally rougher manners in Vigil, however there was nonetheless a way of social construction and etiquette, however there’s nothing in these wild lands, the place the water and air are poison, polluted by the ghostly machines which run perpetually, managed by a magic from generations way back. Both Arden and Jonah discover societies that observe pagan beliefs, violent and unforgiving. Woven between that is the story of Jonah’s spouse, Bella, and the way two individuals from such extensively totally different walks of life grew to become entangled. The threads of this conspiracy are woven again additional than Arden is conscious of, and as was closely implied in e-book one, Jonah was a sufferer of one other’s plans.

Much like e-book one, I feel there are some warnings to concentrate on – rape, intercourse trafficking, and a few very brutal scenes of violence, torture and cruelty. The magic of those lands is blood magic, so it could actually really feel fairly visceral even when the scenario itself is portrayed as pretty mundane for the characters. That was maybe extra the case in e-book one than on this one, in equity, as a result of there’s little or no mundanity in Deepwater King. Even the transient moments of respite which can be provided appear torturous in their very own method, and the exhaustion and wretchedness of the e-book might be felt strongly within the narrative.

I discussed in my overview of e-book one which I needed to see extra of the world, however I anticipated Mckenna to take the readers again to “civilisation” earlier than she did. Instead, whereas we see extra of the world, the components she takes us to are wilder, extra divorced from anyplace else, distant and insular. It’s an odd sensation of seeing extra however the wider world you see feels claustrophobic. Possible as a result of, because the story expands, we change into extra enlightened to the way in which conspiracy has touched each a part of it. Arden and Jonah are additional bodily from the federal government than they’ve ever been, however all over the place they flip they discover fingerprints of espionage and manipulation, and realise that maybe none of their selections has ever actually been theirs to make…

I’m excited to see the place this e-book is taken within the closing half, and to see one more aspect of this complicated, darkish and engaging world that McKenna has created.

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