The Secret Deep: thrilling, captivating and a little bit terrifying!
“When Aster wakes alone on a tropical island, she has no idea what has happened, why she is there, or where to find her younger sister, Poppy. Meanwhile Sam, who once met the sisters on a plane, makes links between the mystery of their disappearance and suspicious happenings in his own life. In a stunning dual narrative, the truth unravels with devastating effect – and the answer lies in the secret underwater world surrounding the desert island, populated by the beautiful and the impossible…”
My first instincts when I picked up this book were “OMG LOOK AT THAT COVER THOUGH”. That cover is exceptional. You can’t see it particularly well in my picture, but there are little details on the cover of little bubbles. I’m all about this blue theme going on in the cover.
The title also intrigued me INSTANTLY. The Secret Deep? What’s the secret? Deep? They’re clearly going underwater, or in the water. As a keen swimmer (I bet you didn’t know that!) I was very curious to know what was going on. The tag line “The deeper she dives, the darker it gets” hooked me too cause I guessed that it didn’t just mean the absence of light… and there is so much more than just an absence of light!
The Secret Deep tells the story of Aster and her sister Poppy, who lose their mum to cancer and who have to go live with their auntie. Their auntie lives on an “ecovillage” and is some kind of scientist. Aster and Poppy are given bands (a bit like fitbits) to track their sleeping and other habits, which immediately gets Aster suspicious instantly. When something goes wrong and Aster ends up stranded on an island, without her sister, or her auntie… things start to get interesting. There’s mystery, an underwater setting, a beautiful writing style that will make you want to read on no doubt!
Once I started reading, I knew that I had hit on an absolute winner here. I was away for the weekend with my mam and one of my aunties so I had a weekend to just read and enjoy it. I sat on the balcony and just devoured this book in a matter of hours. There’s so many different themes explored in this book that I could go on for hours. This book deals with medical consent, grief, sibling relationships, friendships, trust and the complexities of families.
While we’re here on families… the auntie in this book is just… she has questionable morals for sure. She’s sinister and I would not like to be caught anywhere with her – land or sea. (She gave me vibes of J from The Loneliest Girl in the Universe too!) Here we have two young girls who are meant to be being looked after by their auntie, but obviously that is not the way it turns out to be! I need you all to read it and appreciate how utterly sinister the auntie is – regardless of what she says her motives are.
This book hit quite a personal chord with me as it explores genes, more specifically cancer genes. A someone who has been diagnosed (is that the right word?) with a cancer gene, it was compelling for me to read it in a story and see that these things are being talked about. I was taken aback at first as this was the first time that I’d read anything about gene studies in relation to cancer.
A little shout out here to Sam, because he is an absolute darling. It’s so refreshing to read stories that have just a good character in them. Someone who doesn’t have an ulterior motive, who just wants to help and who is there when he is needed most. I really liked Sam, an interesting juxtaposition of him and the auntie (who we all know, creeped me out a little!)
There’s a gorgeous mix in this book of science, survival and sisterhood. What wouldn’t you do for the ones you love?
My goodreads review reads:
A complex and beautiful story of Aster, a young girl who loses her mother to cancer, who has to move to live with her auntie in New Zealand. What meets her there isn’t the usual life – there’s science, the sea, some tracking devices and much more.
I really enjoyed this – an exploration of medical consent, family, grief and trust. Can you always trust your family?
Have you read The Secret Deep?
Is being stranded on a desert island your worst nightmare?
Do you reckon you would survive?
Let me know what you thought in the comments!
You should 100% check out the rest of the posts on the blog tour – they are all incredible!