#loveozya :: The Vanishing Deep :: Astrid Scholte

After absolutely LOVING Astrid Scholte’s debut novel Four Dead Queens last year (my review is here) her next book was high on my list of most anticipated new releases for 2020. I’m always a tiny bit nervous when I’ve enjoyed a first book so much, but The Vanishing Deep didn’t disappoint!
Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

The world of The Vanishing Deep was really different from Four Dead Queens, but it shared a similar vibe – fantastical with amazing tech. It feels dystopian-ish, like it could be our earth after an environmental disaster. Like Four Dead Queens this one is widely being described a fantasy, but I felt it was more sci-fi – my inner (very outer) science nerd loved all the cool advances in technology, and their explanations throughout (the process behind reviving people was really cool!). The world building was really impeccable – I never felt like info was being dumped on me, but I could clearly picture what was happening, and felt really drawn into Tempe’s world.

One of my favourite things about The Vanishing Deep was the relationship between the sisters – Tempe and Elysea. It is so gorgeously written, and Scholte completely nails that special balance you only get with siblings of being able to be completely furious with them but still fiercely protective of them. I loved how different the girls were from each other and how perfect they were together. 
There were some other great relationships in the book too, and some great banter (but I don’t want to say more because of spoilers!).

Another thing that was really cool about The Vanishing Deep was the way it crosses genres – the mystery/thriller element of this was fantastic. The tension of counting down Elysea’s 24 hours of being revived was perfect, and there were some bits that really surprised me.

The Vanishing Deep really confirmed Scholte’s place on my list of favourite authors – her books have both felt is so fresh and unique, and I absolutely can’t wait to read her next one!

xo Bron

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
Out now from Allen and Unwin
Source: I received a free advance copy from Allen and Unwin (Thank you!)
Category: Young adult mystery sci-fi(ish)
Themes:  Family, grief, belonging, life
Format: Paperback
Pages: 416
RRP: $19.99

The Vanishing Deep on Goodreads
Find Astrid Scholte online here 
 

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