A strange plague called the ‘Gets is decimating humanity on a global scale. It causes people to forget—small things at first, like where they left their keys, then the not-so-small things, like how to drive or the letters of the alphabet. Their bodies forget how to function involuntarily. There is no cure.
But far below the surface of the Pacific Ocean, a universal healer hailed as “ambrosia” has been discovered. In order to study this phenomenon, a special research lab has been built eight miles under the sea’s surface. But when the station goes incommunicado, a brave few descend through the lightless fathoms in hopes of unraveling the mysteries lurking at those crushing depths…and perhaps to encounter an evil blacker than anything one could possibly imagine.
The Deep by Nick Cutter
Publication Date: August 16, 2016 by Gallery Books
Every few months, it’s necessary for me to take a break from my usual heavy psychological book choices and to pick up something more in the lines of classic horror – the kind of story that involves blood and gore and frightening creatures lurking in the dark.
While reading The Deep I was reminded of The Shining because of the combination of intense claustrophobia and the narrator’s inability to decipher reality from fiction. The Deep is terrifying initially just with the idea of being trapped in a facility so deep within the sea. I’ve always been drawn to the National Geographic shows and documentaries about the horrifying looking fish and other sea creatures that survive in a sea level too far down for humans to fully explore and The Deep is the first horror novel I’ve read that incorporates that environment to play on the reader’s fear of the unknown.
The first portion of the book really creates that intense feeling of claustrophobia with the environment. As if being trapped that far down without communication and surrounded by miles and miles of pitch black weren’t enough, the narrator begins to experience sleepwalking, vivid and horrifying nightmares, and moments of confusion about whether or not events have really taken place in reality or if he has dreamed of them. Cutter does a fantastic job of slowly building upon these grey areas of sanity versus insanity and after awhile, it becomes hard to really determine if Lucas is truly losing his mind or if he really is experiencing something more sinister and supernatural.
While in many ways, The Deep is a much slower and a bit more psychological read than Cutter’s previous book, The Troop, fans of his debut will find many of the same gory, vicious elements that made The Troop so terrifying in The Deep as well. This follow up novel did not disappoint and I would quickly recommend it to anyone looking for more classic horror in their contemporary fiction!