Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Book: The Deep by Jen Minkman
Having united the island of Tresco to some degree, Walt and Leia head out on the Explorer to find out about the land across the sea. With Tony as their guide, the Islanders discover Cornwall, a place where survivers have set up societies like they did on Tresco. But things aren't quite what they seem, and Dartmoor, which is based at an old prison, is too peaceful for Leia's comfort, particularly when she discovers the ways in which peace is kept. Back on Tresco, Alisha is coming to terms with the two sides of the island being together, and befriends Ben and through him his brother, Saul. Learning to work together isn't easy, but as the stand in book keeper's assistant, Alisha is determined that the island will be at peace.
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The Deep is one of those books that I've read and then wondered why on earth I didn't read it sooner (though I'm pretty sure the answer is something along the lines of life got in the way). I read the first two books in the series, The Island and The Waves and really enjoyed them, and was unsurprised to discover that I enjoyed The Deep as much, if not more.
The relationship between Walt and Leia is still early on in its development, considering they only actually met about a week ago (in the story timeline) but they'd been through so much together that it was unsurprising that it grew so quickly. What I really liked was the fact that instead of saying 'I love you', when talking about it Leia used the word 'like', which seemed much more in keeping with reality. Also Walt and Leia acted like teenagers discovering their first romantic relationship, I found I really bought into them as a couple.
I was taken completely by surprise by the way that Saul played a part in The Deep, after being an antagonist in Leia's story (The Island) and a minor antagonist in Walt's (The Deep - books 1&2 cover parts of the same timeline but show the struggles on each side of the island) it was surprising in this book to find him making friends, and even beginning to become more than friends with Alisha. At first I wasn't sure what to think of it, but now I think it was the right thing to happen to his character.
I really enjoyed the way that the narrative switched between Leia and Alisha, it was very clear when it happened but also it meant that it was possible to see what was happening on the Island as well as on the expedition to find new people, though both of the stories would have worked on their own I think they worked better as a pairing.
I know that The Island trilogy is over, but I do hope that Minkman has more to write about this world. I'm particularly intrigued by what is actually going on in Dartmoor, and think that there could be another great story there!