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Rolling in the Deep #0.5

Rolling in the Deep

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Goodreads Choice Award
Nominee for Best Horror (2015)
When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, to be filmed from the cruise ship Atargatis, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses.

They didn't expect actual mermaids.  They certainly didn't expect those mermaids to have teeth.

This is the story of the Atargatis, lost at sea with all hands.  Some have called it a hoax; others have called it a maritime tragedy.  Whatever the truth may be, it will only be found below the bathypelagic zone in the Mariana Trench…and the depths are very good at keeping secrets.

128 pages, Hardcover

First published April 6, 2015

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About the author

Mira Grant

47 books5,393 followers
Mira also writes as Seanan McGuire.

Born and raised in Northern California, Mira Grant has made a lifelong study of horror movies, horrible viruses, and the inevitable threat of the living dead. In college, she was voted Most Likely to Summon Something Horrible in the Cornfield, and was a founding member of the Horror Movie Sleep-Away Survival Camp, where her record for time survived in the Swamp Cannibals scenario remains unchallenged.

Mira lives in a crumbling farmhouse with an assortment of cats, horror movies, comics, and books about horrible diseases. When not writing, she splits her time between travel, auditing college virology courses, and watching more horror movies than is strictly good for you. Favorite vacation spots include Seattle, London, and a large haunted corn maze just outside of Huntsville, Alabama.

Mira sleeps with a machete under her bed, and highly suggests that you do the same.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,636 reviews
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 25, 2018
If this was a hoax, it was one of the largest in living memory.

oh, mira grant - is there nothing you can't do? i know there was a time, after the glut of post-Twilight vampire knock-off books ran their course through the publishing world, that mermaids seemed to be trying to elbow in to become the new trend. and i know that some of these depicted mermaids as really fierce and badass instead of the traditional pretty ladies in shell bikini tops. i didn't read any of those, but i knew they existed, and i liked the idea of these predatory mermaids lurking beneath the waves to feast on unsuspecting sailors. i don't know how well this one stacks up against any of those, but i do know that mira grant's strength has always been with her plausibility. she carries science around in her pockets and distributes it like candy throughout her supernatural horror stories and you can't help but nod along and say "yep - seems logical to me!" maybe it's different if you are yourself a scientist, but at the very least, she seems to have done some research which is more than i can say for a lot of less-credible books that skimp on the details and hope the reader doesn't notice. mira grant shows her work, and it makes for a much richer story.

this is just a little novella, but it's the perfect punchy length for this story.

like everything else she's done, this uses a framing device to break up the pieces of the story, in this case, a television voice-over that warns of the graphic nature of the material it is about to air, and gives some context around the events recorded.

the action is made up of found footage from cameras aboard the atargatis; a cruise ship commissioned by the imagine network, a channel known for its cheesy SF/monster movies and its "hyper-reality programming;" dramatized-but-intended-to-be-believed documentaries about cryptozoological beasties. with this particular program the plan was to go way out into waters so remote as to be effectively uncharted to capture footage of real live mermaids. nondisclosure agreements are signed, skeptical scientists are brought in along with their interns and also some women who will operate as insurance in case they don't actually find any mermaids. we are introduced to all of these characters along with the ship's crew, the cameramen, and the host of the show. another of mira grant's skills is in writing really great characters … and then killing them all.

this is no spoiler; from page one you learn that the boat was found drifting unmanned six weeks later, and that none of the two hundred passengers were ever seen again. the only thing that survived on the atargatis was some very disturbing footage, which makes up the story.

does she take some liberties with this; with where cameras were likely to be filming, and when? sure, but she makes up for it with all those science-flavored lollipops. you could say that she blinds you with science, but you won't, because that's corny.

not only does she present a range of specializations within the oceanography field: a marine psychologist, a marine biomolecular biologist, a marine chemist, a deep-sea cartographer, a cetologist, and an ichthyologist, she lets each of them drive a portion of the narrative as they take readings and analyze their findings. grant also goes into the realities of the responsibilities of captaining a ship, corralling a crew, and the subtle manipulations a ratings-seeking reality show employs to steer conversations and stage a scene.

grant's stories teem with authority, you trust her characters. that is a rare treat in this genre, and it is what makes her a writer whose books i look forward to more than my own birthday.

no, YOU monster!

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Chelsea Humphrey.
1,480 reviews79k followers
October 17, 2017
"If this was a hoax, it was one of the largest in living memory."

^ I know multiple reviews have started off with this quote, but it's only because it is simply the perfect segue into what might be my favorite novella of 2017. That said, can we just fangirl over every aspect of this book real quick? The cover? AHHHH Mermaids that aren't overtly sexualized or used as a plot device solely for male pleasure? YES PLEASE. Mermaids used in a horror storyline where they are the predators and no one is left alive by the final page? Ok, I think I have your attention by now if you're the type who would be interested in this read. Also, that's not a spoiler as you know in the prologue that everyone is eviscerated in the short time span at sea, but it does set the scene for a severely unnerving and disturbing take on what is a childhood fantasy for most folks.

"Six weeks was a long time to spend with a bunch of coddled Hollywood types and absent-minded professors."

That's right-this obviously isn't meant to be a fact-finding mission, but one in a controlled, highly scripted manner; however, the nature of the story begins to turn from the moment the crew reaches the Mariana Trench. One of my favorite reasons for reading books by Mira Grant is that she creates such rich, vibrant characters that you don't even have to like to be able to connect with. Her novellas have more development in them than most authors do in their best, fleshy novels, as her stories are built up with purpose rather than useless fluff intended to further the page count and nothing more. There's actually a rather diverse cast featured in Rolling in the Deep, something I wasn't expecting, as I initially picked this up to gain atmosphere and setting into this world before beginning Into the Drowning Deep.

"Inside of a day, the Atargatis disrupted the local ecosystem with vibrations, minor but unavoidable pollutants, scientific testing and sampling, and human bodies, bringing with them the chemical taint of modern life.

If there was anything at all in those waters, it was inevitable that it would be found."

If you've ever had the pleasure of experiencing a book by Grant, you'll know that she throws in so much science, factual and fictional, that it brings the story to another level. Obviously, some things she's taken liberties with because these are fictional stories with mythical creatures, but that really doesn't matter because she makes you FEEL that it's all real. It's really hard to ruin the reading experience for you spoiler wise because you already know at the beginning what will happen, but I think this actually enhances the journey rather than taking away from the experience. We aren't distracted by trying to solve a mystery; instead, we are able to fully immerse ourselves in this alternate reality and let the building suspense and dread overwhelm us. If you're wondering whether or not this 128-page novella is worth the (at the time of this writing) price of $4.99, I can honestly say that it was in my case. I'm relieved that I decided to begin here, as I feel it gives me greater depth for the full size follow up Into the Drowning Deep. The ending here was perfect, and the reading experience felt almost similar to Night Film in the sense that you have a slight mixed media approach and time jumps and such. I'll be reading ITDD next and look forward to letting you know if it's as excellent as Rolling in the Deep was.
Profile Image for carol..
1,566 reviews8,218 followers
January 6, 2018
My success with Into the Drowning Deep led me to this novella and nominal prequel. Sadly, this feels more like the Seanan McGuire I am familiar with; the one with the uneven tone, nominal characterization and tendency towards over-telling. With the Incryptid series, Grant did a number of related short stories and novellas that ranged both in time and in tone from the relative frivolity of the full-length books, and I can see the similarities here. This was most likely created before Into the Drowning Deep was a glimmer in someone's eye, so the good news it that this would be an easy one to miss.

In this novella, photojournalist Anne is a willing participant on Imagine Entertainment Network 'mockumentary' expedition to discover mermaids. Styled along the lines of the finding 'Bigfoot' 'reality' tv shows, Imagine has a host of non-scientific people aboard ready for filming, as well as a handful of scientists to make it look legitimate. They also aren't above stocking the boat (haha) with a troupe of eleven professional mermaids, aka ladies with a fondness for neoprene tails and synchronized swimming.

"'You'll have everyone believing in mermaids in no time.'
'That's the idea,' said Anne. That was the idea that would secure her a new contract with the network and keep her on the air for another year."

The first section has Anne and her cameraman, Kevin, interviewing people, lurking around the boat, etc., and trying to get to know Team Mermaid without compromising everyone's non-disclosure clause, as apparently they weren't allowed to film the group until part way through the trip. The captain of the ship is a woman and her first mate a deaf man, so the sign language element is present. A heavy-handed Imagine representative is on hand, once again providing the role of Character We Would Love to See Eaten.

The tone feels more urban fantasy than horror, with the ship's occupants treating it as easy money, and generally squabbling when not doing research. There are only six scientists along--and thirty grad students--so the reader is treated to a couple paragraph sketch on each as well as their specialties. It isn't done particularly organically, such in context of an interview or in meeting another scientist, so its easy to see why some readers would find it hard to connect with the characters.

The plot is glacial for a horror story. It isn't until the 50% mark that there is tentative confirmation that samples from a deep sea probe contain blood that "comes from a creature unknown to science." Until that point, the crew has no idea that anything might be out of the ordinary. That is very unusual pacing for horror, and while The Blair Witch project might have made it work, Into the Rolling Deep doesn't. General spoiler--it is literally 54%

Additionally, my chief complaint from the last Incryptid book is here in force: Grant tells us. All sorts of things. In the most boring way possible: "Obedience was drilled into them as part of their training: a mermaid who couldn’t listen to instructions was a mermaid who was putting everyone around her in danger." Honestly, I'm not even sure why Grant is telling us about the mermaid troupe because we barely get to know the members as individuals. But if sharing with the reader is important, why not mention an incident in relation to their shows? "Ever since the near-drowning at Disneyworld, the crew was rigidly adherent to safety." Anyway, they aren't, so what's the point?

For those who are wondering it is worth paying for: No, not if you are looking for the same experience of Into The Drowning Deep. This is quick, uneven, and lacks the tension of the full-length novel. In regards to relationship to the novel, Victoria and Jillian, main book characters, aren't mentioned at all, so you won't even be missing anything in character arcs. While the crew disappears, none are mentioned as Victoria's sister, and Jillian's research isn't addressed.

While I don't regret paying for it, as I've read an awful lot of free Incryptid short stories, I'd definitely preferred to have something more like Drowning. But that, oddly enough, reaffirmed my shaken faith that it's smart to leave Grant on the Read With Low Expectations list.

Two-and-a-half start, rounding down in order to temper your expectations appropriately.
Profile Image for Navessa.
Author 11 books7,635 followers
April 15, 2018
Okay, let’s just go ahead and get it over with. You know, that thing that popped into your head as soon as you saw this title. That thing that won’t get out of your head until you give in to it. Don���t play coy with me. You know exactly what I’m talking about. And you know what you have to do.


Got that out of your system? Good, me too.

Now, onto the review.

“We may never know how much of the footage from the SS Atargatis was faked, or how much of it was real. What we do know is that none of the scientists, crewmen, or actors who set sail with the Atargatis were aboard when the ship was found, adrift, some six weeks later, and none of them have resurfaced since.”

Welcome to the tale of the SS Atargatis and her doomed crew. This novella chronicles their voyage to the Marianna Trench, where – you guessed it - they’re searching for the source of the mermaid myth.

Their journey is part sensationalized documentary in the making, and part research expedition, so there’s quite a cast of characters on board. You have scientists, interns, TV personalities, crew members, and professional performers all rubbing elbows.

The tale is told in an interleaving fashion, weaving the perspectives of those who perished with a TV special that aired after it was clear that something very bad happened to them.

"The official record says that all hands were lost at sea. We believe that something far worse occurred. We believe that they were found."

Me, from that point on:


For a novella, Grant did a wonderful job adding tension. She also has a way of making you care about these characters in a short amount of time, which is damn inconvenient since you know up front that they’re all going to die.

I don’t want to give too much else away, so I’ll just say that this little horror story is spooky, riveting, well-written, well-researched, and unputdownable.

I devoured it in one sitting.

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October 12, 2020
💀 This Better Be as Deliciously Horrific as it Sounds MacHaloistic Buddy Read (TBBaDHaiSMBD™). With the MacHalos. Duh 💀

This novella in a nutshell:
✘ No suspense
✘ No horror
✘ PG-13 gore
✘ Total boredom

What joy.

Nothing (as in absolutely NOTHING) happens before the 50% mark. 70% of this story revolves around the many (as in too bloody MANY) uninteresting characters and their job descriptions (but hey, at least now I know what a phycologist is). 5% of this story is about the mermaids that don't horrify (they might have, had they gotten more page time, but they didn't, so they didn't). The rest of the story? Uneventful, unemotional, soporific stuff. So instead of this:

You get this:

Such a painful loss for the fishy community. Can't say I'm surprised, though. Being boring to death tends to have the deathliest, deadliest consequences.

Let me tell you, as nefarious breeder of murderous crustaceans and ruthless ruler of the deep, I feel slightly insulted right now. And my shrimpy homicidal maniac troops are really, really pissed off. Fleet Admiral DaShrimp is rounding them up as we speak, and retaliation is near. You can't depict life above and under the thrilling, ferocious, lethal seas as the most unexciting, tedious, unremarkable experience ever, and expect to get away with it. You want horror? We'll give you horror. Fleet Admiral, unleash the Ruthlessly Savage Subaquatic Army (RSSA™) now!

My bloodthirsty babies. So cute.

» And the moral of this Mira Grant Had I Known you were Really Seanan McGuire I wouldn't Have Bothered Because Toby Daye = Snore Snore Snore Crappy Non Review (MGHIKywRSMIwHBBTDSSSCNR™) is: want to roll in the deep? Read Julio's masterpiece, not this PoC™.
Profile Image for Holly.
1,449 reviews1,086 followers
July 14, 2019
A lot of people are talking about the live action version of The Little Mermaid, but I think we should all get behind this version instead: freaky killer mermaids. While not particularly gruesome (by Karin Slaughter standards anyways), this little novella seriously gave me nightmares primarily because I listened to the audiobook late at night before going to bed. Let's just say when the mermaids finally talk, it's not the same warm and fuzzy feeling as you get listening to the catchy tune of "Under the Sea".
Profile Image for Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣.
651 reviews407 followers
November 20, 2017
Inside of a day, the Atargatis disrupted the local ecosystem with vibrations, minor but unavoidable pollutants, scientific testing and sampling, and human bodies, bringing with them the chemical taint of modern life.
If there was anything at all in those waters, it was inevitable that it would be found.

Rolling in the Deep was like seeing Mermaids: The Body Found . The story begins with an excerpt from a documentary made by the TV channel Imagine Network about the mysterious disappearance of all those aboard the cruise ship Atargatis. The TV channel (that specialized in B- horror movies) had previously employed all those on the ship for a documentary regarding mermaids. What they didn't expect was a ghost ship and footage of a carnage. The book alternates between excerpts and what actually happened.

Alien eyes watched the strange metal object as it floated upward. There was blood in the water. Their home had been invaded. They would respond.

This states exactly what I feel about the book. The mermaids felt threatened and acted accordingly. They are described as intelligent by more than one of the scientists aboard the Atargatis, and are explained as predators and highly developed cases of Emsleyan/Mertensian mimicry. I must say I think they were justified in their actions. Humans would not have discovered them and left them be. As one character in the book says something that best describes all men: "I don't want to adjust to our environment. I want the environment to adjust to me.

As for their physical appearance they are not like this:

They are more like this:

I felt actual horror at the very end of the book. I had to re-read the last part to be sure I understood correctly.

Rolling in the Deep is amazing. Its only minus would be that it's too short. I'm definitely going to check Mira Grant's other writings.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 5 books4,100 followers
December 14, 2015
Good clean fun.

It's horror in all the grand traditions. Want B-Movie sensibilities? Check. Want monstrous mermaids? Check. Want a Sy-Fi film crew staging a mermaid expedition to get torn apart by the real thing? Check.

Did I say Sy-Fi? I mean Imagine Network. Sorry. I didn't mean to make any disparagements. We're NOT trying to make a statement about anything. Truly. This is just a good clean horror, all fun, no message. Really. We certainly don't want to ruin our chances to get a made-for-tv movie based on this novella by the Sy-Fi network. It's perfect for it.

Who survives this tale? The lawyers. It's pretty classic.

Of COURSE the lawyers survive. I mean, out of anyone to come out of the Mariana Trench, the greatest predators are NOT the mermaids or the sharks.

*sigh* If only there had been an appearance of Aquaman to save the day. That would have been PERFECT.
Profile Image for Molly.
342 reviews126 followers
November 9, 2015
What a treat!

Rating, 4.5

“If there was anything at all in those waters, it was inevitable that it would be found.”


The TV channel Imagine Network specialized in B- horror movies, commissions for their "documentary block" a feature about mermaids. No money is spared for this big project. The goal of the expedition to find a definite proof... are mermaids real or just a myth. The preparations are hush hush, and in the end, it is arranged for the cruise ship Atargatis to transport to the Mariana Trench, scientists from various fields, a large group of interns, the numerous crew of Imagine Network with their star reporter .... and a performing troupe of professional "mermaids"...

...to appear in the "documentary", should they not find the real thing .... which of course nobody on the ship expects. Mermaids? Phft!

“According to the official manifest, the Atargatis sailed with over two hundred people on board. The captain, Jovanie Seghers, and her first mate, David Mendoza, had been operating the liner for eight years with no recorded incidents. The majority of their crewmen had likewise been with them in excess of five years.
Imagine personnel included six scientists, thirty graduate students employed as scientific interns, one “television personality,” thirty-five camera operators and sound engineers, five personal assistants, three dive instructors, two safety monitors, and one producer. Additional personnel included the eleven-person Blue Seas mermaid troupe.”

All-in-all, the Atargatis has set off with over two hundred people on board, only to be found adrift with not a soul (or corpse) on board.

“none of the scientists, crewmen, or actors who set sail with the Atargatis were aboard when the ship was found, adrift, some six weeks later, and none of them have resurfaced since. If this was a hoax, it was one of the largest in living memory.”

Finally a more than decent book with mermaids.

If you are going into this story expecting this ...


... you have obviously lost your way. The children section is over there. Go! Run away!

If you are expecting some of this ....

description description

Sorry ... the paranormal romance is that way. Go!

Wake up this is sci-fi horror ... what you'll find is more along the lines of ...

description or this description

... with much sharper teeth, Medusa-like hair ... and an intelligence that will make your blood freeze.

So if you are up to it ... pick the book ... now!

“You’re a miracle,” he breathed.
“You’re a miracle,” the mermaid echoed, before it leaned up and carefully, almost delicately, ripped away his throat.”
Profile Image for Trish.
2,016 reviews3,435 followers
February 19, 2018
A very nice short story about what happened on the Atargatis, a ship dispatched by a TV station in order to find proof for the existance of mermaids. It is revealed right off the bat that nobody made it back, everyone died. How, that is the fun part. *lol* What happens here is also what prompts the events in the novel that I will be starting to read tomorrow.

The characters range from desperate scientists that would do anything to get money for their stiudies and gritty seafaring crew to colourful female performers with neoprene fins. None of them are particularly interesting but that is also because they are fish fodder.

Yes, this is like a B-level horror movie but honestly, it was so much fun!
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,095 reviews17.7k followers
October 2, 2017
Kevin had already shot almost an hour of footage of nothing but ocean, filling his lens with that sweeping vista in an attempt to capture its enormity and reduce it to something that he could comprehend. He didn’t see doing both at once as any sort of a contradiction.

This novella is seriously messed up. And oh boy, it's terrifying. Did I mention that? I'm sorry, but it creeped the shit out of me.

The thing that's so terrifying about this novella is how weirdly plausible it seems. Despite the fact that there are literal killer mermaids around, it's hard not to believe in everything that's happening.

Something I didn't expect was the focus on science; Mira Grant has clearly done her research here and inserted just enough into the minds of the characters that we feel their scientific mindsets affecting our own feelings on the situation.

Grant is also helped along with a seriously awesome cast of characters. Anne is a star of the company with ambitions of becoming a talk show host before she gets washed up. Alexandra is an ambitious and snarky scientist. Jill Hale wants cartography results so she can work in the military. Sonja Weinstein is a gregarious whale rights activist looking for a story. Jonny is opinionated and argumentative; his partner, Anton, is more camera shy. Peter Harris is the obsessed ichthyologist. There's David, a sarcastic Deaf crewmate. There's Jovanie, the captain. Curran, the local asshole. Teal and Jessica, the mermaids in wheelchairs.

VERDICT: A really freaky novella. I will definitely be reading the sequel, which is a full length book. And yes, I DID only read this because I was promised the sequel had bi girls and mermaids. What are you going to DO about it.

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Profile Image for Tyler Gray.
Author 2 books225 followers
May 16, 2018
Actual Rating: 4.25

I really enjoyed this prequel! It's short and it's horror with mermaids.

I really liked how there was casual diversity. There is a deaf character, a gay couple, and disabled people in wheelchairs that are also mermaids (performing mermaids). While I am not deaf or gay (though I am disabled and have a wheelchair) I loved how everything was done. It was pretty casual but it was there and mentioned. And frankly i'm all here for casual diversity because people don't need a reason to exist, we just exist and that's enough of a reason.

A TV channel wants to do a documentary on finding mermaids, though they don't actually believe in them and are planning on falsifying things, of course (hence the performing mermaids). There are scientists on board the ship, who while they might not care about mermaids are interested in doing sciency-things.

I enjoyed the characters, what we got to know of them, and the plot and writing kept me interested and hooked. I wanted more though i'm not sure how exactly lol.

Another thing I loved was how there is mad respect for the performing mermaids and how it isn't an easy job! They work their tails off, so to speak!

A quote

"I'm on this ship because I actually do believe that there's something out here, and more, I believe that whatever it is, it's going to need protection once we prove that it exists. Humanity destroys the things it loves. Something mysterious and unique enough to be the source of mermaid legends? We're going to be all over destroying that."

Now, onto Into the Drowning Deep!

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Profile Image for Renee Godding.
640 reviews634 followers
August 3, 2019
1/5 stars

Well... That was a huge disappointment...

I picked up Rolling in the Deep on audio on a complete whim, and kind of regret doing so: man was I disappointed in this. Rolling in the Deep follows a film crew shooting a mockumentary on mermaids hiding deep within the Mariana Trench. They come fully prepared, bringing everything from a group of actresses to play the mermaids to a biologist who is willing to twist the truth a little to fit the documentary’s narrative. What they didn’t come prepared for, however, was finding actual creatures living in the deep. And they’re far from friendly…
I probably should have lowered my expectations from a story based on killer-mermaids a little bit, but every underwater horror has the potential to greatly terrify me, so I wanted to go in with an open mind. I came out feeling like I had just read any other creepy-pasta on the internet… It was predictable, heavily relying on every trope in the book, and not written particularly well. I really was expecting something more from Seanan McGuire. Suffice to say: this was not for me unfortunately.
Profile Image for Paige  Bookdragon.
938 reviews612 followers
January 3, 2016

So bloody brilliant.

I love Mira Grant. I love her Newsflesh series and when I saw this book, I immediately want to read it. I mean, Mira Grant and mermaids combined? This is like the combination of Christmas, my early birthday party, my on-the-day-birthday party and late-birthday party!I totally dig it!


This is not a romance story. This is a thrilling story of an expedition gone wrong. It's a short story and I wouldn't change any of it for all the chocolates in the world. It was perfect for me. The author used enough scientific words to make this book more realistic (in a way) but not too much that you wouldn't understand anything and makes your eyes start to glaze.

Because it's hard to find a decent mermaid book that has no hormonal crazed teenagers, this book is an absolute gem.

I swear to God, this reminds me of that sea monster movie that I watched when I was a kid. It was gripping, haunting and makes you shout " OH FUCKING HELL!", "WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?!" and "OH BOY.OH BOY." a lot of times.

When someone says mermaids, we usually think of Ariel:

or maybe those pretty singing mermaids in the Pirates of the Caribbean movie:


But Mira Grant, bless her heart, introduced to us a different kind of mermaid.

Mermaids who have teeth and are actually fucking scary.

And if you don't believe in those singing pretty mermaids, then I guarantee you,after reading this book you'll actually start believing that Mira Grant's version of mermaids do exist.
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews216 followers
December 19, 2015
I am terrified of deep water so bear that in mind while you're reading this. Rolling in the Deep is as hair-raising as I thought it would be considering the setting.

There are no secrets in this story. The first thing you realize is that none of the people this story is about is coming back from their expedition. The second is that whatever happened to them was no accident.

Later, the network that paid for the Atargatis research expedition made a documentary about it. Rolling in the Deep is written as an account of that ill-fated journey. The story alternates between the extracts from the network's documentary Modern Ghost Ships: The Atargatis and the events on the Atargatis before the disaster.

Profile Image for Dylan.
439 reviews94 followers
October 7, 2021
Fairly mediocre writing, bland characters and dialogue that’s bad often to the point of cringe for the majority of the novella, but Grant really goes balls to the wall with the horror elements in the last third. I actually found it unsettling to read and I’m now more excited to read the main novel, so overall I’m happy with the experience.
Profile Image for Milda Page Runner.
300 reviews234 followers
February 2, 2016
I liked it especially the ending (last 20%), but I can't help thinking it could have been much better. I question authors decision to tell right at the beginning that there are no survivors. Takes away the suspense. Makes introducing long cast of characters a bit pointless.
Part of the horror is not knowing what is going to happen. Anticipating something bad and worrying for the characters you like. Part of the fun is trying to figure out who is the sensible one and will survive against the odds.
Well.. none of that here.
Since we know from the very beginning who? (everyone) and how? (trust me - it's clear) - the only thing left for me to anticipate was: so - what's the twist? And there is a twist at the very end - but it doesn't much affect the who? and the how? and we don't get to see it... :/ which left me a bit disappointed. (don't take away the candy from a kid!)
On a good side: well done characters for such a short story, some humour, some gore, unusual take on mermaids.
There were few things that didn't make sense if I'd want to be picky.
Profile Image for Howard.
1,284 reviews80 followers
July 31, 2022
4.5 Stars for Rolling in the Deep: Rolling in Deep Series, Book 0.5 (audiobook) by Mira Grant read by Teri Barrington.

This was a wonderful prequel. You have young women pretending to be mermaids that end up getting killed and devoured by real mermaids. Mira Grant is pulling me into another series. I’m really looking forward to Into the Drowning Deep.
Profile Image for Farah.
767 reviews90 followers
January 19, 2019
Rolling In The Deep by Adele played repeatedly in my head when I started reading this.

Despite the absence of romance, Rolling In The Deep (the book) should be read by anyone who loves girl power as this book featured such trope.

Jovanie Seghers - The Atargatis Ship Captain
A respectable captain, strong minded, respectful towards her cabin crew and anyone on board of her ship.
Anne Stewart - Web Correspondent
Alexandra MacMillan - Head of the Chemical Analysis Team
Jill Hale - Deep-sea Cartographer
Sonja Weinstein - Cetologist
The Blue Seas Professional Mermaid Troupe.

There were some scientific terms and stuffs mentioned in the first half of the book but that did not take away my enjoyment from the story - thanks to Google + I was smitten with the ladies who played kickass roles in the marine world + no one was marking their territories, acting like Divas and being pain in the ass. Then... Instead of playing the Jaws' theme song, play the most sinister music you have ever listened to in your head as the under water inhabitants decided to come out and 'play'. I kid you not, the built up and the scenes that followed were quite horrific.

It was like watching those 8O's - 9O's horror movies, screaming your lungs out, telling the actors to get to safety, don't inspect / linger, try not to fall into the pool , make sure the key is in the ignition, stop looking back, when reading the fate of the crew and passengers of the Atargatis.

Michele's review on the first book should be checked out. This was only the prequel but when I took my third shower of the day (32°C and 76% humidity) it was a really quick one as my imagination was running wild.

Scribd screwed me over, the audiobook that was available now became the opposite. Maybe because of my poor track record with audiobooks, so kindle book it is for the sequel.
Profile Image for Dennis.
658 reviews276 followers
April 10, 2020
Simple, but fun story.

A crew of scientists and tv-people are setting sail for the Mariana Trench to film a mockumentary about mermaids. And they get more than they bargained for.

The End.


Of course this is only the prequel to Into the Drowning Deep, to which I’m listening right now.

Killer mermaids FTW!

Seriously, the whole story is in the book description here. It’s short, it’s nasty, it’s fun. Let’s see if the latter two also apply to the novel.
Profile Image for Daniel.
754 reviews75 followers
December 1, 2015
Now this was a fun little story

Lako i pitko stivo u kojem znate sta ce se sve desiti cim krenete sa citanjem posto vam sama knjiga na pocetku kaze sta ce se desiti. Znaci nema neke tenzije ili atmosfere straha vec samo anticipacija kako ce se tacno desiti to sto se desilo. Ima fine logike koja se prozima kroz sve ovo i stavlja u domen nemoguce ali ipak... :)

Plus ko voli da gleda emisije na discovry-u ili exploreru ovo ce mu doci kao odlican behind the scene ezan za nacin snimanja vecine njihovih reality emisija.

Kao sto rekoh zabavna mala pricica koja ne pokusava da bude vise od onoga sto jeste. Slobodno probajte.
Profile Image for Bethany (Beautifully Bookish Bethany).
2,202 reviews3,674 followers
August 14, 2023
I didn't love this as much as Into the Drowning Deep and it's a bit on the short side, but this is an interesting prequel novella setting up the original voyage where these killer mermaids were discovered. As always, it does a good job of being inclusive with a couple of different disabled characters including a deaf pilot and a wheelchair using mermaid performer. Worth a read if you like the series.
Profile Image for Liz.
600 reviews503 followers
January 19, 2016
Before I get to the review, there is something to know about me - I am afraid of deep water. If I cannot see the bottom and what exactly is beneath me I am not going into the water. NEVER. EVER. As soon as I feel something brushing my leg I turn into an olympic swimmer in terms of speed because I am just so freaked out and stop caring whether my arms cramp or not, my only goal is to reach the shore in one piece. But to be honest, I am not quite fond of lakes, seas and oceans either way. So the moment in the forth Harry Potter movie when he dives deeper?

The Imagine Network has funded a documentary on mermaids in the Mariana Trench aboard Atargatis. It has hired scientists and chemists to analyse the data gathered from the Trench and even a team of "mermaids" to add authenticity and provide some nice additions to the footage. But as the ship drops the anchors at the previously discussed place the people disturb something they shouldn't have disturbed. And the horror emerges.

Despite its length, or maybe because of it, the pace seemed perfect to me. With short articles before each chapter from two years after the tragedy and the shifting pov's within the chapters the author managed to keep me on the edge of my seat. From the second chapter on there was clearly an unsettling tension building up. It was glorious. Another wonderful and rare addition was the plausibility of the writing, it was obvious that the author had done some research on the mermaid myths as well as facts about the Mariana Trench and the flora and fauna of the ocean. Quite often I find myself struggling with stories set in our world and time because authors completely lack credibility and/or logic, but it was not the case in this one.
The writing itself was to the point and captivating balancing the dialogues with the descriptions and the action.

It felt glorious to read an old-fashioned horror story about sea monsters with just the right amount of terror, blood and logic. And the characters, surprisingly enough there were many of them, all somehow managed to contribute something to the general story but also be independent individuals rather than plot devices or page fillers. Everything was to the point in this story and the interpretation of the mermaids...

I thought it was brilliant.

I would highly recommend it, regardless whether you like horror or not, this one is just a masterpiece.
Definitely one of the best reads in 2015 for me.
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