Song of the Deep
Our friends at Sterling Publishing recently sent us an advance copy of Brian Hasting’s “Song of the Deep” (along with an awesome pin and some stickers – thanks guys!) and we tore through it so fast we had to read it again to make sure it all really happened. (The book nerd version of a double take, basically!)
“Song of the Deep” is SUCH a great story. It’s whimsical. It’s magical. It’s everything you’ve dreamed life under the sea would be like, and more. It’s thrilling and mysterious and emotional and we can’t stop gushing about it!
Merryn is a 12 year old girl who lives with her fisherman father in a small cottage by the sea. Ever since she was little, she’s always known the stories of the sea. From magical mer-people to unthinkably scary sea creatures, Merryn was raised on the legends and lore of what lurked deep below the sea. Despite her best efforts to convince him, Merryn’s father never allows her to accompany him on his fishing trips. Instead, she stays home and spends her time crafting and creating things out of the lost treasures and scraps her dad has brought home on his many journeys out at sea.
She also always makes sure dinner is ready, even if it’s just a piping hot bowl of seashell soup. (When Merryn’s father bring back any fish, Merryn adds seashells to her otherwise ordinary soup recipe to give it a hint of something special to cheer up her father after a hard day.)
One night, her father doesn’t come home from his fishing trip and Merryn has a vision that he’s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature. She immediately runs down to the little shack at the bottom of the cliff and starts building a small submarine so she can head underwater to try and save him. It’s far from perfect, but Merryn’s submarine manages to hold together enough to get underwater and begin searching for her father. Along the way, Merryn discovers that the undersea world her parents always told her about weren’t just fairytales after all – everything she spend her childhood hearing about begins to unfold right before her eyes.
With the help of a friendly leviathan and a kind merrow maiden, Merryn finds the strength inside herself to brave the vast, yet wondrous abandoned underwater city in search of her missing father.
As if the story wasn’t fantastic enough, it’s actually the companion to the “Song of the Deep” video game from Insomniac Games (also out today, grab it on PC/PS4/XBox One), so once you’re done reading through the book, you can actually dive in to Merryn’s submarine and play through her adventure for real! We were so dazzled by the book that we’ll definitely be playing the game so we can experience the magic of the ocean for ourselves.
The story is exactly the right balance of realism and fantasy, making it easy to love for fantasy readers and easy to read for non-fantasy lovers. Even if you’re not really a reader and are just picking up the book because you loved the game, we think you’ll simply adore the story and all the great images at the beginning of each chapter.
Can we take a moment to appreciate Merryn? She’s such a fantastic character. She’s courageous and independent, clever and crafty, and just everything you’d want in a hero. The best part? She’s just an ordinary girl who’s courage blossoms in the face of tragedy.
Merryn isn’t physically strong, but emotionally strong. She’s not a super-genius, but she uses all the knowledge she’s collected over the years in order to piece together the mystery of what happened to her father. She makes the best of what she has and her fierce intuition helps her through when things get hard. Merryn isn’t at all equipped for this journey, and yet, she totally and completely is. Oh, and like all great heroes, she’s got her own Funko POP!
We adored this book SO much that we’re creating a special “Song of the Deep” inspired craft and will be posting a DIY tutorial for our readers later this week. “Song of the Deep” by Brian Hastings hits bookstore shelves today, so hop in your submarine and get yourself a copy!