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  • Writer's pictureSandy

The Vanishing Deep, by Astrid Scholte

If you enjoy a fast-paced read, set against the background of a beautifully constructed world, then you will love this young adult novel! The reader is immediately drawn into a future landscape, where global warming and flooding has forced the population to construct islands to live on, and to scavenge flooded cities under the sea just to survive. The most compelling feature of this future world is that the dead can be revived for 24 hours, and our protagonist, seventeen-year-old Tempest, is bringing her sister Elysea back to life to try to solve the mystery of their parent's deaths. However, Tempest is full of anger at her sister for keeping secrets from her, and the reader quickly becomes aware that the revival will come at a cost...

This is a thrilling read full of mystery, adventure and a hint of romance. The co-narrator of the story is Lor, who is supervising the revival of Elysea, and who carries his own dark secrets. Prepare for your pulse to race as Tempest and Elysea - with Lor on board - race against the clock to attempt to uncover the truth about the way their parents really died. Along the way they face great danger, as they are pursued across the water. You will become immersed in this water-drenched world, which is beautifully described and evokes all the senses.

Tempest is a strong female protagonist that you will find yourself barracking for - she has experienced terrible loss, which has made her outwardly strong, as she fights every day for survival. She is outspoken and fierce about protecting her loved ones. However, there is also a sadness hovering within her, compelling her readers to care about her.

There are quieter moments of reflection in this book too - about love, and loss, and the choices we make. Philosophical questions are raised. This book may also raise discussion about broader environmental issues of global warming and climate change.

Ultimately, however, this is a story about sisterly and family love.

As the clock counts down, and plot twists are revealed, this is a book you will not be able to put down! Will Tempest, Elysea and Lor uncover the truth in time? You will have to read it to find out!

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