The Vanishing Deep. Second YA adventure from author of Four Dead Queens

Astrid Scholte, bestselling author of Four Dead Queens, brings fans a thrilling new standalone YA fantasy where the dead can be revived…for a price. Two sisters. One dangerous secret. Twenty-four hours to uncover the truth.

Seventeen-year-old Tempest was born into a world of water. The most skilled diver on the Equinox Reef, she searches drowned cities with her older sister Elysea, seeking out old world treasures to trade for Notes. After Elysea mysteriously drowns, Tempest scavenges the ruins alone, driven to collect enough Notes to buy her sister’s life for 24 hours and to finally learn the secret she had kept until her last breath. 

However, once revived, Elysea convinces Tempest to break her out of the Palindromena research facility and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death. But they’re pursued by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up, and to prevent them from uncovering the secrets behind the revival process and the true cost of restored lives.

Dead or living, everyone must pay the price

Astrid’s debut novel Four Dead Queens

Duffy’s Thoughts On The Vanishing Deep

I’m not a prolific YA reader, but if one catches my eye, I’ll give it a go. That’s what I did with Four Dead Queens, and although there were some flaws, I was definitely intrigued to read Astrid Scholte’s second book The Vanishing Deep.

When a fantasy world becomes a setting, I often find that authors go down the rabbit hole and create over-complicated worlds with difficult names and languages. I’m pleased to say that Astrid stuck to a strong, simple fantasy world in her second book, which gave her an opportunity to really explore this world and I could clearly visualise this futuristic underwater place.

I’m old (way too old for the YA age bracket) so, in my head, I did visualise Waterworld, the Costner movie from the ’90s frequently and that’s no bad thing. Sure the movie bombed, but visually it’s an immense, sweeping movie with great effects and this added weight to the story and theme for me and created a stronger connection between myself and the book.

I love a good story about sisters and the plot unfolded at a thrilling pace with a few twists and turns along the way. This second book is stronger than Four Dead Queens and I can’t wait to watch Astrid Scholte develop and create some outstanding YA fiction.

The Vanishing Deep is a thoroughly enjoyable read and some excellent escapism while many of us are trapped working from home, in quarantine, or just suffering from a little eco-anxiety right now!

The Vanishing Deep Book Review
The Vanishing Deep published 3 March by
Allen & Unwin RRP $19.99