The Vanishing Deep
By Michael Berry,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Teen sisters race death in tepid futuristic thriller.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Vanishing Deep offers opportunities to discuss issues of life and death, as well as notions of sacrifice.
People can persevere in the face of what looks like certain death. Although they might have opposing temperaments, siblings can work together for the benefit of their entire family.
Positive Role Models
Brave, resourceful, and determined, Tempe will do almost anything to revive her dead sister Ely. Ely doesn't want to die again, but doesn't want her sister hurt, either.
Violence & Scariness
When harpoon-wielding pirates board their ship, Tempe, Ely, and Lor repel them with low-key violence.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
There's some vague romantic attraction between some characters, but they're mostly focused on saving Elysea's life.
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Not much swearing for most of the book, but when things go wrong, there is a burst of "f--k" and "s--t."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Teens drink some intoxicating beverages.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Vanishing Deep, by Astrid Scholte (Four Dead Queens), is a science fiction novel set on a flooded world, where the dead can be revived for 24 hours. It follows two sisters -- Tempe and Elysea -- as they try to experience one final day of togetherness after Elysea is revived from death. It has only limited swearing until the end, when there is a burst or two of "f--k" and "s--t." Mild violence appears in two scenes with harpoon-carrying pirates. Some teens drink intoxicating beverages in one scene.
Where to Read
Based on 2 parent reviews
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What's the Story?
As THE VANISHING DEEP opens, 17-year-old Tempe is determined to gather the money needed to revive her sister Elysea from death. She also wants to learn the truth behind her parents' supposed deaths. When she and Elsea escape the research facility, they have only 24 hours to complete their mission before Ely dies again. On their trail are two young men desperate to return them to the research facility. None of them can anticipate the secrets that will be revealed before the fatal hour.
Is It Any Good?
Sometimes an author's second book faces high expectations, and that may be the situation with this somewhat tepid follow-up to a truly riveting debut. The Vanishing Deep features an interesting cast and some suspenseful scenes, but the plot doesn't really take off until the novel's final third. Author Astrid Scholte saves the best plot twists for the end. Whether the final reveals make up for what's gone before may depend on the expectations of the reader.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how The Vanishing Deep treats the notion of life after death. How do various religions treat the idea of an afterlife?
The novel is set on a water-based planet in the wake of a global catastrophe. How can fiction address issues of climate change? How do governments plan to lessen its effects?
If you knew you had only a single day to live, how would you spend that day?
- Author: Astrid Scholte
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Pirates
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
- Publication date: April 1, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: April 6, 2020
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