The Vanishing Deep

Book review by
Michael Berry, Common Sense Media
The Vanishing Deep Book Poster Image
Teen sisters race death in tepid futuristic thriller.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

The Vanishing Deep offers opportunities to discuss issues of life and death, as well as notions of sacrifice.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


When harpoon-wielding pirates board their ship, Tempe, Ely, and Lor repel them with low-key violence.


There's some vague romantic attraction between some characters, but they're mostly focused on saving Elysea's life.


Not much swearing for most of the book, but when things go wrong, there is a burst of "f--k" and "s--t."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens drink some intoxicating beverages.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byGreatparentreader September 9, 2020


This book is so good so entertaining, but I would say it gave me cry really emotional at the end, I think this book is great if you're looking for somethin... Continue reading
Adult Written byisabelle lightwood April 7, 2020


very nice book for kids great role models and educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byMidnightboknerd April 19, 2021


This book was great, not as good as Astrids debut novel but still great. There is quite a bit of cursing, so if you cant handle that or are not aloud, this boo... Continue reading

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love science fiction

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