Book Reviews, YA book reviews

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte – ARC Review


My Rating ~ Five Stars

RELEASE DATE:  3 March 2020

Format: Paperback

Pages: 432

Publisher: Allen & Unwin




Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.





Thank you so much to Allen & Unwin for providing me with a copy of The Vanishing Deep in exchange for an honest review!


The Vanishing Deep was such a unique story!  Set in a world almost entirely covered by water, where a special institute can revive those who have drowned, for exactly 24 hours, for a price.  Usually paid by family members wanting a second chance to say goodbye to their loved ones, Tempe wants to revive her sister – but for a different reason.  After being told her sister was responsible for her parents death, she wants to confront her to find out the truth of what happened that fateful day.

When her sister, Elysea, convinces Tempe to help her escape, they’re pursued by the warden who was supposed to supervise Elysea’s revival, and the employee that did him a favour and filled in for his job.  They desperately need to return Elysea to the centre, before she discovers the truth about how the revival’s work.

A brilliant sci-fi / fantasy story, that incorporates a mystery and pursuit, The Vanishing Deep is fast paced, with some genuinely great twists.  I loved the world building and the characters equally.  Told in dual points of view from Tempe and Lor, it managed to give enough background information on the different way of life for Tempe, living off the water, and Lor, living at the research facility, without bogging the story down with an information overload.  Tempe is strong and determined, but finding it hard to come to terms with the love and anger waring inside her, over her sister’s actions.  Lor was also a brilliant, three dimensional character who never expected to be put in the position he found himself in.

The Vanishing Deep was just an all round interesting and enjoyable read I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend!




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