Monday, November 19, 2018

#RRSciFiMonth Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us

The Abyss Surrounds Us By Emily Skrutskie
Publisher: Flux
Release Date: August 18th, 2016
Format: Kindle ebook

My Rating: 
GoodReads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the giant, genetically engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea. 
The Abyss Surrounds Us is a book that I have been trying to get to for a long time. I thought it was a perfect book to read and review for #RRSciFiMonth. When it first came out, I remember a lot of bloggers talking it up and I did my normal, "yeah, yeah, yeah, I'll get to it." thing and again this is another book that I am kicking myself for waiting so long to read! Why do I continue to not listen to my fellow book bloggers? You usually are right, especially my sci-fi buddies!

I LOVED the world building in this novel, because it seems like it could be so real. The setting is in the future that seems to be not that distant, where water levels have risen so much that a lot of cities have drowned. To the point that most people live on ships or floating cities. Due to that there are a lot of people on the fringes of society that have to become pirates to survive. So the ruling society starts engineering seas monsters to protect ships from pirates. Our main character Cassandra has grown up training these monsters called Reckoners, and she's on her first job when of course the ship gets ambushed by pirates. They take her captive and force her to train a baby Reckoner to fight for them.

Another thing I really liked about this novel was the relationship. It's a frustratingly slow burn of a relationship. I also liked that because Cas doesn't want to have a relationship with something who is her captor. They are not on "equal footing" and I think it's really smart that Cas and Swift make the decision together that nothing can happen between them because of it. Oh,did I also mention it was a F/F romance? Oh no, well, it is! I don't read a lot of girls loving girls books, so it was definitely a nice change of pace.

Some things that didn't work for me in this book is that I feel like Cas' flip gets switched way too easily. Yes, it's sad that people like Elena have to resort to piracy, but it felt like Cas believed so strongly in her society and it felt like she flipped on it way too suddenly. It seems like she only really sees their way of life as being okay is because she finds out about corruption happening in the Reckoner trade. To me that seems like the only reason and it's not a big enough one. If she didn't know there was corruption in the industry, she's kind of dumb.

I liked this one a lot, but I have to admit I wasn't 100% satisfied with the end. I'm not sure if I agree with Cas' decision in the end of the novel. I'm not sure what else she would do, but the ending just didn't sit well with me. I did still enjoy the ride a lot.

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 Happy Reads Everyone!