When I saw a copy of Daughter of the Deep, it was love at first sight. The cover art stood out with the colors of the ocean and a giant squid in the background. But the selling point for me were the fancy letters on the top of the cover. They read: By Rick Riordan. You see, I am an avid fan of just about every adventure, sci-fi or realistic fiction chapter book there is. Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, 39 Clues, you name it! Riordan is especially great because he adds pop culture and a fast-paced plot with a myth or story. So I snatched the library book off the shelf to give it a go. It did not disappoint me.
The narrator and main character Ana Dakkar just wants to have a normal life. It is close to her birthday when her world starts unraveling. She is going on a field trip for her final exam. Then her school goes up in flames as she and her classmates are catapulted into a new world. They are now at war with Land Institute. The Nautilus, Captain Nemo, and the events of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea were real. She is now forced to lead her crew of high schoolers after her professor reveals a secret she never knew. She is a direct descendant of Captain Nemo. And she is the key to his technology.
What the book mainly shows, however, is that secrets are a double-edged sword. From the action packed beginning to the climatic end, the plot is based on a series of secrets being revealed, with most of them being one blow after another at Ana. Her friend is granted information that she should’ve known too. She doesn’t know her family well. She doesn’t know what happened to her parents. And even though her ignorance protected her for some time, they had to reveal the secrets to make her truly safe in the end.
What makes this book stand out from other science fiction thrillers, however, is that while you can never see what technology is coming next, you also can’t see what twist is coming next. You see the warring sides clearly throughout the book, yet some things still don’t feel quite right. You can even doubt the technology at times. So, it sends the sense that you have to be on guard. It’s sort of like a detective story, just that you have to figure out the enemy’s move, like a chess game. However, if you can guess the “OH!” moment near the end, you must be a genius!
This book is definitely for science fiction and action book fans. If you’re looking for a mythological book like Percy Jackson, this book will be ok for you, but it lacks the information and strong connections to myths. You should try it anyway though, because with a strong and fast-moving plot, this thriller will please fans of all genres.
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan. Disney Hyperion, 2021. Buy the book here and help support Stone Soup in the process!