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Disenchanted by Brianna Sugalski // Monsters, Banter and adventure through a dark forest

  GOODREADS // AMAZON // BOOK DEPOSITORY Breton princess at the peak of the French Renaissance, Lilac lives prisoner in her parents' castle after a wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her tenth birthday soirée. Years later, her coronation ceremony looms, and between the riotous townsfolk and scheming nobleman bent on snatching the throne, Lilac prepares for the worst... Until a mysterious letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to cure her darkness forever. Lilac begrudgingly trades her coronet for a cloak and ventures into the forest Brocéliande in pursuit of the impious enchantress at the edge of town. With only the protection of an inherited dagger—and unsolicited help of the sardonic stranger who inserts himself on her quest—she must traverse Brocèliande and return in time to claim her rightful position as sovereign monarch. This is the story of a cursed princess, A crestfallen killer, The town that wants them to burn, And the witch

The Deep by Alma Katsu // Fact, fiction and fantasy blend in this reimagining of one of the biggest disaster in history

Someone, or something, is haunting the ship. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the passengers of the Titanic from the moment they set sail. The Titanic's passengers expected to enjoy an experience befitting the much-heralded ship's maiden voyage, but instead, amid mysterious disappearances and sudden deaths, find themselves in an eerie, unsettling twilight zone. While some of the guests and crew shrug off strange occurrences, several--including maid Annie Hebbley, guest Mark Fletcher, and millionaires Madeleine Astor and Benjamin Guggenheim--are convinced there's something more sinister going on. And then disaster strikes.

Years later, Annie, having survived that fateful night, has attempted to put her life back together by going to work as a nurse on the sixth sailing of the Britannic, newly refitted as a hospital ship to support British forces fighting World War I. When she happens across an unconscious Mark, now a soldier, she is at first thrilled and relieved to learn that he too survived the tragic night four years earlier. But soon his presence awakens deep-buried feelings and secrets, forcing her to reckon with the demons of her past--as they both discover that the terror may not yet be over.

Featuring an ensemble cast of characters and effortlessly combining the supernatural with the height of historical disaster, The Deep is an exploration of love and destiny, desire and innocence, and, above all, a quest to understand how our choices can lead us inexorably toward our doom.
 (A huge thank you to the FFBC tours and the publisher for the eARC and the opportunity to be a part of this blog tour. Click on the tour banner above to view the tour schedule) (US Giveaway at the end of the post)

(+ favourite quotes)

     Retellings and reimaginings are my jam. Add to it the fact that it's reimagining of the sinking of THE Titanic and it's sister ship Britannic, of course I HAD to read this book. Also I've been meaning to read Alma Katsu's work for a while now so I was over the moon when I got to read an eARC of The Deep.


~The curious case of Human Nature~

     One of the reasons I adore Agatha Christie's books is that she deals with human nature. Poirot doesn't just look around for clues, he looks into the personality of each suspect to find the criminal. Something about the way Alma Katsu writes her characters reminds me of Agatha Christie. I was utterly fascinated with the characters, many of whom were real people on-board the Titanic. The author deftly weaves each character arc and I love how she took real people and gave them a whole backstory that mixed reality and creativity, such as Madeleine Astor, Lady Duff Gordon, W.T. Stead and the two boxers Les and Dai. I personally love that the author made the boxers queer and their chemistry was so interesting to read about.

     We have original characters too such as our protagonist Annie and the couple Mark and Caroline who are an important part of the mystery. Of all of them, it was Caroline who intrigued me the most and I kept turning the pages (clicking the pages? considering it was the eBook) wanting to know more about her past, especially the past involving Lillian, another very intriguing character.
'She is not mad. But there is something in her that is hospitable to madness'

~The alternating timelines~

     Generally I'm wary about alternating timelines. Unless they're done well, they're jarring and annoying. I did not have to worry about that in this case because Alma Katsu does it brilliantly. She knows just the right moment to stop with the 1912 plot and switch to 1916, making me want to know more about what just happened. And I also loved the parallels drawn between the two ships and at point the plot lines blurred but not in a bad way; rather in a way that makes you go "OML WHAT JUST HAPPENED EEEP"

~The atmospheric quality~

     I really love reading about historical fiction with a slight touch of the supernatural; the blending of fact, fiction and fantasy which gives a very atmospheric feel to the story. Because of some reviews I'd thought the book included horror but after reading it, I mainly find it atmospheric and chilly but definitely not scary enough to be called horror (and that's coming from me who is too scared to ever fully watch IT). BUT even though it wasn't scary, the book has the perfect atmosphere for the reality and the supernatural to entwine. There were scenes where I got goosebumps because it felt like I was there on board the ship watching things unfold around me.
“A ship so massive, and here we are, trapped on it, nowhere to run.” She shivered “One is always trapped within oneself though.”

~The writing style~

     As I said just above, this book made me feel I was IN it and this is totally due to Ms Katsu's writing prowess. The beautiful descriptions, the scenes where the characters are not sure whether they are actually seeing something or imagining things and the description of the fateful night were all done so magnificently and I can't wait to pick up her other books.
'Fear was a chained dog, startling and rough and always dangerously close, steretching its leash, baring fangs.'

~The mystery itself~

     Right from the first page, the author makes us ask questions. Who is Annie? who was she before she set foot on RMS Titanic? What happened to her on the ship? What is the mystery surrounding each of the passengers on the ship? And most importantly, which of them are going to survive? I rushed through the whole book in less than 24 hours because I needed all the answers. The plot brings together the plot lines of every character in an expert manner that I can't help but admire.
"It wasn't trust, or intuition, but something else that had swooped in, in the absence of both, to guide her."

~The Deep is more than just a reimagining, it truly brings Titanic and her sister ship Britannic to life along with characters both real and fictional; b;lending fact, fiction and fantasy to give us a story that is truly an experience. ~

Do you enjoy retellings of historical events? Tell me in the comments below!