“Set 10 years after spelunkers stumbled into a literal Hell and later led a supposedly successful expedition to kill Satan, this story opens on Halloween, when underground creatures abduct dozens of children and slay any adults trying to stop them. Grieving mother and widow Rebecca Coltrane, the media-anointed public face of the disaster, makes clever political use of the publicity to launch a major military expedition underneath the Earth in search of her daughter and the other missing children. As war brews underground between the explorers and the quasi-human hadals, aboveground tensions increase between China and the U.S.” –Publisher’s Weekly

This is the first review I have ever done for a book I couldn’t finish reading–not because the writing was bad or the plot unbelievable. In fact, I found the writing very good and the plot deeply intriguing.  Unfortunately, the horrors that manifested quickly became too real and hit too close to home for me to finish the book and maintain my peace of mind.

I picked up Deeper on a whim as I scanned the bargain section at Barnes & Noble. The opening lines piqued my interest, with an intriguing voice and a set of circumstances worth exploring. I started reading and was quickly sucked into interesting narrative voices and a crazy world where hell exists, and it lives several thousand feet below the earth’s surface. The book explores this world through the point of view of five different characters. Normally this bothers me, but each character–though of different gender and backgrounds–all came across as authenticate and well-developed. The author also described an unusual world–a world I came to find by accident actually has some merit in science based on a nonfiction book with a similar title to the prequel for Deeper, the Descent.

The problem started about a hundred pages in. This was the first instance of violence against children. As a mom I took this pretty hard. I put it down for a couple of days then decided to plow my way through, hoping for a silver lining. I worked my way through another hundred and fifty pages, suffering nightmares the whole way until finally the book took a turn that as a mother I just could not go. I put it down for good.

After reading some reviews and doing research on the author I discovered that the storyline dead-ends with no resolution. I found this rather unsettling and can only guess at why this is the case, but I can say that I did like the premise and the writing, and if you don’t have kids I would say it may be worth your reading, but if you are a parent do not read this book. It will only add to your pre-existing stock of parental dread and worry.

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