THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie
Summary: 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 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.
There’s no time to mourn. 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, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.
But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she's not about to stop.
Title: The Abyss Surrounds Us
Author: Emily Skrutskie
Publication Date: February 8th, 2016
Rating: 4.5 stars
Thank you to the publisher for the e-ARC!
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was Pirates of the Caribbean on crack with a plethora of genetically engineered monsters thrown in. Cas was such a vibrant, real character and she really appealed to me.
The book follows Cassandra Leung, the daughter of Reckoner scientists/trainers. On her first solo trip she is taken by pirates led by the villainous Santa Elena. Her dream of becoming a Reckoner trainer comes true, but in the most unlikely of ways when the pirates intend on using her to train their unhatched Reckoner pup to become a monster of their own.
|Me while reading this book.|
Cassandra is badass. If Captain Jack Sparrow has an illegitimate daughter, it's Cas. She grows and changes throughout the entire novel in such an interesting way. I devoured her story in just one sitting, unable to stop reading. Also, queer characters and queer love! It's so refreshing to see more representation in fantasy books. After reading THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US, I've realised that this is the first book I've ever read that is a fantasy with a lesbian main romance. There definitely needs to be more. (Audrey Coulthurst's OF FIRE AND STARS also features a lesbian couple in the high fantasy setting! It comes out later this year and I'm incredibly excited about it already.)
Also, I want a Reckoner. No idea where I could keep it as they are HUMONGOUS, but I do.
Do you think that I could find a bath big enough?
I had a few issues with this book, but that all falls down to personal preference. It was a relatively short book for YA and I feel that it could have been longer, the world more expanded. Also, I would have liked some more world building, but I'm expecting to see much more of it in Book 2. So it's really no big issue.
In short, if you love pirates, monsters of the deep and a touching and sometimes hot F/F romance, this is the book for you. Very excited for another book about Cas and her adventures! Skrutskie really knocked the ball out of the park, and I can easily see THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US doing very well indeed.