No light. No air. No escape.
Hundreds of feet beneath the ocean’s surface, a graveyard waits…
Years ago, the SS Arcadia vanished without a trace during a routine voyage. Though a strange, garbled emergency message was broadcast, neither the ship nor any of its crew could be found. Sixty years later, its wreck has finally been discovered more than three hundred miles from its intended course…a silent graveyard deep beneath the ocean’s surface, eagerly waiting for the first sign of life.
Cove and her dive team have been granted permission to explore the Arcadia’s rusting hull. Their purpose is straightforward: examine the wreck, film everything, and, if possible, uncover how and why the supposedly unsinkable ship vanished.
But the Arcadia has not yet had its fill of death, and something dark and hungry watches from below. With limited oxygen and the ship slowly closing in around them, Cove and her team will have to fight their way free of the unspeakable horror now desperate to claim them.
Because once they’re trapped beneath the ocean’s waves, there’s no going back.
Looking for the perfect summer horror beach read? Here it is. If scuba diving is on your agenda, this novel might make you rethink your plans.
After the Arcadia is located three hundred plus feet underwater sixty years after vanishing without a trace, Cove and her dive team are anxious to begin exploring and filming it for a documentary. Things go wrong from the start with equipment malfunctions both above and below the water. And those are the least scary occurrences in this novel. I’m claustrophobic, so the thought of being beneath all that water with a mask covering my face, diving inside a shipwreck, and knowing I have a limited amount of oxygen terrifies me. And yet I’ll pick up books like this every time and find myself holding my breath while reading them.
The novel alternates between the timelines of sixty years prior with the events leading up to the sinking of the Arcadia and present day with the dive team. POV also shifts between the characters on the team, whose dive experience varies from expert to the guy who sucks up most of his oxygen but doesn’t want to admit it to anyone. Soon after entering the ship wreckage they make some freakish discoveries – unusual messages written on the walls, movements seen in empty rooms, walls boarded up. Even more eerie discoveries are made after they surface and review film footage.
Even though I felt the need to gasp for breath in some parts, I read this book over a couple of days. The author provides incredible details about the hazards of diving, including decompression sickness, nitrogen narcosis, the bends, etc. So not only did the divers have to deal with this, they also faced whatever was in the Arcadia. The descriptions of a ship that long at the bottom of the ocean reminded me of pictures I’ve seen of the Titanic, so you can imagine how atmospheric they are. With equipment malfunctioning – comms out, headlights and flashlights aren’t working – the terror the characters experience (and maybe the reader just thinking about it) in total darkness is almost palpable.
The character development weighs in a little light, but it certainly didn’t detract from my reading experience – I enjoyed the heck out of this book. The horror isn’t gory, so this novel would also appeal to thriller fans, and I highly recommend it to readers of both genres.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.