Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1967
Damp and Creepy
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
N/A
When bully Logan and his cronies send Nico's expensive, handmade drone into the bottomless waters of Still Cove, Nico tries to retrieve it despite the warnings of his friends Emma and Tyler. Of course, the rescue doesn't go well, but the three discover a weird houseboat and island in the middle of the cove (which sounds sort of like a flooded quarry to me). This, of course, has to be investigated, and along with Opal (Logan's girlfriend, who thinks he is overly mean to Nico) they spend some time cataloging the creepy items and checking out the pond in the middle of the island that is especially alarming. When Emma dips her toes into the "Darkdeep", it sucks her under the waters. Luckily, she emerges, but so does the embodiment of her worst fears. As the group continues to return, more and more creatures are brought to life. Logan's father's logging business has been negatively impacted by Nico's father's work protecting an endangered owl in the area, and since jobs have been lost, the townspeople aren't overly keen on Nico. Logan's father works behind the scenes to get Nico's father transferred, which is certainly upsetting. At the same time, the town is preparing for the Radish Festival, and the children get drawn into this as well. They are getting closer to figuring out some of the mysteries of the Darkdeep, but will the monsters break away from Still Cove?
Good Points
This was an atmospheric book with creepy, fairly scary monsters and the overwhelming feeling that at some point, someone will get sucked into the Darkdeep and not come out. The ensemble cast of characters worked well together, and had an interesting place in their small town. The quarry is especially well done-- it's the sort of place in a town that would be very creepy if the circumstances were right!

Condie's Matched is very popular in my library, so her fans will check it out, and readers who enjoyed Neal Shusterman's dark tales or McHale's Morpheus Road Trilogy will enjoy it as well. Paranormal forces preying on people's worst fears has been done a few times, most notably Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes (1962) and Shusterman's Full Tilt (2003), so readers who have finished The Darkdeep might want to delve into those classics!
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