Never Enough Bookshelves THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US


I was traveling yesterday and missed #MondayBlog time, so you all are getting a special Tuesday blog for Pride Month featuring a badass F/F romance and tons of action!

THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US by Emily Skrutskie was described to me as “YA Pacific Rim meets pirates with lesbians,” and if you know anything at all about me, you know that was guaranteed to get me to read.

And guys, this book was really, really good. There were some flaws (which I’ll mention below) but overall, I seriously enjoyed this. For one, the world building was so well done! Near-ish future world where most of the major countries have split into smaller ones and pirates have essentially taken over the Pacific from their floating cities called “flotillas.” And the governments’ answers to that pirate scourge are giant genetically engineered Reckoners, massive monsters tasked with protecting civilian vessels from the pirates with the help of their human trainers. Yes, yes, it is as cool as concept as it sounds. And yes, yes I do want a Reckoner all my own.

My fave “character” in this book was without a doubt the Reckoner pup Cas is forced to raise. Bao is unabashedly the giant baby murder turtle of my heart. I want one. I want one so so bad, guys! The action when these massive creatures battled was fantastically written. Having scuba-dived before, I was so clearly able to picture everything that happened.

My main wish was that we had more of the romance. It was definitely on the problematic side, considering Cas is being held prisoner by the pirates, so falling for one is a definite power imbalance, but much to my surprise and respect, the fact that it was problematic was actually addressed. Out loud explicitly on the page. By both Cas and Swift even! I mean, seriously, that so rarely happens in a book – it was refreshing as hell. But like I said, I felt like we needed more of these two on screen not hating each other sooner in the book for me to buy the romance. There were moments were I was totally on board with it, but then we’d go almost an entire chapter without anything but bitter antagonism between them again. The good moments were so, so good. I guess I’m greedy when it comes to romance.

I also wish we’d had a bit more hinting leading up to the big reveal at the end (which I won’t get into because spoilers LOL). If there were hints, I managed to total miss them, so it just felt a little contrived for me.

All in all though, this was a solid book. Definitely on my “I will read again” list – I’m just finding myself pickier about my books lately. Hopefully the sequel (and oh yeah, I’ll be buying the sequel) will smooth out some of the rough edges. This world is so incredible cool. I definitely want more of it.

What did y’all think of THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US? Anyone have plans for fancrafting baby Baos? Because I would be all over a plush baby murder turtle LOL. Let me know over @C_L_McCollum