Woah... i'm still breaking out in cold sweats just thinking about this one... originally I had this one rated at 3.5 but I've upped it to 4 because... well... I can't get it out of my head!
When a disease known as the 'Gets' ravages humanity, the world comes together to research a mysterious substance on the floor of the Marianas Trench that may hold the key to our survival. When one of the scientists at this underwater installation requests his brothers help just before contact is lost, that brother has no option but to descend to unknown depths to confront a nightmare.
Ok... this book is terrifying. There, I said it. I like to think of myself as someone who could handle most things. Spiders... check. Snakes... check. Bugs... check. Trapped in a facility over 8 miles down with unspeakable horrors that like to toy with me physically and psychologically. Oh fuck no! The Deep is like a bad nightmare that you just can't wake up from. As I read it I felt tormented (and yet I couldn't put the book down!) by what was happening before me. Cutter has somehow managed to tap into the most basic primal fears and weaknesses of the human mind and tipped them upside down and stomped on them. After turning the final page I literally had take a time out lasting hours to compose myself from the emotional grinder I had just been put through. The Deep harks back to a golden age of horror from the 80s and 90s... King was at the top of his game... and we were all too scared to go to sleep... or associate with clowns (I still don't like clowns!). There are many elements in this novel that reminded me of classics like The Abyss, The Thing, The Sphere, and Alien. Cutter wields them an expert hand (hard to believe this is only his second novel!), screwing with the readers mind to such a point that you feel like you're there with Luke as he suffers. Whether it's the deep sense of claustrophobia, creepy flashbacks, hopelessness, or horror, The Deep just slams into your psyche like a freight train without brakes. And just when you think you have a handle on it all, Cutter decides to manically laugh (well I'm just imagining this, but I bet he did!) and veer off into a realm of creepy Lovecraftian weird that just blew my mind. His characters are well fleshed out (oh the irony of that sentence!), and I felt a yawning sadness for Luke (and to a lesser extent his brother) as they danced with the dark horror beneath the waves. I also really enjoyed how Cutter also structured this book. The flashbacks were interesting and horrifying and they added a dark depth to the overall plot.
The Deep is one of those stories that you will literally lose sleep over. You will either read it in small snippets because that is all you can handle at a time, or you will be so caught up in the horrible mess that is unfolding inside your brain that you will not be able to put it down! A must read for horror fans! King has a new challenger to his title.. and I suspect Cutter will take it sometime very soon!
4 out of 5 stars.