Published: July 12, 2016
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 176 (Hardcover)
My Rating: Unrated
Twelve-year-old Merryn lives with her fisherman father in a little cottage by the sea. Each day, her father braves the tumultuous waves and returns home in time for dinner. One stormy evening, he doesn’t come back. Merryn has a vision that he’s been dragged underwater by a terrifying sea creature, and he needs her help. Determined to rescue him, Merryn builds a tiny submarine and embarks on a journey through the undersea worlds she’s only heard about in her father’s lullabies. As she faces the dangers and wonders of the world below the waves, she realizes that her father’s stories were all real.
Readers can also experience Merryn’s daring journey firsthand in the new Song of the Deep video game from acclaimed developer Insomniac Games.
Song of the Deep is a middle grade companion novel to the video game of the same name, which will be released on July 12, 2016. Companion novels of any sort don’t usually make their way onto my reading list, but Song of the Deep looked charming and had illustrations, which I love. You may have noticed that I didn’t give this book a rating and that’s because it is a middle grade novel. I felt I couldn’t fairly score this in the same way I score YA and Adult books, so I’ll just be sharing with you what I thought about it.
First of all, I was really impressed with the design of the book – the cover art is lovely and beneath the dust jacket is equally impressive. The book was made to look like embellished leather and I can honestly say that more thought was put into the appearance of this book than goes into many adult novels which happen to be twice the price. The endpapers in the book are nicely designed and throughout the book there are these great little illustrations that feature scenes and locations from the story. As an adult I find the whole thing to be eye-catching and if I were a child in this age range, I would totally want to buy it.
The story itself was a classic little adventure story that I thought was super cute and very appropriate for the age range. Merryn, the main character, lives with her father along the seaside where he is a fisherman. One day, there’s a severe storm and he doesn’t return. Merryn of course is very concerned, so she builds a submersible out of scraps and sets off to find him. During the course of her journey she sees a great many wonderful sights, makes new friends of several species, and learns that all the stories her father told her were true. The writing is definitely geared towards much younger readers than me, and I can’t really make a judgment on that since it’s been YEARS since I’ve read a middle grade book.
I watched several gameplay videos for the Song of the Deep video game and it looks pretty fun. If you’re interested, you can check out a gameplay video HERE. It’s making me feel nostalgic for the Spyro the Dragon games that I played as a youngling…. Year of the Dragon was the best!