cover image The Darkdeep

The Darkdeep

Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (272 pages) ISBN 978-1-5476-0046-5

Veteran writers Condie (Matched) and Reichs (Genesis) team up to deliver an action-packed Goonies-like adventure set in the Pacific Northwest. Trying to recover a drone lost to an act of bullying, Nico slips at the edge of a fog-covered cliff and tumbles into Washington State’s Still Cove. Nico’s friends, worried about the beast that allegedly lurks below the water, are relieved to find not only a boat to search for their friend, but also Nico himself, on an island within the cove—one they’ve never heard of. In the center of the island lies a dark pond, a houseboat floating in its center. In the bowels of the houseboat sits a well of thick liquid dubbed the Darkdeep, which beckons and submerges the friends one by one, then spits each into the pond and animates their minds’ contents. Initially, the frivolous figments disappear quickly, but as the creatures become more dreadful—and more solid—they begin to cause real damage and threaten more than just the strange island. A basic beginning moves into a satisfying narrative arc, perfect for reluctant readers who appreciate things that go bump in the night. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (Oct.) [/em]