From Below by Darcy Coates

I was immediately intrigued with the synopsis of this book. It’s about a group of dives exploring a sunken ship deep in the ocean in a space where there’s no movement of water, therefore no oxygen and therefore no flora and fauna. Just an abandoned ship underwater that sank mysteriously about a 100 years ago.

The team is out on this expedition as part of a documentary they need to make on the ship called SS Arcadia. Amidst challenges of limited oxygen, silt outs (disturbance of sediment underwater which if disturbed can cause dusty fog that can be blinding amidst the dark), limited lights and claustrophobic spaces.

The story moves within two timelines where in the past how the ship drifted off course and saw many deaths while passengers were aboard and present day how the divers uncover the secrets behind the reason of sinking hundreds of miles off-course.

The author Darcy Coates has several horrors written but I haven’t ventured into those yet. This is as good a start as any.

This is an extremely consuming plot that really takes you through twists and turns and nasty surprises that await the divers hundreds of meters underwater. Each diver has their own personality that reflects underwater when diving with limited communication when underwater.

Honestly this book is too long. But even then I was persistent as I wanted to really know what happened in the end – both past and present – and how it happened. So despite its length, (which could have been edited more) it keeps you gripped.

It’s a dark book. Like not just the fear of what lies beneath but the mystery of it all keeps you hooked. I had a book hangover and not a good one after reading this. Had to immediately read a nice fee good romance after this cuz I started getting these scary dreams from the book hangover. Even while I was reading I started to feel heavy and anxious. It may have to do with claustrophobia or just the dark setting underwater with VERY disturbing discoveries they find within the ship.

Im very tempted to give away the spoiler, but the build up needs to be read before it.

I can say that the ending was rushed. The whole mystery was solved within a page which makes it a little disappointing as I thought there would be a larger and more sinister revelation. But it turned out to be quite… meh.

That doesn’t mean you don’t read it. The ship is a character in itself and has it’s own secrets sunken with it. The setting and atmosphere are the hero of the story more than its characters.

So perhaps it’s a lesson why some things abandon need to be left just that way.

Their above mentioned documentary does air, but how and why you need to read it.

I’d call it an out-and-out horror book despite there being fewer jumpscares but just the whole atmosphere of it being the terrifying aspect.

It’s a 4/5. Would have been a 5 but the book is slow and I felt the ending did not do full justice to the humongous build-up the reader goes through.

Hope you read it. Let me know your thoughts on my Instagram @thesecondlibrarian and Youtube channel The Second Librarian.

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