Life at Harding-Pencroft Academy was predictable and ordinary before the disaster. After an attack from the Land Institute reduced Harding-Pencroft to nothing, the only survivors are a group of twenty freshmen. As the Land Institute continues to pursue the survivors, Ana Dakkar steps up to lead the group out of their precarious situation.
The characters of Daughter of the Deep are divided into four houses at Harding-Pencroft Academy. The Dolphins are the communicators, the Cephalopods are the engineers, the Orcas are the medics, and the Sharks are the bodyguards. Our lead protagonist is Ana Dakkar, a Dolphin, and the last in line in her family after a disaster at HP. Her best friends are Ester Harding, an Orca, and Nelinha de Silva, a Cephalopod. Although not on great terms, Gemini Twain is Shark and is Ana’s personal bodyguard.
Like his Percy Jackson series, Rick Riordan’s Daughter of the Deep oozes that same style of writing, however, he adds a more mature tone. I’ve always loved Riordan’s novels, and this one was another quick favourite. From the interesting source material, to the fun characters, to the great setting, everything was almost perfect with this novel.
Starting with negatives, I have to say it’s hard to think of any. The main area I wish was that the novel was just longer. This book was a page turner for me, and there were some areas in Daughter of the Deep that I wish they would expand on. For one, I wish they went into some of the characters’ backstories a bit more.
Now, on a positive note, I’ve always loved Riordan’s style of writing. Not only did his style tickle my nostalgia from his other novels, but this time, he added some more mature themes that added to the overall enjoyment of the book. I never read 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but this book has piqued my interest, just like Percy Jackson did for Greek mythology. Besides this, I also enjoyed the plot and the characters. Everything was built up on a solid foundation, and it was fun reading about the adventures of the crew. As I mentioned earlier, this was a page turner, and this was one of the novels I couldn’t stop reading.
Overall, this was a great novel. If Riordan decides to expand this into a series, I would be happy to read more. If not, this was a solid solo novel. If you’ve read Riordan’s past work and enjoyed it, then you will definitely enjoy this one as well.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment in Daughter of the Deep was the introduction of Romeo. I loved the addition of the giant octopus, and it was a nice chance for some character spotlight and development. It also combined some nice comedy to balance out some of the tension in the plot.
Rick Riordan is back and in a big way. Daughter of the Deep is a completely different vibe than most of Rick’s work, and I loved it. It was dark, mysterious, and full of funny moments. The comedy of this one was considerably more dry than any of the Percy Jackson novels, but I thought it worked well with our characters and the way the plot was shaped. As with many Riordan novels, my favourite aspect of this book was just the setting.
The entire underwater world that Rick has created is spectacular. From using multiple Jules Verne novels to shape the lore, to the fantastic underwater terrain our characters cover, the details put into this novel are immaculate. The world-building makes it easy to imagine the different areas of the globe our characters cover, as well as the super cool school to which they belong. Although HP Academy is not in the picture long, I feel it opens some doors towards a nearly Harry Potter like experience, with the different houses and such. It will be interesting to see which route is taken to revive the school, or if it is revived at all.
I thought our characters were really, really good at filling out gaps between each other. If one of the four was lacking in one area, there was a counterpart to pick up that slack. It made for a really cohesive group. While they may not have always got along, their characters meshed really well, and it made it really enjoyable to read. The way they grow together over the course of the novel is fantastic. Ana, Gemini, Ester, and Nelinha are completely different characters by the time the ending rolls around. With this being a series, I am super excited to see where our plot carries our characters.
The plot is really the second best thing about this book. The characters are good, but this plot is what keeps the pages turning. Twists and turns, betrayal and trust, not a lot of love but a ton of hate. All things that make this novel way more engaging, and also things we haven’t seen a lot of out of Rick Riordan. The way we dive nose first into these themes and don’t shy away from any of the more gnarly details is a little bit off-brand, but I thought it added character to the book and really took it a full step away from his other works. Overall, a really smooth sailing plot that only catches itself a couple times with no major plot holes after the first reading.
This is probably the best Rick Riordan novel I have read yet, and I loved the Percy Jackson books. From subs to torpedoes, this feels like a darker, more realistic Percy Jackson, with a deeper cast of characters. It’s such a fun book, and it flies by once you get into it. Don’t let the first 60 pages or so discourage you, the rest is going to be gone before the third sitting.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
My favourite moment was when Dev came across on the Nautilus’s intercom. It starts a massive tidal wave of things falling into place, and it really sparked the final rising action for the book. Also really surprised me, so that was great too.
This book was one I did not expect to like as much as I did when I first heard it was announced. I knew it had ties to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea but nothing else. Upon reading this book I thought it was awesome. I don’t really have any negatives for the book besides the humour which I found funny but I know it is subjective and some of the jokes could have been thought of as cringy. Other than that, I loved everything about this book. To start with, the world is well established right from the beginning. Harding-Pencroft Academy is an interesting school and I love the dynamic of the houses each having a different specialty, reminds me of another HP I love. The book also jumps straight into the action with an attack on the school by HP’s rivals and from there it is an action packed and high stakes thrill ride with a lot of twists that keep you engaged. I found that the book was a page turner and I constantly wanted to know what happened next which is always a compliment. The characters are all wonderful and well developed as well. Rick Riordan has always been a good establishing character. Ana Dakkar is a great protagonist. I love seeing her reluctance to lead transform throughout the novel and I like her sense of humour. I think she has a really good arc in the story of stepping out of the shadows that really makes her character relatable. Her two best friends Ester and Nelinha are really great and I like the way that they bounce off of Ana and support her in different ways. I thought this book was surprisingly mature and dark with a lot of talk of death and potential murder. The action was well described and it was sprinkled well throughout the book.
All in all, this was a fantastic novel that I would recommend to any kid or adult with a sense of adventure.
Favourite Moment (Spoilers):
When Ana first took control of the Nautilus I thought it was really cool and I really liked seeing how the freshmen worked as a real crew.