‘Daughter of the Deep’ Spoiler-Free Review: Rick Riordan Takes Readers on an Action-Packed Voyage

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Disney Hyperion

New York Times bestselling author Rick Riordan turns the proverbial page from his time in the Percy Jackson universe to a triumphant new story in Daughter of the Deep. In these pages lay rich witty banter, clever storytelling, and action-packed adventure that will have fans swearing they can feel the cool ocean water on their skin. Set completely outside the world of mythology, Riordan instead draws his inspiration from Jules Vernes’ classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and asks a fascinating question: what if that tale were real? Readers will find out what that might mean for the world, for technology, and for the freshman class of Harding-Pencroft Academy.

If you aren’t familiar with the classic novel, don’t worry. Riordan effortlessly weaves in the details of the Nautilus and its adventures throughout Daughter of the Deep. Readers won’t miss a beat as they dive deep into the unknown with Ana Dakkar and her loyal crew who happen to be comprised of only freshmen. When a terrible tragedy strikes HP (Harding-Pencroft Academy), Ana and her classmates’ lives are spared thanks to their off campus weekend class trials. The lone professor with them informs Ana that their rival school, Land Institute, and HP have been in a century-long feud and she is at the center of it. Ana is thrust into the Captain’s seat as she uncovers the truth of her heritage as a living descendent of Captain Nemo Dakkar and what that means for her future.

Ana isn’t a perfect captain and doesn’t believe herself to be a natural leader, but she steps into the role by utilizing every crew members’ unique gifts where they are most needed. On the surface, this is an adventure tale but Riordan asks important questions about the nature of good, evil, and that all-important gray area in which so much of the world exists. Is anything inherently good or does it simply depend on who is telling the story? Ana’s journey finds her own viewpoints and knowledge challenged repeatedly allowing for excellent character growth. She’ll also have to ask whether HP’s choice to limit the release of Nemo’s technological discoveries to the world was the right one.

The fast-paced adventure will keep readers engaged from the first pages to the last and certainly leave you hoping we’ll see more of Ana Daakar and the HP crew in the future. In classic Riordan fashion, readers can expect shocking plot twists and some painful (in a good way) end-of-chapter cliffhangers that demand you keep reading (even it’s 2 a.m. and you really should put it down).

I cannot sing the praises of Daughter of the Deep without also highlighting the fantastic representation seamlessly incorporated in the freshman class of HP. From our heroine Ana who is of Bundeli Indian descent to her best friend Nahlina of Brasileira parda decent and the endearing Ester, who’s autistic, and her emotional support dog Top, I could go on and on about the diversity within this book. It feels as if there is someone to represent everyone within the pages of Daughter of the Deep, a refreshing and important step within YA literature and one that Riordan is known for in his writing. Riordan’s efforts to continue writing inclusively is one of the many reasons fans love him.

Daughter of the Deep is an exhilarating must read for fans of all ages! The book is available for pre-order now and will hit shelves everywhere on October 5.

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By Brianna
Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09
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