By: Cynthia Ayala
Fans of the hit ABC show Revenge are going to love this novel. Published May 26, 2015 by Dutton Books for Young Readers, Daughter of the Deep, by bestselling author Carrie Ryan, follows one young girl as she takes on a new identity and implements a plan to undo the lies and damage that has been done to her years ago, scarring her for life.
A slow start for such a novel, but it is still very imaginative for a young adult mystery/thriller. Author Carrie Ryan initially intended for the main protagonist Francis was to reveal the truth of the horrible attack on the boat that stripped her of her innocence, her family and identity. Frances, the protagonist, has one idea, one goal in her new life: to bring down the senator who helped leave her life in ruins. That is what the story is made of, putting an intricate plan into action. There is a lot of telling in the narrative of the story, which detracts from the overall telling of the story. However, that does not hinder the story. While considered an overall faux pas when it comes to writing a novel, considering much of the story is captured in a first person narrative, telling versus showing is the best way to this tale.
Now, as this is a story, you expect the drama alongside the intricate planning, and boy, there is a lot of drama in the novel. Nevertheless, there is an upside: it is not overdone. Ryan has thought of everything as she implemented the events of the book, tying them together. All the pieces of the novel, the plans, the events, the characters and actions, they all fit together. For a novel about revenge, all of those elements have to fit together to create a believable plot. The main reason everything connects so well though is due to the telling; narrative and storytelling are blended together effortlessly by that one element that really makes this story so very cohesive.
However, while the story is constructed and told well, the possibility does exist for Daughter of Deep Silence to be lost in the throng of novels that fit into this specific genre. What keeps this novel separate from others though is the narrative, the characterization. Readers are presented with more than one identity. Frances Mace is two people: herself, her true self that she has locked up deep inside her, the girl who died on the ship when she lost everything that held her to that identity and Elizabeth “Libby” O’Brien, her friend who die, whose father took her in to protect her. Both of these identities have their own lives which presents the readers with a conundrum, pushing them to the edge of their seats because there is no way of knowing which identity it going to win. With two identities fighting each other over their existence, over the past, it’s hard for the reader to know who the protagonist is leaving readers to know her as this: a lost, lonely angry young woman with nothing to lose, and that makes her dangerous, it makes her cunning and captivating.
With all the mystery and emotional distress within this sweet tale of revenge, Daughter of Deep Silence makes for a good read. (★★★☆☆ | B)