The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte
The second novel from Melbourne author Astrid Scholte is a thrilling fantasy murder mystery that is impossible to put down. The setting is a post-climate change world which has completely flooded, leaving only a few islands remaining. Many millions died and the survivors primarily live on giant floating rafts. Many earn a living by diving off the reefs looking for sunken treasures from the old world.
Alternating chapters are written from the perspective of Tempest, who lost her parents and then her sister to drowning, and Lor, who has been in hiding for two years after causing the death of a friend. They meet at Palindromena, a high-end scientific facility that allows rich patrons to revive the dead for 24 hours to say their last goodbyes. When Tempest revives her dead sister to find out what really happened to their parents it sets off a thrilling, challenging adventure that changes everyone’s life forever and reveals some stark truths about Palindromena.
This is an intoxicating thriller set in an unusual world that raises interesting ideas about loyalty, family and fate. There is also fun, feisty banter between the two main characters that hints at romance. Highly recommended for all readers of young adult novels aged 12+.