ARC Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

The Abyss Surrounds Us (ARC)

By: Emily Skrutskie

Pages: 288

Published: February 8th, 2016

Published by: Flux

Format: e-book

Source: NetGalley

My Rating: 5/5 stars


“For Cassandra Leung, bossing around sea monsters is just the family business. She’s been a Reckoner trainer-in-training ever since she could walk, raising the genetically-engineered beasts to defend ships as they cross the pirate-infested NeoPacific. But when the pirate queen Santa Elena swoops in on Cas’s first solo mission and snatches her from the bloodstained decks, Cas’s dream of being a full-time trainer seems dead in the water.There’s no time to mourn. Waiting for her on the pirate ship is an unhatched Reckoner pup. Santa Elena wants to take back the seas with a monster of her own, and she needs a proper trainer to do it. She orders Cas to raise the pup, make sure he imprints on her ship, and, when the time comes, teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.

But Cas has fought pirates her entire life. And she’s not about to stop.”


Add THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US on Goodreads here!

I received this as an advanced reader’s copy from NetGalley and Flux in exchange for an honest review.
The Abyss Surrounds Us was my second full-length novel of the year and boy, if my reads keep being this amazing, 2016 will definitely be my best year of reads. Why? Because The Abyss Surrounds us was absolutely stellar and deserves my very solid rating of 5/5 stars due to its amazing characters and relationships which were unfolded throughout the story.

Let’s start off with the amazing characters in this story who were all so diverse and well-written. Our main character, Cas Leung, is Chinese American with a Cantonese background who is super bad-ass and can train these huge turtle monsters called Reckoners. She begins off as shy and not well outspoken, but by the end of the novel, she’s developed into a strong human who speaks out about what she thinks is right. Not only could I relate to her on a very personal aspect, but I could easily see her reasoning behind every action she took. The rest of the side characters were as equally diverse and well-written as well, ranging in different backgrounds and ethnicity.

Drawn by the author herself, some of the side characters from The Abyss Surrounds Us!

Ooooh! And guess what?? This book has a queer characters and a main lesbian couple! The first that I’ve read in a YA novel! Very exciting especially since it was written very well! The romance was a slow burn one where I was shouting things like “JUST KISS ALREADY” multiple times throughout the book! To avoid spoiling it, least be said, the romance and relationships were amazingggg and I can’t wait to see it develop in the next book!

I personally really liked the world-building in this novel! I found it very intriguing to see how our world has changed to become the one in The Abyss Surrounds Us. Oh, this is sort of a future!Earth where the water levels have risen! Yes, so very intrigued, though, I will be awaiting the sequel for more world-building!

I think my only complaint about this one is that I felt it was a little short. At only 288, I was able to finish this one in less than three sittings and was immediately craving more. I mean, AT LEAST WRITE IT LONGER IF IT’S THIS GOOD.


Final Verdict:

The Abyss Surrounds Us was so, so, so good. An adventurous of a girl finding understanding for those who she thought were her enemies for all of her life, and grows to defend herself and those she love. It will definitely be one of my favourite books I read in 2016.

THE ABYSS SURROUNDS US releases on February 8th, 2016.



Will you be reading The Abyss Surrounds Us?



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