Review: Gathering Deep

NER REVIEWS (GatheringDeep)

Spinning Starlight

Author: Lisa Maxwell
Release Date: October 8th, 2015
Publisher: Flux
Pages: 336 (Paperback)
Format: PDF
 YA | Fantasy | Witches
Idiom: English
Series: Sweet Unrest #2
Read: from August 25 to September 2, 2015
Source & Shelf: NetGalley | Kobo
ISBN: 9780738745428
3 Cups


When Chloe Sabourin wakes in a dark, New Orleans cemetery with no memory of the previous days, she can hardly believe the story her friends tell her. They say Chloe was possessed by a witch named Thisbe, who had used the darkest magic to keep herself alive for over a century. They tell her that the witch is the one responsible for the unspeakable murders that nearly claimed the life of Chloe’s friend, Lucy. Most unbelievable of all, they say that Thisbe is Chloe’s own mother. As she struggles with this devastating revelation and tries to rebuilt her life, Chloe wants nothing to do with the magic that corrupted her mother…especially since she feels drawn to it.

Now, a new series of ritualistic killings suggests that Thisbe is plotting again, and Chloe is drawn unwillingly back into the mystical underworld of the French Quarter. To stop Thisbe before she kills again, Chloe and her friends must learn what they can from the mysterious Mama Legba. But when her boyfriend Piers vanishes, Chloe will have to risk everything and embrace her own power to save the one person she has left… even if that means bringing down her mother.

My Opinion

Disclaimer: Thank you NetGalley and Flux for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Sweet Unrest was one of my favourite books from last year. I loved it so much I had to get Lisa Maxwell as a guest-post for my read-a-thon. I was so happy when she accepted my invitation I was simply over the moon. If you haven’t seen her guest-post, check out her places to visit in New Orleans here.

I was surprised when I realised that Gathering Deep worked as a sequel to Sweet Unrest but through another character’s perpective. Whereas in Sweet Unrest we met Lucy and read her story, now we got the chance to meet Chloe deeper, to know her side of the story. Though it was an interesting point-of-view, Chloe didn’t convinced me as much as Lucy had done in the previous book.

Actually, Gathering Deep was not my favourite book in this series. And I truly blame on the short period of time the book is set and also Chloe. I mean, Chloe was a great character, but her voice didn’t touched me as much as Lucy’s. A pity really since having the opportunity to read Chloe’s version had me super excited.

In Gathering Deep we pick up after the events of Sweet Unrest. Chloe had been possessed by a spirit called Thibe who was in fact her own mother. She doesn’t remember anything at all and she struggles with it. Not to mention that the fact that all her reality becomes shattered with the discoveries of her mother’s dark side. And while Chloe has to deal with that, she realises that something supernatural is happening to her and when bodies with strange markings begin to appear in New Orleans, she suspects that her mother might be behind it.

Chloe was a character I had previously enjoyed and had actually hoped to know more about her. Unfortunately, there was something lacking in her character in this book, something that didn’t feel right about her perspective. Of course that in the beginning of the book we are too sympathetic towards her due to the fact that she doesn’t remember what happened. But that sympathy soon changes and I found myself struggling with her character. There were moments when she was so confused, that she was so uncertain about what to do that I got tired. However, her determination was something I did in fact enjoy. Not to mention the fact that she would place others before her. I liked that trait in her. 

Her relationship with her boyfriend, Piers, changed so suddenly from the first book and we owe it to the events of Sweet Unrest and Chloe’s confusion. She kind of treats him slightly bad in the begin, feeling that he’s being too protective. I found that she did not understand how much he cared for her. And that nagged me a little bit. Plus, the possible love-triangle in the book (though I’m totally fine with triangles) felt slightly forced and unnecessary. I’m still hoping for another sort of development towards this particular part of the story and if there’s another sequel/companion, I hope to see Piers and Chloe’s old sparkle back.

The visions that Chloe had were, for me, the best part of the book. I loved reading them. The fact that we got to know so much more about Thisbe and Roman was amazing and I wanted more. I’m hoping for some sort of novella or even a specific book about Thisbe’s past. 

Of course that the writing, the story and the setting were simply amazing. Lisa Maxwell really knows how to make you feel the creepiness crawl under your skin with just a few words. The way she describes pretty much everything is beautiful and I’ve never been so curious about visiting New Orleans as I am now thanks to her books. 

Overall, Gathering Deep works fine as a companion novel to Sweet Unrest but for me it didn’t reach the same level as the first book. Maybe it was the whole amnesia that Chloe suffered and the fact that book happens in a couple of days. I felt it slightly rushed. Still, a nice book for those who continue to wish a great Voodoo story set in the South with creepy tales and supernatural elements.



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