Rick Riordan’s stand alone novel Daughter of the Deep (DOTD) was nothing short of the hype and praise it received upon release. I found myself so enthralled by this world that I’ve added the books that inspired the story – Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Mysterious Island – to my reading list.
Bar two minor issues I had with the book – which I’ll get to further down, it was a great novel! In typical Rick Riordan fashion, Riordan was able to re-imagine the stories in which this is based with a modern twist, bringing the original 19th century book into the 21st century.
The story centres on the last descendant of Captain Nemo’s (Ana Dakkar’s) discovery of the Nautilus as she attempts to safeguard it from those who would use its tech for their own selfish wants.
The book pays respect to Verne’s original futuristic concept – which at the time was unheard of and set the tone for the development of underwater exploration in the years to come. Riordan does this by having Captain Nemo’s tech maintain its advanced status in his modern iteration of the story.
The recurring theme of inclusiveness in Riordan’s books plays its part in DOTD through an array of characters hailing from different cultures – which makes sense given how globalised and multi cultured the world has become. Furthermore he dives into the inner workings of his 14 year old female protagonist, dealing with themes beyond the basic we see in most female protagonists – yes he deals with period pain, which is a very real issue for women both young and old.
The plot itself is quite strong and will keep you wanting to stay up ‘five more minutes’ to read the next chapter, especially in the latter end of the book where the plot twists and battles live.
Riordan showcases his writing ability in turning the Nautilus into an a.i. character. He brings the supposedly inanimate vessel to the life through original means, turning the ship into the 19th crew member. And in typical Riordan fashion he does this with a comedic flourish. Additionally he somehow makes a cooking orangatun a believable character, yes you read that correctly, he writes so well that I wasn’t even phased by the idea of an orangatun being the crew’s chef.
I only really had two very minor problems with the book and when I think about it, it’s just one extended point. I found the start to be slow (the the rest of the book is enjoyably fast paced however). I felt like there was too much ‘I’ and ‘my’ internal monologue in the opening chapters, making it a clunky read. But don’t let that dissuade you as the book does ease out of the ‘clunkiness’ when plot progresses.
This novel really cements Riordan’s place as one of the top Young Adult author’s in the world in recent years. It shows his versatility as he is more than just a mythology story teller. It’s a gripping tale that makes you an honorary member of the Nautilus crew suspending you in periods of fear, shock, laughter and excitement. If you haven’t already read it i recommend you head to your local book store, or as I did go online and grab a copy of the eBook.
The Lost Artefacts
If you like the Rick Riordan books then you’ll love The Lost Artefacts series.
Runner up in the 2021 TCK Publishing Reader’s Choice Awards!