Long ago when the Great Waves destroyed the planet, the people left had to learn to survive living on the water. Hundreds of years later seventeen year old Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins below, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn't food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister's life. The research facility on one of the few remaining islands can revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death.
It isn't a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Her sister, Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, she was responsible for the death of their parents, and Tempe wants to know why. Things do not go quite as Tempe expected, once Elysea is awake, she has plans of her own. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents' death and mend their broken bond.
The idea of a world washed away with so few survivors left was instantly intriging. Add to that the idea that life can be restored to the dead for twenty four hours, secrets on top of secrets, and lots of mystery had be devouring this book. Almost the entire story happens in the span of twenty four hours, with each chapter starting with the amount of time left on a deadly countdown. You would think with everyone scrounging to live on the ocean it would not allow for such beautiful sceanery, but thankfully with the imaginitive writing of Astrid Scholte, you would be wrong. Scholte has created a unique world filled with the cold and sterile environment of a lab dealing exclusively with death, the awkward yet impressively beautifully manmade floating structures that serve as towns, and the watery depths of a lost civilization with hidden treasures. If all of this has not convinced you to pick up a copy of The Vanishing Deep, then I only have one word left to sway you, pirates.