Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie | Author Stacey Brutger Skip to main content

Review: The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie

I'm shallow…I'll admit that the fabulous cover drew me to this book. When I read the blurb, I desperately wanted to read more. Pirates and seas monsters…what can go wrong?!




Title: The Abyss Surrounds Us

Author: Emily Skrutskie

Genre: Young Adult/Science Fiction

Publisher: Flux via NetGalley

Release date: February 2016

Pages: 290


stars lazyload 25




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 giant, 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.


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 and teach him to fight for the pirates. If Cas fails, her blood will be the next to paint the sea.




Cassandra has spent her whole life surrounded by Reckoners—genetically engineered creatures created to defeat pirates. She never questioned what she would do with her life and quickly became a Reckoner trainer. But on her first mission, things go horribly wrong and she loses everything. Taken captive by pirates, Cassandra must fight for more than her life—she must also fight for the future of Reckoners and their place in the world.


I absolutely adored the beginning of this book. The world building was top-notch, and I enjoyed getting to know Cassandra and her Reckoner. Their connection was heart-wrenching, and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what would happen next. Then, unfortunately, things began to fall apart a little for me. Cassandra's contempt and hatred for the Reckoner pup she was ordered to raise changed my opinion of her. Don't get me wrong, I understood why she didn't want to train the little beastie, but why blame the beast for her problem? Then half way through the book, she decided that she was in love. I don't mind that the romance was f/f, what bothered me was that it came out of the blue. Absolutely no hint or attraction between the characters until now. The whole story changed to a love story and didn't fit the adventure of the first half of the book. While I did like her love interest, I didn't care for Cassandra as much. The nail in the coffin was Cassandra's complete disregard for peoples lives and the life of her Reckoner beast at the end of the book. She didn't care who she killed. She didn't care if her Reckoner died and ultimately discarded the poor beastie without caring for his injuries or if he'd even survived. Boo. Her final decision in the end seemed guided more by guilt than anything else. I think I was expecting more from Cas and ended up disappointed. *major bummer*


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