Review: Deep Dive by Ron Walters

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Pre-order here: Angry Robot, Amazon

Synopsis:

When your reality shatters, what will you do to put it back together again?

Still reeling from the failure of his last project, videogame developer Peter Banuk is working hard to ensure his next game doesn’t meet the same fate. He desperately needs a win, not only to save his struggling company, but to justify the time he’s spent away from his wife and daughters.

So when Peter’s tech-genius partner offers him the chance to beta-test a new state-of-the-art virtual reality headset, he jumps at it. But something goes wrong during the trial, and Peter wakes to find himself trapped in an eerily familiar world where his children no longer exist.

As the lines between the real and virtual worlds begin to blur, Peter is forced to reckon with what truly matters to him. But can he escape his virtual prison before he loses his family forever?

Review:

My favorite way to go into some books is blind. I did not read much about the story except a quick skim of the synopsis, picking out keys words instead of an idea of the story. I did know that this would be good because Deep Dive is being published by Angry Robot and their quality of books has been elite.

 I started the first few pages of the novel and I was hooked. Peter Banuk is trying to save his video game development company from bankruptcy because their last project bombed. His balance between home and work life does not exist, and before he knows it, Peter is going to work on his daughter’s birthday to test an experimental virtual reality headset. The next thing he knows, Peter is waking up in the middle of the night in his truck to a life that does not look familiar at all. The rest of the novel is him trying to figure out what has happened and how he was going to return to his family, while many people are trying to stop him from talking, by any means necessary. While he tries to navigate his new reality, he is also trying to figure out how to get back home to his wife and children. This road is filled with danger, secrets, and things he just does not remember, and the peril that he faces keeps the novel moving at a incredibly high speed.

There are many underrated subgenres of horror, some of them not even considered horror at all. Many might not think of Deep Dive as a horror novel, but there is nothing more frightening than the predicament Peter Banuk finds himself in. Technological horror, waking up from an experiment in a life that is not familiar, without any knowledge of why or how you got there, is a very scary proposition to me. The more advanced technology gets, the more likely it is that one of the pieces will malfunction to disastrous results. Even though many people will not think of this first as a horror novel, this fits in with some of the greatest technological horror stories of all time. I think about The Fly with Jeff Goldblum, Videodrome, and Possessor as films that line up with this subgenre of horror. Needless to say, I get sucked into these stories quickly because they all feel like they could happen in the near near future. 

I see Deep Dive as a great sci-fi novel but also a great horror novel. I only thought I was going to read the first few pages that first day, but ended up reading half of it. I read the other half the second day, and I have been trying to get everyone I know to pre-order copies for themselves. This is definitely a novel that can be used as an example of a good technological thriller, but also good technological horror. This makes this story unique and exciting. I could not put it down until the end.

I received this ARC from Angry Robot and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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