On the surface, the world is rife with industrial pollution that ruins the health of poor factory workers while the idle rich indulge themselves in unheard-of luxury. Below are goblins, mysterious kingdoms, and an entirely different hierarchy. Desdemona, the spoiled daughter of a rich mining family, is sent down into this kingdom, and must retrieve the tithe of men her father promised to the world below.
Sometimes it can feel as if the world of science fiction and fantasy is nothing but epic tales spanning thousands of pages and dozens of books. And while those reads are enjoyable, sometimes a good novella is just what the librarian ordered ... a perfect palate cleanser ... One of the things that makes Desdemona and the Deep so compelling is that in its scant pages, Cooney manages to sketch the boundaries and vagaries of not just one fantastic world, but of three ... That the three worlds are so distinct would be impressive in a much longer book. Within the confines of novella, it is a feat ... Another thing that makes Cooney’s world building remarkable is that, unlike many fantasy writers, she isn’t content to plop a society much like ours onto a foreign set ... The one drawback to Cooney’s latest novella is also one of the things that makes it so fun: It’s a novella. The shortened format means that Chaz and Desdemona’s story almost feels cut short because we don’t get to see as much of the worlds below as we might in a longer novel. But their journey is still a well-crafted one. A gripping tale from beginning to end, Desdemona and the Deep is a great read for anyone who loves a good fairy story.
Readers will thrill to the extravagant descriptions of Cooney’s worlds, the plot’s socioeconomic allusions to our own world will draw in history buffs, and Desdemona’s strong sense of justice and bravery will lead new fans to Cooney. Though it is marketed as a standalone (and can be read as such), this is Cooney’s third foray into Seafall. A rococo romp through strange and eerily familiar worlds.
... enthralling ... plunges readers deep into a series of haunting, dazzling, and unforgettable multi-worlds ... The richest rewards of this book are for series devotees, but newcomers will still find Cooney’s glittering narrative skills and vivid worldbuilding addictive, her diverse characters intriguing, and her message of justice and freedom stirring. This remarkable and richly detailed adventure is worth savoring.