From Below by Darcy Coates: A Review

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Book Review

Sophomore at Brunswick County Early College High school

Grace Cairnie


From Below by Darcy Coates: A Review

It’s time to take a deep dive into Darcy Coates’ newest mystery, From Below

From Below is a horror fiction novel written by Darcy Coates. This thrilling story is set almost entirely underwater, following five divers in their exploration of a sunken ship. This ship, the SS Arcadia, disappeared under mysterious circumstances nearly 100 years before it was finally discovered on the ocean floor 300 miles from its intended course. 

These five divers are on a mission to document the ship’s intricacies and hopefully discover why it sank. Disturbing messages were sent out from the SS Arcadia during its final days, leading to a host of theories attempting to explain the ship’s demise. The only thing those theories never accounted for was if the reason for the ship’s fate should be discovered. As the team delves deeper into the Arcadia’s bowels, it becomes clear that the ship has every intention of increasing its death toll. 

While the story follows the dive team’s exploration, readers get to look at the past from the view of those that sank with the Arcadia. The perspectives from both past and present weave together to mold the terrifying answer to what happened to Arcadia’s passengers. 

But another mystery remains; will the divers escape with their answers or succumb to the ship’s ever-hungry maw?

Switching between perspectives while maintaining a clear storyline is difficult for any author, but Coates handled it masterfully. Every perspective is its own storyline, and by the end, she wove those lines into a fantastic, horrifying design. 

The descriptions are vivid, and the characters are dynamic. This serves to make the book all the more thrilling. They enter the ship hopeful for answers, and by the end, the only thing they hope for is to escape with their lives. 

Every time the reader receives an answer, three more questions appear until the end, where both questions and answers come together to form an intricate, climactic ending. 

This novel is a mystery, thriller, and horror story all in one. I think a fan of any of those genres would thoroughly enjoy this book. Although, I would suggest that anyone who is easily unnerved read it in the daylight.