Friday, 28 January 2011

Deepwater Black Review

Deepwater Black
-       Ken Catran
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books
First Published in New Zealand 1992, published in Great Britain in 1995
There’s an enemy within! Yonna needs Robbie to fight it. But Robbie’s from Earth – he doesn’t belong on a spaceship, thousands of years in the future. Or does he? What precious cargo does Deepwater carry in her hidden chambers? Who set her on an unknown course? And what has happened to Earth? Robbie and Yonna must find the enemy set on destroying the spaceship. Then they’ll know the truth about their mission. And the horrifying secret about themselves.
I first read this book about 15 years and loved it so much I’ve never been able to throw the book away despite multiple clear outs of my book shelves. I haven’t read for a long time now but picked up as part of the YA of the 80s and 90 challenge I’m participating in.
Wow. I still love this book! Even after 15 years the book feels exciting and full of adventure. It starts with Robbie sitting in school when a girl with blond and red hair appears with a laser gun and says she needs him on Deepwater. And no-one else can see her. From there we follow Robbie as he struggles to distinguish between realities on a spaceship fighting trites, jel and other colour space monsters. In addition to staying alive, Robbie and Yoona also have to discover what Deepwater’s mission is and why the spaceship only has six teenagers on board. This central mystery is a fantastically adult twist when solved and one of the reasons I love this book so much. It captured my imagination and I’ve never really forgotten it – but rereading the book reminded me of how well written the story is. There’s no padding – only 185 pages of fun, scares and friendship. Highly recommended!
Recommended for fans of Beth Revis and Michael Grant. 9 out of 10.

The Book Vixen's YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge Book 2/12
YA of the 80s and 90s Reading Challenge


  1. I've wanted to read the Deepwater stuff for, well, over a decade now, ever since getting hooked on the Deepwater Black TV show back in the 90s. The books are a pain to find, though, and I have yet to be able to track down a copy in good condition.

    I've heard the book's very different from the show, too, and your synopsis pretty much confirms that. Still, it makes me tingle with nostalgia to think about reading it someday!

  2. This sounds like a fun book. I don't think I've heard of this one. I'll have to see if the library has it. Love the graphic... but shouldn't it be a boom box or something? lol

  3. @Tead & Tomes - I never saw the TV series but from what I understand there were big differences. In the books the kids are all 14 years old, so pretty young! Hope you get hold of a copy soon as it's a good read! :)

    @Melissa - the graphic is great - I'm palnning oin reviewing all three books in the Deepwater Trilogy and wait until you see the other colours! :)

  4. Reading your review is like listening to myself. Being an outsider as a kid, Deepwater Black made me feel like somewhere out there, I have friends (Awesome multi-colored cloned ones from Mars and Jupiter hahahaha).

    I just received a second-hand copy via Amazon - when I'd read it, I loaned it from the library.

    Thanks for the review.
    "No more mistakes." :)