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A deep, dark place where we'd all rather not go

So. As of my writing this review, "Deep Trouble" is the most popular story among those submitted to the current Inkitt horror contest. I guess it's best not to lie: I read this story primarily because I wanted to check out the competition. (There's your full disclosure, first, before anything else.) I entered my own story, DEAD IN BED, only a few days ago - too late to garner very many votes before the competition's close. Still, I wanted to see what kind of horror fiction was out there on Inkitt. And, I have to say, "Deep Trouble" didn't let me down. It captures the quiet horror of isolation that lies very deep beneath the sea. The story is almost ghostly, though it isn't a ghost story at all. It's something finer. Mr. Pradhan's instinct for suspense is admirably attuned. Even if the narrative tends too heavily toward summaries of events which would be better depicted in inkier, blow-by-blow scenes, the story captivates us, inevitably, with a low-grade dread. And it's a dread that builds progressively, with surprisingly satisfying slowness, as the story descends farther below the ocean's surface. We begin with Maxim, a young star of a biology student, who is invited to study mysterious plant life deep below the sea. In a remarkable moment of character development, maxim's mentor, Alvar, turns out be far less professional, and far more reckless, than Maxim had counted on. Soon, Alvar's self-destructive behavior draws the pair toward Maxim's greatest nightmare. And though the culmination may be too abrupt to satisfy, the slow, ratcheting tension that brings us to the denouement is well worth the cost of the ride.

-(Bailey Simms, Author of DEAD IN BED (

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