Reviews for Five Fathoms Beneath

This is a list of blogs/reviews for my novel, Five Fathoms Beneath. If you write a review for my novel, I’d be grateful and happy to provide you a link back to your site. I also occasionally write book reviews (if you’re a fellow author) and give shout outs to valuable services and service providers. Just ask.

The following excerpts from reviews are reproduced under fair use and/or with the permission of the website/reviewer.

Indie Brag Medallion.

We are proud to announce that FIVE FATHOMS BENEATH by J.R. Alcyone is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!


Wishing Shelf Award.

‘A well-polished novel with strong characterisation. A FINALIST and highly recommended.’ The Wishing Shelf Book Awards.


Keith Alan, Mitusents.

Crisp, well written and engaging while dealing with a very hard subject. 

Readers Favorite.

J.R. Alcyone writes with fluid prose and serious heart in recounting this tale of medical drama, family obligations and dealing with the darker side of life and death.

Five Fathoms Beneath gives just a dash of supernatural belief to a compelling contemporary story with real dramas that test the mettle of the human condition … a highly recommended read for drama fans.

Independent Book Review (click to read a PDF copy of the full review).

If you’re looking for feel-good fiction, look no further than Five Fathoms Beneath. Sure, it’s a story of a young doctor battling depression. Also, yes, his father commits suicide. But when I said feel-good, I meant it. Thanks to J.R. Alcyone, it’s easy to recognize that there’s hope for our main character, and that really, there’s plenty for us too. …. Five Fathoms Beneath tackles many hearty themes throughout its pages. The relationship between fathers and sons may be the most prevalent, but perhaps Alcyone’s best work comes in how she deals with the topic of mental illness. It impacts all those around Alec and Ambrose: from significant others to children to patients. Alcyone does a wonderful job in illuminating the sometimes-invisible signs of mental illness while offering up productive new ways for the reader to feel hope. 

Publisher’s Daily Review.

Five Fathoms Beneath is a superb piece of storytelling on a level with the best of John Irving. A richly layered novel that delves deeply into what it means to be the only child of a devoted mother and an impossibly gifted father, the writing is lyrical — achingly so in places — and the characterization is spot on, allowing each player to make the very most of his or her role in the drama as it unfolds.

And unfold it does, suddenly and viscerally, bending the reader over emotionally with a story-altering development midway through. Other reviewers may choose to disclose this sea change in the book’s progression. We will, rather, leave it for discovery by readers of this desperately important work of fiction and say only this:

There is a vital understory here that reemphasizes the ongoing need even today, almost a quarter way through the otherwise enlightened 21st century, to recognize mental disorders for what they are: chemical imbalances that can change one’s very soul and impel life-altering decisions in a nanosecond.

The black dog of depression is no respecter of age, race, gender or profession. It deals out its debilitating consequences with little regard to whether you are a stay-at-home mom or a brilliant medical professional.

This is the story of one man’s determined quest to outdistance these dark demons that are sometimes laid down in our DNA, genetically impossible to ignore and often influencing our every waking thought.

Literary Titan.

By the author’s own admission, this is a book about mental illness. Although that theme is the brain that allows it to exist and function, family is at the heart of the story. As long as the reader knows him, Brose’s decisions, and his battle with his own depression, are framed within the context of his relationships. He is constantly checking himself against his father’s perceived shortcomings while trying to keep the appearance of normalcy for the sake of his family. Those relationships also provide an anchor.

This book was engaging, well paced, had extremely well written characters, and never patronized or hid from its difficult subject matter.