Dec 22, 2016fineplan rated this title 5 out of 5 stars
I don't think I have the words to explain how much I loved this book. I can't wait for more!
Emrys builds upon Lovecraft's work in the most interesting ways. I love how she simultaneously is not bound by the source material and does not contradict it. Sure, her Innsmouth inhabitants were not as they were described in the story, but the story is also not told from their point of view. Emmys doesn't stop with just those peoples, either. She brings in elements from many Lovecraft tales, weaving together a narrative that feels more coherent and rich -- even though there are still unimaginable horrors aplenty.
The story's pace is often slow, but in the right ways. It enhances the character arc and the tone of the book so well. There's also this low, but steady tension that may not often reach nail biting levels, but does create an extremely satisfying, ever-present feeling of paranoia. It's hard to know who to trust, but even if a character seems suspicious, it's still plenty possible to adore them.
Speaking of characters, I was quite impressed that, despite the number of central characters, they were all handled so well. I feel like I really got to know them all. In addition, the amount of diversity present in the book is incredibly satisfying.
I don't consider this a tale of cosmic horror, like a traditional Lovecraft story. Rather, it explores the aftermaths of human horrors and, perhaps, the beginnings of new ones -- but through the eyes of people who are labeled horrible or deficient or amoral or whatever other label people use to justify treating others poorly.
It's just such a beautiful, moving, fascinating work. Like I said, I absolutely loved it.