Friday, July 20, 2018

Review: Deep Roots

Deep Roots Deep Roots by Ruthanna Emrys
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aphra Marsh's quest of resettling Innsmouth to New York, where her confluence runs into a snag: two factions of Outer Ones!

I enjoyed Winter Tide quite a bit so I pre-ordered this. Oddly enough, I was approved for an ARC on Netgalley AND a friend gave me the ebook as a birthday gift on the day it shipped. The stars were right that day.

Anyway, Aphra Marsh's goal of repopulating Innsmouth brings her to New York. She discovers a family with Innsmouth blood only to find the son has joined a cult led by a group of Outer Ones, aka The Mi-Go, aka The Fungi from Yuggoth. Arpha Marsh and her friends are caught in the middle of two rival factions with humanity's fate in the balance.

As with Winter Tide, there's a lot to enjoy here. Ruthanna Emrys takes some Lovecraftian concepts and fleshes them out, taking them away from Lovecraft's fear of the unknown roots. The Mi-Go are a lot more than one-dimensional monsters in this tale, given three (or more, if you want to get non-Euclidean about it) dimensions. The ghouls are also fleshed (heh) out quite a bit, given something of a culture.

The characters are a far cry from Lovecraft's, not falling to pieces with the first brush with the unknown, probably because all of them are part of the unknown to some degree. Charlie is gay in an era where it's nowhere near as acceptable as today and also studies magic. Aphra is one of the last of the Deep Ones. Catherine was host to a Yith. Audrey has something different in her heritage.

The jaunts to the Dreamlands and the trek into the Outer Ones' mine were cool set pieces. The magic system is one of the things I like the best in this series. Magic isn't free and takes its toll. Aphra's learning quite a bit but isn't coming through unscathed by any means.

As I've said many times before, I like the stuff inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft more than the works themselves. Ruthanna Emrys' humanized Lovecraftian fiction is some of the best out there. Four out of five stars.

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