Cherie Priest, Author
Cherie Priest, Author . Tor $25.95 (380p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1840-4
Reviewed on: 10/27/2008
Release date: 12/01/2008

A decidedly dark departure from Priest’s Eden Moore saga (Four and Twenty Blackbirds , etc.), this stand-alone novel is equal parts horror, contemporary fantasy and apocalyptic thriller. During a summer vacation to her aunt’s coastal Florida home, innocent teen Nia sees her cousin Bernice commit a brutal murder and then get dragged into the ocean by a monstrous water witch. Nia becomes inadvertently entangled in a conflict between primordial creatures that endangers the very existence of humankind. Entombed in stone for countless years, Nia eventually emerges from her cocoon transformed, only to realize that an old god is close to awakening and destroying the world. Priest’s haunting lyricism and graceful narrative are complemented by the solemn, cynical thematic undercurrents with a tangible gravity and depth. This is arguably her most ambitious—and accomplished—work to date. (Dec.)

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