Deep Roots

Ruthanna Emrys. Tor.com, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9093-6
Emrys extends her homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” begun in Winter Tide, with this absorbing continuation of that tale’s treatment of cultural identities in conflict. Aphra Marsh, a descendent of amphibious folk who were routed by the Feds from their hometown of Innsmouth in 1929, returns to team up with FBI agent Ron Spector and his investigative team in Brooklyn, this time to track down runaway Freddy Laverne, a teenager whose developing “Innsmouth look” betrays his heritage. For Aphra, Freddy represents a hope for rebuilding Innsmouth and sustaining her people’s bloodline. But Freddy has been seduced to the cause of the Outer Ones, otherworldly visitors whose cryptic plans to “save what can be saved of humanity” portend dire consequences for all Earth-inhabiting races. Emrys sets her tale in 1949, in the wake of World War II, and presents Aphra’s poignant quest to save her race in the context of that era’s many displaced persons and cultures. Fans will enjoy her numerous subtle references to Lovecraft’s stories and her dexterous use of his tales’ set pieces for her own imaginative goals. Agent: Cameron McClure, Donald Maass Literary. (July)
Reviewed on: 05/21/2018
Release date: 07/10/2018
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