I cant fathom them, and neither can you.
The ageless water witch Arahab has been scheming for eons, gathering the means to awaken the great Leviathan. She aims to bring him and the old gods back to their former glory, caring little that their ascendance will also mean an end to the human race. However, awakening the Leviathan is no small feat. In fact, Arahab cant complete the ritual without human aid.
Arahabs first choice is José Gaspar, a notorious sea pirate from eighteenth-century Spain. But when the task proves too difficult for Gaspar, she must look elsewhere, biding her time until the 1930s, when the ideal candidate shows up: a slightly deranged teenager named Bernice.
sophisticated, torn from New York and forced to spend a miserable summer on Anna Maria Island, a tiny rock off the coast of Florida. Shes also been saddled with the companionship of her farm-raised cousin Nia. Eventually, Bernices disenchantment gives way to rage, which in turn leads her to commit a deadly crime. When Nia wont cover for Bernices actions, she turns on Nia, chasing her into the deadly coastal waves.
But the timing is right and the elementals have better ideas: the moment the girls go under, Bernice is commandeered for Arahabs task force, and Nia is turned into a strange and powerful new creature by a servant of the earth who doesnt want to surrender his green fields and muddy plainsnot yet, at least. Add in a hapless fire inspector whos just trying to get his paperwork in order, a fire god whose neutrality has been called into question, and a bizarre religious cult, and rural Florida doesnt seem quite so sleepy anymore.
Cherie Priest, who stormed onto the scene with the stunning Southern Gothic trio that began with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, now brings the same masterful writing and unforgettable characterization to the realm of near-contemporary rural fantasy. The result, Fathom, is fast-paced, stunning, and quite unlike anything youve ever read.
"Starred Review. A decidedly dark departure...arguably her most ambitious - and accomplished - work to date." - Publishers Weekly
"Part fairy tale, part work of modern gothic horror, Priest's latest belongs in most libraries." - Library Journal
"Although Priests quirky, character-driven yarn becomes mystifyingly outlandish at times, her creative vision is unlike anything else in contemporary fantasy." - Booklist
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Cherie Priest made her debut with the Eden Moore series of Southern Gothic ghost stories that began with Four and Twenty Blackbirds. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
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