- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: St. Martins Press-3PL; Reprint edition (12 June 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0765398087
- ISBN-13: 978-0765398086
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.1 x 21 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 308 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 202,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Winter Tide Paperback – 12 Jun 2018
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PRAISE FOR WINTER TIDE
"Winter Tide is a weird, lyrical mystery -- truly strange and compellingly grim. It's an innovative gem that turns Lovecraft on his head with cleverness and heart" --Cherie Priest, author of Maplecroft and Boneshaker
"A mythos yarn that totally reverses the polarity on Lovecraft's xenophobia, so that in the end the only real monsters are human beings." --Charles Stross, Hugo Award-winning author of the Laundry Files and the Merchant Princes series
"Winter Tide is a treasure chest. This is an excellent novel and I can't wait for more." --Victor LaValle, author of The Ballad of Black Tom and The Devil in Silver
"This is Wicked for the Cthulhu Mythos: never quite contradicting, but dancing through the shadows and dredging beautiful things out of the deep, pulling them, at last, into the light." --Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Every Heart a Doorway
"I just want to hang out more with Aphra and her found family, not to mention her family under the sea. [Winter Tide] is a great story and a seamless subversion of Lovecraft's most repellent views while simultaneously being a tribute to his greatest accomplishments." --Smart Bitches Trashy Books
"Emrys plots out an impressive book that updates Lovecraft's creations with added nuance and empathy." --Andrew Liptak, The Verge
"Deeply felt, humane...exceptionally compelling." --RT BookReviews Top Pick, 4 1/2 Stars
"Winter Tide is a delicious, rich concoction that centers its story on its characters." --Kirkus Reviews
"A generous novel, a kind one, and an exceptionally accomplished debut." --Liz Bourke for Locus Magazine
"Relevant and resonant." --Publishers Weekly
"Emrys uses the beautiful structures of Lovecraft to make a bold statement about difference and culture." --Booklist
"[I] will certainly be looking forward to anything else written by Ruthanna Emrys. [An] intriguing and welcoming book." --Forbidden Planet
"Winter Tide is a haunting, beautifully-crafted ballad exploring love, loss, and monsters." --Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper and Midnight Taxi Tango
"An engrossing story about othering and family that turns Lovecraft fascinatingly inside out." --Jo Walton, Hugo Award-winning author of Among Others and The Just City
"Winter Tide shines an unexpected light on the shadow over Innsmouth, and shows how all creatures have to find common ground (or ocean) against evil." --Alex Bledsoe, author of Long Black Curl
"Emrys has done what Lovecraft never could -- create complex characters in an intricate plot that engages the heart at the same time as it curdles the blood." --Sam J. Miller, winner of the Shirley Jackson Award
PRAISE FOR "THE LITANY OF EARTH"
"'The Litany of Earth' by Ruthanna Emrys is something special... a fascinating spin on the Cthulhu Universe." --Charlie Jane Anders, author of All the Birds in the Sky
"What if Lovecraft's undersea creatures were not creepy monsters, but a persecuted people? [...] Emrys does justice to the idea in this lovely story of alienation and finding a new life in the shadow of the old." --Aliette de Bodard, author ofThe House of Shattered Wings
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Ruthanna Emrys has given me back Innsmouth. To say more would not do justice to her work in cultivating a world where the FBI doubts itself and sees shadows of fascism in what it has done, and may still do. Aphra Marsh is the hero our culture needs.
A timely novel, and a joy to read. A love of the Mythos is recommended and certainly rewarded. I await more from the author with great anticipation.
Aphra and her brother Marsh are the only survivor of the government’s 1928 Innsmouth. In the desert camps, Aphra watched family, friends and neighbors die, far from the sea and the gods they worshiped. Eventually, the government forgot about Aphra and her brother, and they were released along with all the Japanese American families who’d been placed in internment camps during World War II. The FBI agent Aphra reluctantly helped in the short story that spawned Winter Tide, “The Litany of Earth” (which is available for free on Tor.com and also included in my edition of Winter Tide) once more seeks her aid. FBI agent Ron Spector fears that Communist operatives have stolen magical secrets from Miskatonic University. Aphra agrees to go with him, also realizing this could be a chance to regain some of the history she’s lost.
Something obvious to know about Winter Tide: it is working with the Lovecraftian mythos. I have never read Lovecraft, although I have read a few other stories using the mythos (The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe being an excellent one). However, I didn’t find my ignorance of the Lovecraft canon an impediment to enjoying Winter Tide. Emrys explains what needs to be explained. As Aphra is often surrounded with those less aware of the supernatural, there’s plenty of natural points for the narrative to do so without feeling like an info dump.
It took me a while to get into Winter Tide. I suppose it partly could have been due to my having no idea there was a short story that introduced the characters (for the record, I don’t think you need to have read “The Litany of Earth” before Winter Tide). However, I suspect it’s just because Winter Tide is a slower paced, more reflective sort of story. Winter Tide is a story focused on and driven by its characters.
Aphra may have lost all of her original family but Caleb, but she’s slowly building a new family around her. In the camps, a Japanese American family took her and her brother in, and her adopted sister travels with her to Miskatonic University. In San Francisco, where Aphra lives at the start of Winter Tide, she has found employment with a bookshop owner interested in the magical arts and has taken him on as an apprentice. In the course of Winter Tide, she finds others she feels some sort of affinity for, people marginalized and barred from power. If that doesn’t already tell you, Winter Tide has a diverse cast of characters who vary in race, religion, disability, and sexual orientation. I always love it when historical fiction represents the true diversity of the past.
On a related note, Emrys has said in interviews that Aphra is asexual. I’ll admit, that was part of why I picked up Winter Tide. While there where a few passages that I could understand through this knowledge of Aphra as ace, there’s not enough for it to be textually explicit. While there is no romance in Winter Tide, I have no clue as to whether or not Aphra is aro. Hopefully, we’ll see more of Aphra’s orientations in the sequel, but I wouldn’t recommend Winter Tide if you’re specifically looking for representation. Luckily, there’s plenty else to love about the book.
In short, I found Winter Tide to be a particularly impressive debut novel, and I loved the theme of found family. I want the sequel right away! Too bad I have to wait until this summer.
What I got: Cosmic Horror completely replaced with generic secret world style literature that bears little to no resemblance in feel to the source material.
If you're looking for updated Mythos, look elsewhere. If you wish the Mythos was Dresden Files... This'll probably do it for you. I'm not especially pleased with it, as the setting comes with certain expectations it did nowhere near enough to expel.
Turns cosmic horror into cosmic bureaucracy.
No one loves every part of a book, and I can nitpick: two teens drawn into the story have less depth than the other characters, and the ending, despite imaginatively drawn clashes of magic and will, seems a bit limp at the very end. That said, the originality and beauty of this novel will carry readers to the end and leave them wondering what lies in the future.