Fathom /

by Priest, Cherie.
Published by : Tor ; | Melia [distributor], (New York : | Godalming :) Physical details: 1 v. ; 21 cm. ISBN:9780765321220 (pbk.) :; 076532122X (pbk.) :. Year: 2010 Fiction notes: Click to open in new window
Item type Current location Call number Copy number Status Date due
Books Books British Council Library
813.6 (Browse shelf) 1 Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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 can't complete the ritual without human aid. Arahab's first choice is José Gaspar, a notorious sea pirate from eighteenth-century Spain. But when the task proves too difficultfor Gaspar, she must look elsewhere, biding her time until the 1930's, when the ideal candidate shows up: a slightly deranged teenager named Bernice.

Bernice is sophisticated , torn from New York and forced to spend a miserable summer on Anna Maria Island, a tiny rock off the coast of Florida. She's also been saddled with the companionship of her farm-raised cousin Nia. Eventually, Bernice's disenchantment gives way to rage and she commits a deadly crime. When Nia won't cover for Bernice, she turns on Nia, chasing her into the deadly coastal waves.

But the elementals have better ideas: the moment the girls go under, Bernice is commandeered for Arahab's task force, and Nia is turned into a strange and powerful creature by a servant of the earth who doesn't want to surrender his green fields and muddy plains--not yet , at least. Add in a hapless fire inspector who's 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 doesn't seem quite so sleepy anymore.

With Fathom , Cherie Priest brings her masterful writing and unforgettable characterization to the realm of near-contemporary rural fantasy. The result is fast-paced, stunning, and quite unlike anything you've ever read.

Originally published: 2009.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Long before humans populated Earth, monsters and creatures now regarded as myths roamed the world. The Creator banished or destroyed these terrible creations before turning the world over to the human race, but a few still linger, seeking to regain their sovereignty over the planet. In coastal Florida, a young woman once imprisoned in a statue and a handful of other reluctant heroes stumble headlong into a battle to protect the planet from a return to madness. Priest (Not Flesh Nor Feathers; Wings to the Kingdom; Four and Twenty Blackbirds) again demonstrates her keen eye for detail and ambiance as she re-creates an enchanting part of America as the setting for a tale of horror of biblical proportions. Part fairy tale, part work of modern gothic horror, Priest's latest belongs in most libraries. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Priest's southern gothic Eden Moore trilogy (Four and Twenty Blackbirds, 2005; Wings to the Kingdom, 2006; Not Flesh nor Feathers, 2007) was praised for its atmospheric blend of suspense and supernatural intrigue. Now she visits similar moody territory in Florida in a myth-bending tale about immortal sea creatures. Arahab is a water witch with a singular and malevolent goal: to awaken an ancient sea monster, Leviathan, and restore the earthly reign of ancient gods while extinguishing the human race. Unfortunately, Arahab can't complete the task without a human ally. When the opportunity presents itself in the form of a drowning woman, she grants virtual immortality to murderous, sophisticated young Bernice. What Arahab hasn't counted on, however, is the wiliness of earth's defenders, who transform Bernice's cousin Nia into their own ally and encase her in a stony cocoon until an ultimate showdown between woman and witch. Although Priest's quirky, character-driven yarn becomes mystifyingly outlandish at times, her creative vision is unlike anything else in contemporary fantasy.--Hays, Carl Copyright 2008 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Ancient monsters battle it out using humans as pawns in Priest's latest (Not Flesh Nor Feathers, 2007, etc.). In 1920s Florida, a spirit called Mossfeaster engages architect Edward Bok to build a huge, mysterious tower. Meanwhile, on an island off the state's west coast, hardworking Nia arrives for a visit with her cousin Bernice. But Bernice is dangerously violent, possibly insane, expressing virulent hatred of her shady-businessman stepfather Antonio. During preparations for a party, Bernice stabs Antonio with a cake knife. Since Nia is a witness, Bernice goes after her next. Nia flees into the water. Bernice vanishes, taken by a sea monster named Arahab. When Nia returns to consciousness, she's become a living statue, shrouded in stone. Four years later, Bernice, transformed into an immortal, learns that Arahab has chosen her to help ex-pirate Jos, another of Arahab's servants, rouse Leviathan, Arahab's father, and destroy the world. Meanwhile, insurance agent Sam discovers evidence of black magic rituals on the island. Mossfeaster rouses Nia; once her stone covering is stripped off, she too is immortal, her purpose to counteract Bernice's activities. Bernice and Jos pick up a shell-like artifact that Arahab needs to wake up Leviathan. But Bernice, wanting to enjoy her immortality for a few more years before the world ends, is already scheming to trick Arahab. And Sam must help Mossfeaster get Nia off the island before Arahab can destroy her. Pleasantly offbeat, with plenty of vivid, compelling action sequences, though the plot doesn't withstand too much scrutiny. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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