Friday, September 18, 2015

The Litany of Earth, by Ruthanna Emrys

Allen Williams, May 2014

It's a few years after the end of World War II, and Aphra Marsh is living in San Francisco. She's living with a family that, like her own, spent the war locked up as possible threats, despite neither guilt nor evidence, solely based on group identity.

The Kotos are Japanese-Americans.

Aphra Marsh is something else, as her family was. The greatest cruelty they were subjected to was isolation from the sea.

With most of her family and all their possessions gone, and having lived too much of her life in captivity, Aphra doesn't have as complete an education in their ways as she would like. There may be more texts than the pitiful few she has recovered hidden away at Miskatonic University, but she'll never be able to get access to them.

But somewhere along the way she meets an old bookseller, who in the back room of his shop has his own private collection of materials--some real, some fakes--and a great desire to learn.

Into this sometimes fragile new life, an FBI agent walks, and threatens to upend her life again.

This is an interesting and extremely well-done take on the Cthulu mythos, and I very much enjoyed the unfolding of Aphra's identity and personality, as well as her relationship with the bookseller and the Kotos.


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