Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review of WINTER TIDE by Ruthanna Emrys
WINTER TIDE will clearly be one of my favorites of 2017, and one of my all-time top novels in the Lovecraftian Mythos category. Appropriately in Women in Horror Month (February), I want to acknowledge the influence of two women horror writers, both of whom excel at play in the fields of The Lovecraft Mythos: Ruthanna Emrys, and Caitlin R. Kiernan. The writings of both are truly exceptional.
In WINTER TIDES, I am gifted with all that I seek in fantasy, all that I ask of science fiction, all I could imagine in Lovecraft's universes, and my mind is stretched beyond its usual capacity. Ms. Emrys waives any need for suspension of disbelief. Everything in the novel seems as real and as vivid as anything I might view through my windows. Innsmouth and Arkham; Miskatonic University and its sister institution, the Hall School; body thieving and the various species of humankind (people of the rock; people of the water; people of the air) are so vividly realised as to make them, indeed, real to readers. Even in its post-World War II setting, there are serious overtones reaching back to the U.S.'s interment of Japanese-Americans during that war, and forward to the political witch hunts in the 1950's by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee in their quests to find Communists under each rock, and further to today's political climate and fear/hatred of the unknown (in this case, the “unknown” ethnicities, such as the “fish-folk” formerly of Innsmouth, and any practitioners of magic, and the Yith).
H. P. Lovecraft might in his day have taken exception to the idea of a female writer working in his Mythos, but I for one am very thankful that Ruthanna Emrys has chosen to expand on his foundation. I'll be rereading WINTER TIDES repeatedly, enclosing myself in its literate explications, reveling in the language and in the metaphysics of the Lovecraft Mythos.
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