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Deep Roots

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Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives on land. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy devel Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives on land. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy developers, but as she searches she discovers that people have been going missing. She will have to unravel the mystery or risk seeing her way of life slip away.


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Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives on land. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy devel Aphra Marsh, descendant of the People of the Water, has survived Deep One internment camps and made a grudging peace with the government that destroyed her home and exterminated her people on land. Aphra’s journey to rebuild her life and family on land, as she tracks down long-lost relatives on land. She must repopulate Innsmouth or risk seeing it torn down by greedy developers, but as she searches she discovers that people have been going missing. She will have to unravel the mystery or risk seeing her way of life slip away.

30 review for Deep Roots

  1. 4 out of 5

    Bradley

    I really enjoyed this novel, but let's be real here: this isn't your average Cthulhu monster novel full of mystery and intrigue and reveals that turn your hair white in disbelief. There aren't even 1d6 investigators to throw into the open maw of a multitentacled AND multidimensional immortal beastie! But there are multitentacled and multidimensional immortal beasties, ghouls, Deep Ones, halfbreeds and Creatures of Air. Not to mention strange boxes, a focus on books, legacy, and the ultimate fate I really enjoyed this novel, but let's be real here: this isn't your average Cthulhu monster novel full of mystery and intrigue and reveals that turn your hair white in disbelief. There aren't even 1d6 investigators to throw into the open maw of a multitentacled AND multidimensional immortal beastie! But there are multitentacled and multidimensional immortal beasties, ghouls, Deep Ones, halfbreeds and Creatures of Air. Not to mention strange boxes, a focus on books, legacy, and the ultimate fate of mankind. I mean, the whole thing that comes with a Cthulhu tale is the realization that we're insignificant specks of poop in a disturbed nightmare of a dead but sleeping god. Of *course* our fates are up in the air! But that's where we take our tale out of the norm and place it firmly in the hands of a nuanced and careful character who has been locked away in a concentration camp thanks to her own country, who only wants to read and preserve her culture, who had suffered a massacre of almost all her people on her home soil in Innsmouth. And she's a monster. An immature Deep One. Who likes books and just wants to be left alone. But thanks to the FBI and her folks under the sea and a nightmare of diplomacy with other Outsiders that reckon diplomatic negotiations in terms of 50 thousand years, she's thrown right into a tangled tentacular soup trying to protect the flies (that's us humans) with the super-technologically-advanced multidimensional space-traveling immortals that WE call Lovecraftian horrors. The premise and deep exploration of characters and processes and reveals -- including dreamwalking, magics, and threats from well-meaning gods that think that consuming us is a proper way to preserve us forever --is a perfect delight. It is NOT a humorous tale, however. So fans of Stross' Laundry Files should be forewarned. It is, however, philosophical, ethical, and it tries to answer all the questions about what constitutes MONSTERS. No one is at fault, but the power differentials are immense... and even the flies can sting. I'm perfectly on board for reading this series until the end of time. :) It's deep, clever, and monstrous. :)

  2. 3 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    Aphra Marsh's quest of resettling Innsmouth to New York, where her confluence runs into a snag: two factions of Outer Ones! I enjoyed Winter Tide quite a bit so I pre-ordered this. Oddly enough, I was approved for an ARC on Netgalley AND a friend gave me the ebook as a birthday gift on the day it shipped. The stars were right that day. Anyway, Aphra Marsh's goal of repopulating Innsmouth brings her to New York. She discovers a family with Innsmouth blood only to find the son has joined a cult led Aphra Marsh's quest of resettling Innsmouth to New York, where her confluence runs into a snag: two factions of Outer Ones! I enjoyed Winter Tide quite a bit so I pre-ordered this. Oddly enough, I was approved for an ARC on Netgalley AND a friend gave me the ebook as a birthday gift on the day it shipped. The stars were right that day. Anyway, Aphra Marsh's goal of repopulating Innsmouth brings her to New York. She discovers a family with Innsmouth blood only to find the son has joined a cult led by a group of Outer Ones, aka The Mi-Go, aka The Fungi from Yuggoth. Arpha Marsh and her friends are caught in the middle of two rival factions with humanity's fate in the balance. As with Winter Tide, there's a lot to enjoy here. Ruthanna Emrys takes some Lovecraftian concepts and fleshes them out, taking them away from Lovecraft's fear of the unknown roots. The Mi-Go are a lot more than one-dimensional monsters in this tale, given three (or more, if you want to get non-Euclidean about it) dimensions. The ghouls are also fleshed (heh) out quite a bit, given something of a culture. The characters are a far cry from Lovecraft's, not falling to pieces with the first brush with the unknown, probably because all of them are part of the unknown to some degree. Charlie is gay in an era where it's nowhere near as acceptable as today and also studies magic. Aphra is one of the last of the Deep Ones. Catherine was host to a Yith. Audrey has something different in her heritage. The jaunts to the Dreamlands and the trek into the Outer Ones' mine were cool set pieces. The magic system is one of the things I like the best in this series. Magic isn't free and takes its toll. Aphra's learning quite a bit but isn't coming through unscathed by any means. As I've said many times before, I like the stuff inspired by the works of HP Lovecraft more than the works themselves. Ruthanna Emrys' humanized Lovecraftian fiction is some of the best out there. Four out of five stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    ✨Tamara

    IDK maybe I had to read the first one but this book just did not blow my skirt up. I found it extremely difficult to read and follow the storyline. like I said maybe I should have read the first one first. This one was a bail for me.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    The first book in this series, Winter Tide, introduced a Lovecraftian mythos Earth with a found family where the monsters are just other sorts of people. Aphra Marsh and her confluence are seeking other humans with connections to the Deep Ones so that they can repopulate Innsmouth before the whole town is swallowed up by developers. On coming to New York they have some success, but also become involved with the FBI again because of increasing activity from the Outer Ones, the meigo. The Outer One The first book in this series, Winter Tide, introduced a Lovecraftian mythos Earth with a found family where the monsters are just other sorts of people. Aphra Marsh and her confluence are seeking other humans with connections to the Deep Ones so that they can repopulate Innsmouth before the whole town is swallowed up by developers. On coming to New York they have some success, but also become involved with the FBI again because of increasing activity from the Outer Ones, the meigo. The Outer Ones are in danger of stepping in to manipulate the politics of the Cold War, with potentially disastrous consequences. These books are wonderful, particularly in their inclusiveness and commentary on moving on from the disasters of the past. They take these themes far beyond things that we struggle with now like race, gender and sexuality into species, reality and horrific elements. The author has a genius for demonstrating that even things like the Mi-go brain canisters actually have an upside while still preserving the visceral horror of the concept. Aphra's love for the Elders of her people never conceals that they're horrific looking fish/frog people with needle sharp teeth. Even ghouls get a sympathetic treatment here. I will say that this book is very slow and features a lot of talking between large groups of people. This can feel a little clumsy, as when a character who hasn't been part of a conversation for several pages suddenly interrupts with a comment. You're left wondering at times who else is in the room other than the people dominating the conversation and the person who just interjected. The first book was a bit like this too, but this book increases the cast and exacerbates the problem. Still, they're interesting conversations, and the primary way that we see characterization, as there isn't really a lot of other action. To give an explicit example, the final conflict is resolved by (view spoiler)[basically a sit-in by one of the groups of the Outer Ones (hide spoiler)] . One final note is that the book ends in a really interesting place. The series could end here and be quite reasonably wrapped up, but I'm really excited by what Innsmouth will look like a few years after this book ends.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alice Lemon

    I really, really loved the first book in this series, Winter Tide, so when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Deep Roots, I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed both books, but was also a bit surprised by how different they were. In Winter Tide, the plot felt almost secondary to me: what I loved about the book was the character development and the approach to themes of chosen family and how to rebuild one's life. Deep Roots, on the other hand, felt much faster-paced, and the plot seemed to I really, really loved the first book in this series, Winter Tide, so when I had the opportunity to read an ARC of Deep Roots, I jumped at the chance. I really enjoyed both books, but was also a bit surprised by how different they were. In Winter Tide, the plot felt almost secondary to me: what I loved about the book was the character development and the approach to themes of chosen family and how to rebuild one's life. Deep Roots, on the other hand, felt much faster-paced, and the plot seemed to drive it a lot more. Rather than being a warm story about family and healing, Deep Roots seemed to be a not-entirely-resolved debate about philosophy, identity, and how humanity (and individuals) can and should relate to the size of the universe and the presence of beings and societies incomprehensibly larger, older, and more powerful than us. Not to mention how we need to learn to relate to our own differences: we may all be monsters here, but we're certainly not all the same sort of monster. That's not to say that the characters in Deep Roots weren't important: they certainly were. I loved getting to visit with Aphra's retinue again, and the addition of flashbacks from other characters' points of view was a wonderful addition. Some of the flashback scenes were incredibly heartwarming: seeing Spector and Charlie first really get to know each other left me strongly wishing my partner was there to hold me. And some of the new characters we met were wonderful as well: I found myself strangely drawn to Audrey's cousin, and I really hope that we see more of her in the future. Speaking of which, Winter Tide felt like a self-contained stand-alone book. I was quite surprised--but very excited--when I found out a sequel was coming out. The ending to Deep Roots felt a bit less like a satisfactory end to the story, and I really hope that Ruthanna Emrys will write a third book in the series, soon: we need to find out how the changes at the end of this story play out. The first time I read Winter Tide, I broke down crying at the beauty of the story several times. The first time I read Deep Roots, I don't think I cried at all, but I felt like I shared some of Aphra's pain at discovering more moral and philosophical complexity in a world that she had thought she'd finally gotten her grip back on. I really can't wait to see what the third book makes me feel, even though what I know of the world--ours and that of the Mythos--makes me suspect things won't get easier.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kam

    What I find most interesting about this particular pattern of themes and the way they emerge in the novel is that the author presents a potential solution to a very real problem. We all want the world to be a better place. We want to vanquish oppression and fear, and be really, truly free. But in order to do that, we first need to be open and honest with the people around us about who we are and what we are, while at the same time being accepting of those differences. However, to get to that poi What I find most interesting about this particular pattern of themes and the way they emerge in the novel is that the author presents a potential solution to a very real problem. We all want the world to be a better place. We want to vanquish oppression and fear, and be really, truly free. But in order to do that, we first need to be open and honest with the people around us about who we are and what we are, while at the same time being accepting of those differences. However, to get to that point, we need to work at it, because that’s just how the world works: nothing of true value can be had for free. We cannot simply wish a better world into being, nor can we start from scratch. We have to work with what we have – and since this imperfect, uncaring world is all we’ve got, we might as well start here, with what we can change: ourselves. Full review here: https://wp.me/p21txV-FB

  7. 5 out of 5

    Justine

    Although I didn't like the story in this one quite as much as the first, it was pretty close, and this sequel to Winter Tide really is extremely good. Emrys is a wonderfully accomplished writer and I love reading her books as much for that quality as for the stories she tells. I am most definitely on board for the next one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Galloway

    Emrys continues to write beautifully about a diverse cast of characters and cosmic horrors that are much more "human" than we'd expect from their appearance. I loved and the exploration of what an "I'm right" -- with no room for discussion -- type group mentality can do and the problems they can generate. Really, Emrys explores the mental states of so many different kinds of people and how those can clash or meld so well. I think she may write the most nuanced characters I've read in fantasy rec Emrys continues to write beautifully about a diverse cast of characters and cosmic horrors that are much more "human" than we'd expect from their appearance. I loved and the exploration of what an "I'm right" -- with no room for discussion -- type group mentality can do and the problems they can generate. Really, Emrys explores the mental states of so many different kinds of people and how those can clash or meld so well. I think she may write the most nuanced characters I've read in fantasy recently. Once again, the story is slower than some may like, but I actually count that a strength of the novel. The pacing allows the relationships to be explored thoroughly, and I think that's exactly what makes these novels so good. I dearly hope the series continues for a long while.

  9. 3 out of 5

    Seth Skorkowsky

    I really enjoyed Book 1. I'd looked forward to Deep Roots for a while, and maybe my excited anticipation stained my opinion of it. I just didn't like it that much. Emrys has a commanding knowledge of the Lovecraftian Mythos. I love her interpretation of the world and what she brings to make it her own. Deep Roots explores the Mi-Go, and she does a fantastic job describing and showing their alien bodies and mindset. She's brilliant. That being said, Deep Roots just didn't hold my interest that well I really enjoyed Book 1. I'd looked forward to Deep Roots for a while, and maybe my excited anticipation stained my opinion of it. I just didn't like it that much. Emrys has a commanding knowledge of the Lovecraftian Mythos. I love her interpretation of the world and what she brings to make it her own. Deep Roots explores the Mi-Go, and she does a fantastic job describing and showing their alien bodies and mindset. She's brilliant. That being said, Deep Roots just didn't hold my interest that well. There is a lot of things in here and many felt like they only existed to cause needless tension or world-building where they weren't really needed. I never fell into the story the way I did with Winter Tide and several times I found myself thinking, "Just get on with it." Parts felt too drawn out and then others felt too rushed. There are many fantastic ideas here, but they just didn't click with me. I will continue the series, but I probably won't jump on Book 3 the way I jumped onto Book 2.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Idzie

    I received a digital ARC courtesy of NetGalley. I struggled for a while to write a review of this book, because I couldn’t seem to find the words to convey how much depth and heart(break) it contains, the startling realism, the grace with which the author explores the complexity of human (and not-so-human) people. Picking up some months after the events of Winter Tide (a book you really must read first), Aphra, along with her confluence (a group who work magic together) and friends, has travelled I received a digital ARC courtesy of NetGalley. I struggled for a while to write a review of this book, because I couldn’t seem to find the words to convey how much depth and heart(break) it contains, the startling realism, the grace with which the author explores the complexity of human (and not-so-human) people. Picking up some months after the events of Winter Tide (a book you really must read first), Aphra, along with her confluence (a group who work magic together) and friends, has travelled to New York City in search of long lost “mist-blooded” relatives, after horrific acts of genocide perpetrated by the American government left them the only known survivors on land. Soon their search leads them to a group of people dealing with a mythical species from another world, capable of sending disembodied minds on journeys through the stars, and things become a lot more complicated. Government agents, aliens, and of course all of Aphra’s group find themselves struggling to find the best path forward for humanity, when there are some very different ideas about what “best” means. This is a historical science fiction novel (set in the late 1940’s) that, though it might be based on Lovecraftian mythology, is about as far away from a monster book as you can get. The historical aspect feels breathtakingly possible, a thin veneer of fantasy laid over the bones of past injustice, as all the struggles and prejudices and violence really happened, even if in our reality no ocean-dwelling branch of humanity ever existed, This is also not a “monster” book because not only is the “other” shown with compassion, but we see the world entirely through the eyes of those who have been pushed to the margins. The cast of main characters, when we move away from Aphra and Caleb’s more mythical origins, are black and gay and Jewish, are women who don’t behave the way women are supposed to, are people who balance on a knife’s edge of respectability. In this installment Aphra remains the primary narrator, but in an added bit of richness we see small glimpses into all the main cast of characters’ mindsets and experiences in the form of short diary entry like segues between chapters, deepening the reader’s understanding of the wider emotional picture. And though there are some genuinely creepy elements, I wouldn’t really classify it as horror either. It stays firmly on the side of SFF, a unique and tender take on the Lovecraftian source material (the author herself notes wryly in the acknowledgements that her stories would cause some grave-turning for the eponymous writer). At a time in our own world when the American state is once more talking about mass internment of the “wrong sorts” of people, this story hit me even harder. While in Winter Tide the freshness of loss was still a raw wound for Aphra, and she still seemed somewhat in shock, in Deep Roots she’s really coming to realize the enormity of the reality that nothing will ever be the same again. Not if she finds every single “mist-blooded” human, not if she buys back every house in their former hometown, not even as she’s found a chosen family whose love is a beautiful part of her new world. It’s not that she’s not hopeful or commited--far from it--but there’s also a sense of resignation that hurt for its realness, its truth. An atrocity was committed, a horror that left just two orphan children in its wake, now adults who have no choice but to live and work beside those who were complicit in the destruction of their entire world. There’s rage and bitterness, but also the inevitability of living, still, and living as best you can with the circumstances as they are. Ruthanna Emrys holds her characters close, telling their stories, fictional though they may be, with dignity and care, a deep respect for the sacredness of a people and religion that never existed. Her writing is lyrical and skilled, and as a reader I’m left rather melancholy, the story lingering in my thoughts for days after I turned the last page. This series is something special, and something too relevant to the age we’re now living in. I think it would have crossover appeal not only to SFF fans, but also readers of historical fiction and literature. Do yourself a favour and read it now.

  11. 3 out of 5

    LAPL Reads

    In recent years H.P. Lovecraft and his works have become increasingly problematic. His personal views on race permeate his stories resulting in fiction that is, at best, challenging to enjoy for many readers. As a result, there currently tend to be three approaches regarding Lovecraft’s fiction: those who love it, those who hate it, and those who choose simply not to read it. But there is now a fourth group of readers that is developing: those that are fascinated with the works of authors like R In recent years H.P. Lovecraft and his works have become increasingly problematic. His personal views on race permeate his stories resulting in fiction that is, at best, challenging to enjoy for many readers. As a result, there currently tend to be three approaches regarding Lovecraft’s fiction: those who love it, those who hate it, and those who choose simply not to read it. But there is now a fourth group of readers that is developing: those that are fascinated with the works of authors like Ruthanna Emrys, who use Lovecraft’s mythos as jumping-off points to create incredibly thoughtful, enjoyable, and inclusive new novels. Novels like Winter Tide and Deep Roots. “The Shadows over Innsmouth” is the only work by H.P. Lovecraft that was published as a book prior to his death in 1937. It is the story of a college student who, while touring New England, discovers a small fishing town, Innsmouth, that is in decline. Innsmouth has its secrets that, as the story progresses, become increasingly personal for the protagonist. In Winter Tide, the story of Innsmouth and its inhabitants continues. Starting on the other side of the continent in San Francisco in 1949, readers are introduced to Aphra Marsh. She and her brother Caleb are the sole survivors of the citizens of Innsmouth. In 1928, the town’s entire population was rounded up by the U.S. Government and secreted away to camps in the southwest deserts. In 1942, when the U.S. government required a place to relegate Japanese-Americans due to unfounded fears about their loyalty during World War II, it sent them to those camps as well. After their mother was removed from the camp for experimentation, Aphra and Caleb were informally adopted by a Nikkei family within the camp. Upon the release of Japanese-Americans from the camps, Aphra and Caleb went with their new family and struggled to find their place in a world that had sought to destroy them and their kind. But now the same government that destroyed her family, home, and culture needs her help. The FBI has learned that the Russians may be experimenting with the use of magical texts, some possibly from Innsmouth, to gain an upper hand in the developing Cold War, and Aphra Marsh may hold the key to uncovering what the Russians are doing and how to stop them. While Emrys draws liberally from the Cthulhu horror mythos to establish and build a new world, Winter Tide and its sequel Deep Roots are not horror novels. Instead they are explorations of identity, culture, family, both by blood and those we create ourselves, and one’s responsibility to their ancestors. All of this is presented with a nice dose of magic and discovery, and executed with a wonderful sense of the period in which the novel is set. While there are “monsters” in the pages, they are not as monstrous as they may have once seemed during Lovecraft’s lifetime. And, repeatedly, the most heinous actions taken during the course of both books are those by humans (and tragically, often those who are acting as representatives of the U.S. Government). Attempting to compare fictionalized racism with fictionalized races/species, and with actual documented racist actions against people of color, seems fraught with peril. This is especially true when referencing the reprehensible treatment of Japanese-Americans during WWII. Emrys, however, deftly walks a fine line, never straying into unnecessary sensationalism nor trivializing actual historical events. In her acknowledgements she refers to the research done to portray the actual events involved with the Japanese-American internment and gives recognition to actor George Takei’s autobiography To The Stars, which includes his child’s-eye description of being taken from his home and sent to the camps (which was clearly a model for Aphra’s fictional experiences). The result is the depiction of a second, earlier internment that is told so compellingly that it all seems to compound the affronts, rather than minimizing the significance of what actually happened. Emrys also demonstrates that although they were often unseen or ignored, the pre-Cold War US population was just as diverse as it is today, describing the extreme measures that people took to blend in or go unnoticed, often simply hiding in plain sight. Winter Tide and Deep Roots are complex and compelling works of fantasy that help illuminate not only where we’ve been, but also where we are. While they are based on the works of a known racist, these books feature characters that are diverse and inclusive. It is entirely possible that H.P. Lovecraft would have hated them, and that could be a very good thing. Readers interested in other contemporary novels based on the works of Lovecraft might also want to read: “The Litany of Earth” by Ruthanna Emrys, which is a short prequel to Winter Tide. The broken hours by Jacqueline Baker Carter and Lovecraft by Jonathan L. Howard Hammers on bone by Cassandra Khaw Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff Reviewed by Daryl M., Librarian, West Valley Regional Branch Library

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frith

    This series continues to be quiet and lovely and queer and full of genuine moral dilemmas and people on all sides who I want to just all agree so they can all be happy! And there are also blood rituals and eldritch horrors, of course.

  13. 3 out of 5

    Morgan Dhu

    Deep Roots is the second volume in Ruthanna Emrys’ fascinating and intensely readable series inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. These books are told from the perspective of the last on-land members of the sea people who once lived in Innsmouth, before the US government kidnapped and interned them in a concentration camp in the desert where all but two - brother and sister Aphra and Caleb - died from lack of the ocean and the conditions required to make the change to their near immortal sea-dwelling Deep Roots is the second volume in Ruthanna Emrys’ fascinating and intensely readable series inspired by the Cthulhu Mythos. These books are told from the perspective of the last on-land members of the sea people who once lived in Innsmouth, before the US government kidnapped and interned them in a concentration camp in the desert where all but two - brother and sister Aphra and Caleb - died from lack of the ocean and the conditions required to make the change to their near immortal sea-dwelling form. Emrys begins from the assumption that everything we think we know about these people is wrong, based on twisted propaganda spread by those who hated and feared them. In the first novel, Winter Tide, Aphra, who is a student of the ancient magics known to her people (and others), formed a confluence, or chosen family, comprised of an unlikely group of people with the ability for pursuing magic and a commitment to trying to rebuild the land community of the sea people: her brother Caleb; his lover DeeDee, a black woman recruited by the FBI as an informant, seductress and spy; Charlie, a gay man who is Aphra’s friend and student in the magical arts; Neko, the daughter of the Japanese couple who adopted and cared for Aphra and Caleb when when the internment camp they and the few other dying sea people were held in was repurposed to imprison Japanese Americans during WWII; Catherine Turnbull, a mathematician and scholar of magic who had been the host of one of the time-travelling, body-borrowing, and rather arrogant Yith; Audrey, a woman of mixed heritage, part ‘ordinary’ human (the people of the air), part descendent of a third human subgroup, subterranean dwellers called the people of the earth; and, on the periphery of this family, Ron Spector, Charlie’s lover, and an FBI agent working in a branch of the bureau established to investigate magical threats to the USA. In Deep Roots, Aphra and her confluence have been following leads and rumours of other sea people who may have survived the genocidal actions of the government, ‘mistblooded’ descendants of he few who left the Innsmouth community and married into families of the people of the air. Having learned of a woman, Frances Laverne, and her son Freddie, who live in New York City, they travel to the big city, only to discover that Freddie - who could be Aphra’s only chance to bear a new generation of sea folk - has become involved with a community of Mi-Go and other humans. Lovecraft’s Mi-Go are, alternatively, the origin of the Abominable snowman myth, or other-dimensional aliens, winged and clawed, technologically advanced, who take human minds and place them in cannisters which they can then transport across space. Emrys has taken the latter description as her starting point. Her Mi-Go - who are more properly referred to as the Outer Ones - see themselves as benefactors, travellers who set up communities on many worlds, recruit followers - or travel-mates, as they refer to them - from the indigenous populations, and offer them the same experiences they themselves spend their lives pursuing, the exploration of and communication with minds across the vastness of space. While the Outer Ones can travel in their own bodies, other races must be separated mind from body in order to travel, their minds placed in devices that the Outer Ones can carry with them as they travel. The process is reversible, but many who join the Outer Ones find themselves less and less inclined to return to physical form. The Outer Ones have a long and not particularly positive relationship with Aphra’s people, not least because the mind-body separation process is more dangerous to the people of the sea and those who travel with the Outer Ones are likely to be unable to return to their bodies and remain healthy - thus, those lost to the Outer Ones are lost forever. Also, The Outer Ones and the Yith, with whom the people of the sea have a strong and positive relationship, are enemies at a deep philosophical level - the Yith are firm believers in non-interference, the Outer Ones often try to ‘save’ species they fear are on the verge of extinguishing themselves, often by interfering with the political and cultural life of the planet. Aphra is drawn into contact with the Outer Ones because she hopes to extract Freddie Laverne from their fellowship, seeing him as a possible father for the children she must have fir her race to continue growing. At the same time, the FBI is drawn into the unstable mix because of all the disappearances reported by families of those who have joined the Outer Ones. Aphra learns that the majority faction among Outer Ones are considering taking action to intervene in human affairs because of the tensions of the Cold War and their fear that the human race will destroy itself. Part of this manipulation involves discrediting Aphra, her confluence, and the sea people with the FBI branch involved with magic and non-human activities - a nit too difficult task, considering the extreme paranoia of the FBI and the existing distrust between the two. Yet the only chance for humanity to maintain control of its own destiny is for Aphra to convince the FBI agents that they must help her in putting the faction that favours non-intervention in charge of the Outer One’ colonies on Earth. Emrys does a wonderful job of subverting the racist tropes of Lovecraft’s work, while keeping the real sense of potential menace - locating it in the institutions of a racist society instead. The novel ends in an uneasy truce between the surviving sea people and the government, with Innsmouth beginning to live again, though after some degree of compromise with the very people who once destroyed it. So eager for the next installment.

  14. 3 out of 5

    Redsteve

    Emrys has done it again, portraying the monsters of Lovecraft’s “Mythos” as sympathetic beings with their own strange, yet compelling, cultures and motives. She actually made the Mi-Go (bat-winged, crab-clawed fungus monsters who surgically remove people's brains) into some reasonable (one might say benevolent) characters - even the really dangerous ones, who want to save humanity from itself. I was surprised at the parallels she drew between them and the Faerie legends, but she did that well, t Emrys has done it again, portraying the monsters of Lovecraft’s “Mythos” as sympathetic beings with their own strange, yet compelling, cultures and motives. She actually made the Mi-Go (bat-winged, crab-clawed fungus monsters who surgically remove people's brains) into some reasonable (one might say benevolent) characters - even the really dangerous ones, who want to save humanity from itself. I was surprised at the parallels she drew between them and the Faerie legends, but she did that well, too. This book also introduces Ghouls, and expands on the K’n-yan (“The Mad Ones Under the Earth”) which are as close to a purely evil race as it’s possible to get in this series. They are compelling,, but also cruel and murderous nutbags – even their own people don’t have much good to say about them. In this novel, Emrys includes a number of backstory (and side-story) point of view changes; I'm not sure how I feel about them. In some cases, they seemed to give interesting perspectives and move the story forward; in others, they felt a little disruptive. I liked Deep Roots as much as I did Winter Tide, but felt that this novel was more plot-oriented; Winter Tide had an interesting story but seemed more about character development although both books are heavily focused on the characters (human and not). Deep Roots also seemed more, dare I say it, philosophical, dealing with various perspectives and attitudes about free will. For some reason that I have trouble defining, I had a harder time getting into Deep Roots than Winter Tide, but once I did, it was another excellent read. 4.5 stars. Warning: Deep Roots is the sequel to https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2.... This is not one of those books that you can just dive into without reading the preceding novel; don’t do it or you will be terribly confused.

  15. 3 out of 5

    Alex Can Read

    This review first appeared on Alex Can Read. The sequel to the stunning Winter Tide, Deep Roots explores more of Lovecraft’s mythos. Aphra and her confluence are on the trail of a mist-blooded relative and find so much more than they expected. Deep Roots wrestles with so many of the things we wrestle with in our own lives, especially when confronted with our loved ones choosing paths we’d rather they didn’t. How do we believe that they haven’t been coerced? When is it right to let someone go, and This review first appeared on Alex Can Read. The sequel to the stunning Winter Tide, Deep Roots explores more of Lovecraft’s mythos. Aphra and her confluence are on the trail of a mist-blooded relative and find so much more than they expected. Deep Roots wrestles with so many of the things we wrestle with in our own lives, especially when confronted with our loved ones choosing paths we’d rather they didn’t. How do we believe that they haven’t been coerced? When is it right to let someone go, and when do we cling to them and hope they forgive us at the end? When is it right to walk away, to call someone out, or to ask them to reexamine their deeply held beliefs? Now, more than any other time in the last thirty years, many of us find ourselves wrestling with these questions within our own families as political rhetoric threatens to tear us apart by othering each other into separate camps. One of the myths that Deep Roots tackles isn’t from Lovecraft’s mythos, but rather from current Western society. Emrys shows us that the idea that “One who has been othered, can’t also be othering” is false. I see the sentiments that “I can’t be racist, I’m black” or “I can’t be a lesbophobe, I’m gay” or “I can’t be a misogynist, I’m a woman” or “I can’t be ableist, I’m also part of a marginalized community” pretty frequently. These aren’t true statements, but I hear variations of them all the time. Deep Roots explores how even groups that have been othered can have and hold othering beliefs about groups, cultures and people not their own. This is why intersectional activism is so crucial. Despite their own experiences being discriminated against Aphra and the Deep Ones hold strong beliefs about the Outer Ones that are explicitly called out as offensive within the narrative. Aphra is forced to rexamine her beliefs in order to navigate the situation at hand. I am SO glad to get more of Aphra, Neko, Audrey, Charlie, Specter, Dawson and Caleb. Emrys writes them so vividly, the time between books felt like missing friends. Deep Roots felt like opening a letter from someone who had gone on a long trip into a remote place without technology. I am impatiently waiting for my next letter from the Confluence. I can’t wait to see what they get up to next. Thank you to Tor.com for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I really enjoyed the first book, but couldn't get into this one at all, probably because I haven't reread Winter Tide since its release. I normally don't have this much trouble piecing all a story's secondary characters and their relationships back together. Not sure if that means the book doesn't include quite enough little memory refreshers or if it's more to do with my own lack of concentration lately. Either way, I had to give up for now. Hopefully I'll remember to try it again at some point, I really enjoyed the first book, but couldn't get into this one at all, probably because I haven't reread Winter Tide since its release. I normally don't have this much trouble piecing all a story's secondary characters and their relationships back together. Not sure if that means the book doesn't include quite enough little memory refreshers or if it's more to do with my own lack of concentration lately. Either way, I had to give up for now. Hopefully I'll remember to try it again at some point, maybe once the series is farther along.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Barbara McEwen

    3.5 stars - Took a while for this one to get it's tentacles on me but once it did I was flying through it! I don't want to go into the plot for fear of spoiling things but the different types of humans and the Outer Ones keep you entertained while you chew on deeper questions like the idea of otherness, and how we treat those we see as different from ourselves. Similar to Winter Tide, I thought there were a few too many characters.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Besha

    Too many characters, too few voices, and if I wanted to listen to a poly family processing I’d still live in in a queer co-op. The Litany of Earth was my favorite story of 2014, and I still find Emrys’s writing beautiful, but it turns out I can only listen to Aphra for so long.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Mattison

    The series really takes off with this book. While the earlier short story and novel were interesting to read, the world building ground work really pays off in this book. Decision made in earlier bear fruit both good and ill. Emrys does an excellent job of producing both compelling characters and detailed world building. Our deep ones (people of the water) heroes want to rebuild and repopulate Innsmouth. They are seeking mistblooded (half breed) relatives in New York City. But something else is g The series really takes off with this book. While the earlier short story and novel were interesting to read, the world building ground work really pays off in this book. Decision made in earlier bear fruit both good and ill. Emrys does an excellent job of producing both compelling characters and detailed world building. Our deep ones (people of the water) heroes want to rebuild and repopulate Innsmouth. They are seeking mistblooded (half breed) relatives in New York City. But something else is going on that could change everything. Where do we find community? What do we owe our community? What freedom does our community owe us? How do you balance these? How do we fit in with other humans? And what about the others with wings and tentacles? While it is almost always better to read series from the beginning, this is especially true of this one. If I had one complaint about this book it is that it assumes the reader remembers the all characters from the previous books well. If you memory is fuzzy on specifics it isn't going to give you too many hints to about the background established in previous books. I'd recommend reading (or rereading) the prior book shortly before reading this one.

  20. 3 out of 5

    W.L. Bolm

    This is such an amazing series. I really love everything about these books: the characters, the diversity, the feeling of dread that builds as you face the void. There was a lot of action and suspense in this installment. There were a lot of times where characters seemed distant or out of reach, and I had a hard time deciding between whether or not this took away or added to the overall work. I love Lovecraftian mythos but dislike some of Lovecraft's failings, so Emrys's books actually scratch t This is such an amazing series. I really love everything about these books: the characters, the diversity, the feeling of dread that builds as you face the void. There was a lot of action and suspense in this installment. There were a lot of times where characters seemed distant or out of reach, and I had a hard time deciding between whether or not this took away or added to the overall work. I love Lovecraftian mythos but dislike some of Lovecraft's failings, so Emrys's books actually scratch the Lovecraft itch for me better than the original texts in most cases.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Yuli Michaeili

    משמעותית פחות טוב מהראשון. העולם עדיין מעניין אבל רוב הספר הוא גרירת רגליים ממקום למקום.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Evan Jensen

    The best part of any Ruthanna Emrys story is that the characters are excellently believable, with well-rounded personalities, motivations, and neuroses understandable that clearly hinge on their own histories. Those superlatives are not missing here in book 2 of the Innsmouth Legacy. You get a full sense of people, human and otherwise. I always had a solid sense that while characters, or reader, might not agree about their relative philosophies, that didn’t mean one side was meant to be thought The best part of any Ruthanna Emrys story is that the characters are excellently believable, with well-rounded personalities, motivations, and neuroses understandable that clearly hinge on their own histories. Those superlatives are not missing here in book 2 of the Innsmouth Legacy. You get a full sense of people, human and otherwise. I always had a solid sense that while characters, or reader, might not agree about their relative philosophies, that didn’t mean one side was meant to be thought evil or foolish. The long arc of the plot and then somewhat hurried resolution did leave me wishing there had been half again more book. But perhaps I just miss the characters.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elle Maruska

    I read Winter Tide earlier this year and absolutely loved it; when I finished, I wanted more than anything to be able to rejoin Aphra and her confluence. I was so excited for this book and read it as soon as it appeared on my kindle. The plot was interesting. I know some will find it slow because there's more talking than doing but I think talking can be just as fascinating, just as compelling if done right and Emrys does it right. She presents characters with wildly different ideas and ideals, I read Winter Tide earlier this year and absolutely loved it; when I finished, I wanted more than anything to be able to rejoin Aphra and her confluence. I was so excited for this book and read it as soon as it appeared on my kindle. The plot was interesting. I know some will find it slow because there's more talking than doing but I think talking can be just as fascinating, just as compelling if done right and Emrys does it right. She presents characters with wildly different ideas and ideals, and allows conflict to emerge organically rather than through forced set-pieces of fight scenes or battles. I appreciated the introduction of the Outsiders; I think they provide a fascinating contrast to other galactic visitors already present in the series and their presence opens up a host of interesting quandaries for Aphra and her confluence. I liked seeing more of Aphra's Elders, appreciated that despite their distinctly inhuman appearances they are still incredibly, heartbreakingly human. Also!! I LOVE LOVE LOVE how queer this book is, even queerer than the last one! I love the diversity of the characters, how they are all of different ages, races, sexualities, and experiences. So many fantasy/sci fi books tend to think that they can shoehorn diversity narratives into monster stories without actually including diverse humans but Emrys manages to write diversity among both monsters and humans with respect, dignity, concern, and care. I think my biggest issue with this book was the lack of focus on the characters other than Aphra. I felt that the storylines of various members of the confluence were placed in a sort of holding pattern where nothing much changed and that was a bit disappointing. I would have loved spending more time with Audrey most of all but I found her sidelined through a large part of the action. I enjoyed the deeper look into Aphra's state of mind, her struggle to reconcile the past and the future, her battle with both outside threats and herself. I love her quiet resolve, her flaws and her courage and her heart. I just wish we were able to see more of the others at the same time. Overall though, I enjoyed this book very much and I'm super hopeful that there will be more books about Aphra and her family.

  24. 3 out of 5

    AJ

    Deep Roots is the second book in Ruthanna Emrys’s The Innsmouth Legacy series. I really enjoyed the first book, Winter Tide, so I was quite excited when I was approved for a free review copy on NetGalley. Thank you Tor Publishing! I have a special shelf on Goodreads. It’s called “Lovecraft, but Better.” Because I like a lot of elements of Lovecraftian horror, but Lovecraft himself was a racist who couldn’t write a female character to save his life. Thankfully, a lot of authors have come along and Deep Roots is the second book in Ruthanna Emrys’s The Innsmouth Legacy series. I really enjoyed the first book, Winter Tide, so I was quite excited when I was approved for a free review copy on NetGalley. Thank you Tor Publishing! I have a special shelf on Goodreads. It’s called “Lovecraft, but Better.” Because I like a lot of elements of Lovecraftian horror, but Lovecraft himself was a racist who couldn’t write a female character to save his life. Thankfully, a lot of authors have come along and taken over Lovecraft’s sandbox and done better things with it. There are incredible female authors, queer authors, and authors of color writing stories that ol’ HPL never would have approved of, and I love it. Ruthanna Emrys is one such author. She’s well-qualified to work within the Cthulhu mythos, as she is the co-author of the brilliant Tor blog Lovecraft Reread Series, where two female authors specifically look at Lovecraft’s work through a modern eye, pointing out the good, the bad, and the downright cringe-worthy. In fact, it’s been a while since I’ve read one of their rereads, maybe I should go catch up… No AJ, stay focused! You have a book to review! Deep Roots picks up not long after the events of Winter Tide. It doesn’t really work as a stand-alone novel. You’re thrown right into it without so much as a re-introduction to the characters, and since it’s been some months since I read Winter Tide, I had a bit of a struggle remembering who everyone was. Our diverse band of protagonists has traveled to New York City in search of lost descendants of the people of Innsmouth, so they can try to rebuild their town. Of course nothing is ever that simple and it turns out there’s been a series of disappearances and the Outer Ones (aka the mi-go, the fungi from Yuggoth, etc etc) are to blame. What do these travelers between the worlds want with humanity? This story deals a lot with inter-species conflict and prejudice. We’re shown the error of seeing the Lovecraftian races as monolithic, and are given a more nuanced view where groups can have internal disagreements and shades of moral subtlety. Emrys is adept at looking at how Lovecraft described the Deep Ones, or the Great Race of Yith, and extrapolating a more three-dimensional society from that. Deep Roots does a lot to expand on the interpretation of the Mythos that the author established in Winter Tide. Much like the first book in the series, Deep Roots has a slow pace and a sort of introspective feeling to it. This will not work for every reader. I enjoy having the time to really be with Aphra Marsh, and I liked the included journal passages from the secondary characters that helped flesh out their feelings and motivations without distracting from the central story. But anyone looking for looming cosmic horror or an action-packed horror adventure will be disappointed. The final pages of Deep Roots introduce some actions that may have huge ripples on the book’s world. I’m really curious to see what happens next. I hope that volume 3 of The Innsmouth Legacy is forthcoming! FTC Disclaimer: A digital copy of this book was provided for promotional consideration. No additional compensation was provided for this review and the author’s words and opinions are her own.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Adrian Daub

    I read over the rapturous reviews for this book and I worry that there is something deeply wrong with me. I was primed to love this series, but instead I find myself frustrated by every volume anew. With the last one I chalked it up to the amount of set-up required for a new trilogy that both draws on and significantly reworks the Lovecraft-canon. With this one… well, I just don’t know anymore. Until a very deft set of final moves, I thought it once again mostly seemed to be setting up. The overa I read over the rapturous reviews for this book and I worry that there is something deeply wrong with me. I was primed to love this series, but instead I find myself frustrated by every volume anew. With the last one I chalked it up to the amount of set-up required for a new trilogy that both draws on and significantly reworks the Lovecraft-canon. With this one… well, I just don’t know anymore. Until a very deft set of final moves, I thought it once again mostly seemed to be setting up. The overall framework is still so smart and so well done. There’s much to love about how even simple shifts in Lovecraft’s designs turn racist and xenophobic tropes into elegant parables about racism and xenophobia. This book adds using Lovecraftian body horror as a way of talking very sensitively about gender and embodiment. The elements of something absolutely great are here, but I feel like the author assembled all the parts of a spectacular machine without ever bothering to plug it in. The novel retains all the characters you love and/or can barely recall from the first volume and adds a few more. None of them grow or become more interesting throughout, many of them seem to phase in and out of reality like an Outer One. And instead of the kind of pulpy streamlining you (all the tweaks to the source material notwithstanding) sort of expect from a 1940s-set Lovecraft pastiche, you get what I can only describe as board meetings. People patiently go over what they know, weigh options and possible consequences. Weigh next steps. Oh, we’re off to the Dreamlands (ravishingly described, by the way)? Well, not to worry there’ll be three pages of Explaining The Stakes to kick that off! A (tantalizing and mysterious) alien character offers help the reader senses Aphra maybe shouldn’t accept? Well, she’ll walk you through her thought process in detail, leaving motivations muddled and any fun ambiguity drained. I guess maybe that’s my problem with these books in a nutshell: their basic point seems to be that for people like Aphra Marsh (a Deep One), ambiguity and hybridity are not only not as scary as they were for white-as-hell Howard Phillips Lovecraft; that ambiguity and hybridity are where they make their home, where they feel safe; that monstrousness says more about the person who sees it than the thing seen. The problem then becomes that the books themselves are ultimately allergic to ambiguity. Everything is overexplained, everything gets chewed over at nauseam. Sure, the Deep Ones have sharp teeth and tentacles, but deep down they're cuddly and caring, Yodas in fish scales. Even the Mad Ones, in this version, seem kind of ... sensible? Certainly not alien. In Lovecraft, for all his faults as a stylist, the terror at ambiguity and the highly ambiguous nature of his prose were interlinked. Emrys, who’s twice the prose writer Lovecraft was, for some reason refuses to follow that link. I cannot comprehend why and I don’t think it’s really good for these books.

  26. 3 out of 5

    Rebekah

    I loved the first book, Winter Tide, so much that I immediately preorered the sequel when I heard it was coming out. And then because I'm me, and because life is what it is, I put it on the shelf and didn't pick it up for several months. But as soon as I remembered it and got back to it, I was right back to being in love with Aphra and her confluence of supporting characters. The descriptions of these books makes them sound like you're going to end up with some sort of Cold War-era spy action-th I loved the first book, Winter Tide, so much that I immediately preorered the sequel when I heard it was coming out. And then because I'm me, and because life is what it is, I put it on the shelf and didn't pick it up for several months. But as soon as I remembered it and got back to it, I was right back to being in love with Aphra and her confluence of supporting characters. The descriptions of these books makes them sound like you're going to end up with some sort of Cold War-era spy action-thriller with Lovecraftian elements, but that's not really an entirely accurate or fair descriptor. They have some action to them, and I don't mean to imply anything about the pacing (which is steady and keeps things moving), but these are slower-paced novels with a lot of subtle character and world building elements. Personally, I'm in love with them--they're a much more inclusive and compassionate look at the world Lovecraft created, and for all the things the man did well, I think we'd have to agree some (quite a lot, actually) of his writing just hasn't aged well. The Innsmouth Legacy series does a much better job of remembering that other people exist on the planet than just straight white folks, and it does a much better job of being empathetic towards all views, even the conservative, reactive views that a more compassionate person might not agree with. Give these books a shot, and definitely look for The Litany of Earth while you're at it--it's a short story prequel placed before the first book, and it introduces several important elements of the story. Side note: Any story with large, aggressive fish-people who are also hilarious and adorably doting grandparents, or large, aggressive fish-people who are putting some smooth moves on their lesbian girlfriends, is basically guaranteed a 5 star rating in my book. The rest of the book earned those stars too, but c'mon. Fish-person girlfriend for the win.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Henderson

    Fans of Lovecraft are sure to fall in love with this novel! While being the second book in the series, and me not having read the first, this book stood just fine on its own and nothing felt lost to me. The writing drew me in immediately and I could almost hear the characters voice ring in my head and the sound effects surrounding them. From page one I could not put it down! This quickly became a “one-click” read for me. While this does ring reminiscent of Lovecraft’s works there are vast differe Fans of Lovecraft are sure to fall in love with this novel! While being the second book in the series, and me not having read the first, this book stood just fine on its own and nothing felt lost to me. The writing drew me in immediately and I could almost hear the characters voice ring in my head and the sound effects surrounding them. From page one I could not put it down! This quickly became a “one-click” read for me. While this does ring reminiscent of Lovecraft’s works there are vast differences. The author has her own unique voice in his world. This book shines out and gives us a new age feel to these books we grew up with and loved so dearly. This wonderfully written cast shows us the more “human” side of things and what is to be on a deeper level wrapped around a much larger universe and what our scale is upon it. Lovecraft once wrote a novel called The Shadow Over Innsmouth and now in this novel Deep Roots, Emry’s gives a world built upon that and how Aphra must rebuild what has been destroyed and try to stop developers from taking away everything for their own selfish gains. ideally in this novel we see how what looks monstrous on the outside is not quite as monstrous inside. That maybe as humans we are much more monstrous than the mythos would make us to believe. I feel that allegorically this novel is intended on some small sub level to so just that. This novel to me is definitely character driven as it dwells heavily upon our actions and personality. I know some said this book relies heavily on plot and while that may be so, i see this having full effect from characters and their own motivations. I definitely need to read book one to this novel! I can’t wait! 5 stars from me and now an avid fan of Ruthanna Emrys.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Josh S

    Deep Roots is the sequel to last year's Winter Tide, a book by Ruthanna Emrys that I liked a lot (Review Here). Lovecraft adaptations are not usually my thing, as I've never read any of the source material or had any interest in doing so - although knowing about the racism inherent in those stories is probably a large part of that lack of interest (my lack of interest in horror is the other part). Still, Winter Tide was a member of an increasingly more common genre - the Lovecraft subversion - a Deep Roots is the sequel to last year's Winter Tide, a book by Ruthanna Emrys that I liked a lot (Review Here). Lovecraft adaptations are not usually my thing, as I've never read any of the source material or had any interest in doing so - although knowing about the racism inherent in those stories is probably a large part of that lack of interest (my lack of interest in horror is the other part). Still, Winter Tide was a member of an increasingly more common genre - the Lovecraft subversion - and flipped around Lovecraft's ideas to address issues of racism and persecution and their effects on families and the result was a really interesting and effective story. Deep Roots continues with these themes - following Aphra Marsh and her brother Caleb - the last survivors on land of the Deep Ones of Innsmouth after the US Government rounded them up into camps - and their friends (gathered in Winter Tide) as they arrive in New York City and search for extensions of their family. Naturally what they find is far more than they bargained for, and they wind up facing other Lovecraftian creatures from outside our world who threaten Aphra's connection to her family. The result is a book that's at least as strong as Winter Tide, and is definitely recommended. Note: While Deep Roots is a stand-alone sequel, it's still a sequel and you will undoubtedly be a little lost if you start the series with this book instead of Winter Tide. I definitely recommend picking up Winter Tide first. For my full review of Deep Roots, see my blog here: http://garik16.blogspot.com/2018/08/s...

  29. 3 out of 5

    Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)

    Like its predecessor, Deep Roots is a lovely, slower-paced novel working with Lovecraftian mythos. While I do think you should read the previous book, Winter Tide, before Deep Roots, this review will largely avoid spoilers for Winter Tide. Aphra Marsh and her brother Caleb are the only survivors of the United States government’s raid on Innsmouth. Aphra wants to rebuild her community, but that means finding other descendants of the People of the Water, mist-bloods. She has a lead on a potential d Like its predecessor, Deep Roots is a lovely, slower-paced novel working with Lovecraftian mythos. While I do think you should read the previous book, Winter Tide, before Deep Roots, this review will largely avoid spoilers for Winter Tide. Aphra Marsh and her brother Caleb are the only survivors of the United States government’s raid on Innsmouth. Aphra wants to rebuild her community, but that means finding other descendants of the People of the Water, mist-bloods. She has a lead on a potential distant cousin in New York City, but when she arrives, she finds that he’s missing. And he’s not the only one. Deep Roots is all about connections. Connections between people, cultures, species. Embracing those who are “other” instead of fearing them. Aphra isn’t human, and she hides her nature as a Person of the Water from the world at large. She’s seen what happens when fear and hate take the reins. Her town died because of it. But Winter Tide (and Deep Roots) also parallel the “fantastical racism” Aphra faces with real-world oppression. When most of her town has already died in the internment camp, it is repurposed for the mass internment of Japanse-Americans, leading the orphaned Aphra to being adopted by a Japanse-American family. Over the course of Winter Tide and Deep Roots, Aphra has been creating a new family. And the people she surrounds herself with have, in one way or another, been marginalized by society at large. Aphra is literally inhuman, but literal inhumans aren’t the only people who have their personhood denied, who are hated and feared. And thus Aphra finds common ground with people who have been (and still are) marginalized in our world: queer people, people of color, disabled people, Jewish people, women. As you may guess, this ties in with a strength of these books. They both have a wonderfully diverse cast. In a departure from Winter Tide‘s format, Deep Roots adds small snippets at the beginning of each chapter that give us the point of view of other characters. They’re not necessary to understand the narrative, but I did appreciate them for the insights they added. Relatedly, it’s in one of these that another character remarks that Aphra may not feel sexual attraction. I’ve mentioned before that Emrys has said Aphra’s asexual and that I’m hoping to see more of it in the narrative. It’s definitely there (although I don’t know how many people pick up on it), but Aphra hasn’t had any sort of realization yet. It looks like this will be a slow-burn arc, but that rather fits the shape of the series. Self-understanding isn’t always an easy or quick thing. If you loved Winter Tide, Deep Roots shouldn’t be a disappointment. I personally enjoyed it for how it expanded the world and characters, all with Emrys trademark subtlety and grace. I received an ARC in exchange for a free and honest review. Review from The Illustrated Page.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    "...we might decide to trust someone who looks like a crab glued to a squid?"... "We do, don't we? " said Nnnnnnn-gt-v-v-v. "You look like someone tried to re-sculpt a melted vbbrllt'zaa. People worth talking with can look like anything." This little exchange is right at the heart of these books. Where Lovecraft's fears of "the other" (aka plain old racism) informed nearly all of his works, Emrys embraces the otherness of these characters - from a young "woman of the waters" (aka Deep One) to a Ma "...we might decide to trust someone who looks like a crab glued to a squid?"... "We do, don't we? " said Nnnnnnn-gt-v-v-v. "You look like someone tried to re-sculpt a melted vbbrllt'zaa. People worth talking with can look like anything." This little exchange is right at the heart of these books. Where Lovecraft's fears of "the other" (aka plain old racism) informed nearly all of his works, Emrys embraces the otherness of these characters - from a young "woman of the waters" (aka Deep One) to a Mad One Beneath The Earth currently living in an canister of an Old One (and DON'T use the word "mie-go" to describe them - it's rude) to the varied humans, all of these people are just people - Some are good, some are bad, but all have to live at least for now on this planet and even after your people were nearly wiped out by a frightened and paranoid government you can still create a found family for yourself. Emrys's genius is to point out that when everyone is equally strange, then the commonalities become clearer.

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