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Fathom by Cherie Priest
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Fathom

by Cherie Priest

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1891862,490 (3.5)10
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    The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers (bmlg)
    bmlg: mortals caught in elemental wars
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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
A tale of elemental magic.

A young woman goes to visit a troubled cousin that she barely knows - and nearly immediately, both the women are thrown into the ancient plots and machinations of an ancient water witch and her earth-magic-wielding rival.

The fate of the planet may be at stake - but which of these beings that seek to use humans as pawns should we really be rooting for?

The book does an excellent job of portraying powerful, inhuman forces of nature personified. There's a nicely eerie, weird feel to it, and strange, lovely imagery.

However, I did feel it would have worked even better if the 'human' elements of the story had felt more grounded. There's a strange, floating timelessness to them, as well as some extreme events introduced very abruptly and never fully explained, that make the non-supernatural elements here feel almost as incomprehensibly alien as the magical ones. It's interesting, but I'm not sure it fully worked for me. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
As you can see from my other reviews, Cherie Priest is firmly planted at the top of my Authors Y'all Should Be Reading Already list. If you're not much for steampunk or psychics, try Fathom, which is about
a battle between Elementals to save humanity and the humans who are "called into service" to help.

Arahab is a water witch, capable of manipulating oceans, lakes and even puddles. For millenia, she has plotted to awaken the Leviathan sleeping at the center of the earth. She's been searching for humans who could actually get down into the core to plant a 'call' totem and get things moving. So far, she has only found one human deemed capable of the task: Jose, a pirate who drowned himself to avoid capture. But he's tried once and failed, so Arahab's on the prowl for a deckhand.

Up on land, a farmgirl named Nia visits her spoiled cousin, Berenice, who is staying with her mom and stepfather on an island in the Gulf. When Berenice nearly drowns, she is taken by Arahab; Nia is swept up onto the shore and into the form of a statue. Workmen find her and leave her in the aunt's garden. The aunt flees town and slowly statue-Nia goes crazy trapped in her shell alone.

Enter Sam, a slightly bumbling insurance agent called by a possible buyer to inspect the grounds and a creature called Mossfeaster, who forms out of whatever earth-y matter is at hand (vines, dirt, rotting plants, other fun stuff) and is determined to stop Arahab. First, however, he has to save Nia before a group of local nutjobs have one too many midnight ceremonies around her and bring on the attention of something bad.

This is where I stop telling you stuff and you start reading instead.

Interested? Thought you might be.
Slightly deterred from diving or gardening? Sorta suspected that, too. ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
As you can see from my other reviews, Cherie Priest is firmly planted at the top of my Authors Y'all Should Be Reading Already list. If you're not much for steampunk or psychics, try Fathom, which is about
a battle between Elementals to save humanity and the humans who are "called into service" to help.

Arahab is a water witch, capable of manipulating oceans, lakes and even puddles. For millenia, she has plotted to awaken the Leviathan sleeping at the center of the earth. She's been searching for humans who could actually get down into the core to plant a 'call' totem and get things moving. So far, she has only found one human deemed capable of the task: Jose, a pirate who drowned himself to avoid capture. But he's tried once and failed, so Arahab's on the prowl for a deckhand.

Up on land, a farmgirl named Nia visits her spoiled cousin, Berenice, who is staying with her mom and stepfather on an island in the Gulf. When Berenice nearly drowns, she is taken by Arahab; Nia is swept up onto the shore and into the form of a statue. Workmen find her and leave her in the aunt's garden. The aunt flees town and slowly statue-Nia goes crazy trapped in her shell alone.

Enter Sam, a slightly bumbling insurance agent called by a possible buyer to inspect the grounds and a creature called Mossfeaster, who forms out of whatever earth-y matter is at hand (vines, dirt, rotting plants, other fun stuff) and is determined to stop Arahab. First, however, he has to save Nia before a group of local nutjobs have one too many midnight ceremonies around her and bring on the attention of something bad.

This is where I stop telling you stuff and you start reading instead.

Interested? Thought you might be.
Slightly deterred from diving or gardening? Sorta suspected that, too. ( )
  grammarchick | Jan 5, 2016 |
~260 pages in and I just don't care.
  GinnyTea | Mar 31, 2013 |
This is well-written, it's just not to my taste. ( )
  Jammies | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Cherie Priestprimary authorall editionscalculated
Freeman, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To the Sunshine State, and my relatives who originated there.

(Yes, that's pretty much all of them.)
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It's as if you've asked me to build an ark.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765318407, Hardcover)

“I can’t fathom them, and neither can you.”

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 difficult for 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, which in turn leads her to commit a deadly crime. When Nia won’t cover for Bernice’s actions, she turns on Nia, chasing her into the deadly coastal waves.

But the timing is right and 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 new 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.

Cherie Priest, who stormed onto the scene with the stunning Southern Gothic trio that began with Four and Twenty Blackbirds, now brings the same masterful writing and unforgettable characterization to the realm of near-contemporary rural fantasy. The result, Fathom, is fast-paced, stunning, and quite unlike anything you’ve ever read.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:00 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Before God created the earth as we know it, the planet was home to a race of monsters. In order to prepare for humans, He either banished or killed most of these native creatures. Those who remain in exile have not forgotten. One ancient tale encourages their vengeance, speaking of an angel with the power to wipe out a quarter of the world's population. Together, the old ones form a plot to catch this being and use him to reassert their reign.But not every prophecy is a promise. Down in coastal Florida, a handful of unwilling heroes is preparing to intervene. One of these sits frozen in stone, mistaken for a statue and abandoned in a courtyard for several years. Though Nia finds it difficult to believe, that strange prison was her sanctuary - a cocoon that transformed and protected her until her story could truly begin."Fathom" is an unapologetic mix of horror and urban fantasy that will appeal to fans of both genres.… (more)

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