mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli
mordicai

  • Mood:
  • Music:

League. (13)

Fathom by Cherie Priest.

Mermaid makes vampires--
copper & arsenic make bronze,
WAKE! Leviathan!

This is an odd little book, & I think I really enjoyed it. To shorthand the premise on a meta-level, a mer-like "water witch"-- an elemental of godlike dimensions-- wants to wake the Leviathan at the world's core & end all life. To that end she makes a couple of blood thirsty shark children-- a pirate & a nasty socialite-- to do her bidding. Opposing her is, well-- Swamp-Thing. Or the elemental of Decay, who was once Death. He makes a statue-elemental to fight the others. With her comes an insurance adjuster. Sounds a little odd? Well, during the first half of the book, she's just a statue-- not a moving statue. A statue.

The prose is really interesting? Almost backwards. Evasive. You feel like the subject of the paragraphs are at the end instead of the begining. Elusive. Which feeds into the story-- none of the "children" know what is going on, & frankly, the more godlike elementals don't either. Elementals. Priest using a turn of phrase for them I find really evocative: they aren't made of their respective elements, but they are made from them. Cunning. There is a poison thing going on-- I don't know if it is to represent the works of man as being Othered from the natural order, or what. I half suspect that Cherie Priest was privvy to the old Immortal: The Invisible War RPG.

There are gorgeous moments, but I think the first scene with the jewelry smith will stick in my head the most. You immediately get the sense that he's more than it seems; he takes someone into his forge & just glories in the heat, in the fires & flickering light, in his club foot. He goes on & on about arsenic seeping into metalworker's flesh throughout history, turning them lame. He really comes across, in his brief cameo appearance. There are others-- the insurance agent trapped in the cult's church also springs to my thoughts.
Tags: books, haiku, priest
Subscribe
  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 7 comments