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Winter Tide

(The Innsmouth Legacy #1)

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  2,821 ratings  ·  644 reviews
After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emerged without a past or a future.

The government that stole Aphra's life now needs her help. FBI agent Ron Spector b
Hardcover, 366 pages
Published April 4th 2017 by
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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Dan Schwent
Apr 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, 2017-books
Aphra and Caleb Marsh, survivors of the government's raid on Innsmouth in 1928 and the internment camp that followed, head to the east coast to find the lost books of their people. Will Miskatonic University give up its secrets? And what of the rumors of Russians researching body-swapping magic?

After reading Litany of the Earth in Cthulhusattva: Tales of the Black Gnosis, I was intrigued by Ruthanna Emrys' tale of the plight of the survivors of the government's raid on Innsmouth and wanted more.
Unexpected. I haven't tried Lovecraft for years, perhaps decades, so this lingered on my TBR, due to numerous reviews and blurbs mentioning how it turns Lovecroft storytelling sideways. But a female lead, magic, water, and the almost ringing endorsement of book-twin Mimi had me bumping it up.

I found it enjoyable, perhaps because I never could truly predict where it was going, the hallmark of a book I could see owning. What it reminds me of is quiet, the muffled mist-soaked morning beauty by a la
It's impossible to think that most of you will have to wait until April to read this, and I say that for one reason: It's amazing! Take the Cthulhu mythos, take it seriously, have your sympathetic main character be a Deep One, and make us care for her family's plight.

What's more, add a more than liberal dose of book-loving research that include Enochian and all the best beloved titles from HPL, perhaps turn it into a quest to build or re-build your family's lost collection, and of course, buttin
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
actual rating: 2.5 stars

If you're not familiar with Aphra's story, you should read Litany of Earth novella (read it here). I enjoyed this short story way more than Winer Tide. I really liked it but this book was so slow. I read it almost directly after starting this book. I expected Winter Tide to be as enjoyable but sadly, it wasn't.

Even though this book didn't meet my expectations, it certainly made me curious enough to check out Lovecraft work in the future. I had no idea it held such influ
Richard Derus
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quiltbag
Rating: 4.5* of five

I need some more bandwidth to become available prior to reviewing this novel. Watch this space. And don't forget to read my review of The Litany of Earth, the link to the free read is in it.

The Publisher Says: After attacking Devil’s Reef in 1928, the U.S. Government rounded up the people of Innsmouth and took them to the desert, far from their ocean, their Deep One ancestors, and their sleeping god Cthulhu. Only Aphra and Caleb Marsh survived the camps, and they emer
Apr 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is not what I expected. From the description I was thinking a cold war spy romp with a native of Innsmouth using her skills as a US agent. It's nothing like that.

Aphra Marsh and her brother Caleb are the only survivors of the US government's raid on Innsmouth in 1928 due to the report of the main character of The Shadow Over Innsmouth. The government had interned the Innsmouth people in a desert camp; a particularly horrible fate for amphibious humans. But then in 1942 the government had mo
Sherwood Smith

After a couple of tries at Lovecraft when I was young, I bounced so hard I never wanted to try him again. Horror, racism and hate, a trifecta of Thoroughly Awful, imo.

But this past October, when I was in Montreal at a con called Scintillation, I got to hear the author speak. I found her so interesting and intelligent that I went to look her up, found out she had published a book . . . but it dealt with Lovecraft. I mentioned this to someone, who said, “Don’t make assumptions. Read it. I promise,
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-read
4.5 stars

A very impressive and impeccably written debut novel.

The story is rooted in Lovecraftian mythos, but goes in new and unexpected places. The so-called monsters of Innsmouth are given the chance to show that they are people, with families and friends, who frighten primarily by being different. They possess power and magic, but no more inherent desire to harm than any of the other people of the Earth, even as they are subjected to continued persecution and surveillance.

The writing is wonde
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
The blurb doesn't give a very accurate account of what actually happens in the book. There's no real spy story, the fact that it takes place in the late 40s is barely relevant, and it's way more interested in the magic, meditation, and rituals that the main character Aphra (who really doesn't have much in the way of personality) does as religious practice that she seems both very protective of but also totally cool with bringing total strangers in to.

I think more than third of the book is spent
Allison Hurd
DNF @30%

It's taken me 8 days to read 113 pages. I don't care about any of the characters, or their quest. It started with a beautiful eeriness. I loved the setting and was hoping for a lot of tie in to socio-political currents as well as Cthulhu horror. I think they'd go so well together. And yet.

The dialogue didn't make sense, there were continuity errors everywhere, and the second I'd find something cool to hope for, it was crushed in a mountain of over-explanation and no emotional buy in or a
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mimi by: SFFBC pick for February 2018
Really good. Like SO GOOD... until the end where it got convoluted and the ending got unnecessarily long. Certain sub-plots that needed wrapping up went on for too long which caused the writing to lose some of the initial momentum from the early parts of the book, but right up until then, I loved this book. It was solid hit and came as a total surprise to me because I'm not a fan of Lovecraft or Lovecraftian things.

Ruthanna Emrys is an incredible writer and she has created something very specia
Aug 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
What if Lovecraft actually had writing skills not just great imagination? Well luckily we don't have to wonder as there are several authors who use Lovecraft's fascinating mythology. Ruthanna Emrys does tribute to his work but also deconstructs it.
Here some of the Lovecraft's most famous monsters, the deep ones, are humanized and sympathetic while actions of humans (We are also human just sub-specie Aphra, main protagonist would have corrected me) are are those that are repulsive. Instead of hor
Mar 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Should we be surprised to read that the denizens of Innsmouth and Y'ha-nthlei don't think of themselves as hideous hybrids of fish and frog and man? Or that they call themselves Chyrlid Ajha, People of the Water, rather than the perhaps overly poetic Deep Ones? Or that to them the name Devil Reef just doesn't cut it? They say Union Reef -- they're not devils, after all, and that jagged upthrust of rock is the meeting place between earth and ocean, the land-bound spawning grounds and the promise ...more
May 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
More like 3.5 stars.
An intriguing and beautifully composed reversal of the Lovecraftian mythos, if a little slow moving.
Mar 14, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written story, picking up from Lovecraft's The Shadow of Innsmouth, but with a much more relatable and sympathetic protagonist, Aphra Marsh. Aphra's roped into helping Ron Spector (both characters are introduced, along with Charlie Day, in Emrys' The Litany of Earth) with another investigation into Innsmouth-infused weirdness. They all end up in New England, posing as Spector's research assistants so they can gain access to the Innsmouth families' books, which are stored at Miskatoni ...more
Apr 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
GORGEOUS. I can't wait to pick up the sequel!

So, H.P. Lovecraft. A behemoth of a cultural figure in the world of sci-fi and horror. BUT... The big But. His legacy is... Not great? As in, he was a huge racist and a xenophobe. So how do we contend with the cultural ubiquity of Lovecraft's work, AND his bigotry?

Enter Ruthanna Emrys, and Winter Tide. This book takes elements of Lovecraftian mythos--with particular focus to The Shadow Over Innsmouth--and turns them on their head. I can't help but thi
Aug 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mythos
I have read almost 400 books so far this year, and this was by far the most boring of the bunch. I wanted to quit this book so badly, but I marched on (with a bit of skimming...).

Forget waterboarding, just make prisoners read this book and they will spill all of their secrets by page 100. This book almost makes me wish books were never invented. This book makes me want to dig up Lovecraft's nasty corpse and apologize in person. This is the worst thing to happen to Lovecraft since intestinal can
Holly (The GrimDragon)
"It is written in the Archives that, once upon a time, the gods looked out on a universe barren and unthinking save for themselves. And they tested and experimented until they sparked matter into a form that might, one day, be capable of thought. And Shub-Nigaroth, mother of fear, looked on the first life and said: it will fail, but for now it is good."

Winter Tide is the debut novel from Ruthanna Emrys and the first installment in the Innsmouth Legacy series. Enjoyably familiar Lovecraft element
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks, 2018
I know nothing really about H. P. Lovecraft and his mythos, aside from what's probably general knowledge - Cthulhu, racism, etc. So I went into this pretty unprepared, and came out with my mind basically blown.

Set after the end of WWII, it's all about people finding their place in a world that is very different from before the war. Some of that is fantastical, but mostly it's a purely human experience. I loved Aphra, her willingness to be open to new ideas and new people, and her growth as a pe
Sep 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
When it comes to the existential dread of man's insignificance in an irrational universe, nobody beats H.P. Lovecraft. Like Wolverine, he's the best there is at what he does.

That said, there are definitely some things he does NOT do. Pathos, characterization -- these are not so much his forté. No one, I sincerely hope, has ever said "You know, I really relate to Yog-Sothoth on a personal level," or "I feel like the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred is a cherished friend."

In Winter Tide, Ruthanna
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
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 th
Chris Berko
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very cool and for me an unpredictable read, that was also somewhat slow in parts. I'm not a big Lovecraft fan and I know hardly anything about anything that has to do with Cthulhu mythos but the magic and the mystery and the underlying investigation was enough to keep me entertained as well as minimally educated as to what it all means. I will most likely continue this series as the characters were all real for me and I do want to know what happens to them moving forward. I'm glad I r ...more
Even given my unfamiliarity with much of classic Lovecraftian lore, I found the story compelling and the main character richly drawn.

Not a perfect story, there were characters who proved critical who were scarcely more than sketches, (particularly Charlie,) and the ending felt a bit abrupt.

In spite of those small criticisms, I loved the subversion of primary objections to Lovecraft both as a (dubious) human, and as a (racist, misogynist) writer, significantly by resting so much of the story on
Jun 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lovecraftian
At page 322 I just had to stop reading, could not finish this, surprised that I managed to read this far actually. Really disliked this book, I find the idea of humanizing the deep ones quite terrible, and too far removed from the works of Lovecraft which I grew up loving. I find it perplexing that someone gets so hung up on Lovecraft's personal views to overlook the very basic ideas of cosmic horror featured in his stories.
Michael Hicks
Mar 24, 2017 marked it as quit-dnf  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
March 24, 2017.
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, and I am officially calling it quits after five chapters (14%). I liked the short story Emrys wrote preceding this volume, but holy shit, this book puts me to sleep every time I try to read it. No rating. DNF.
P. Kirby
Lovecraft fan fiction without Lovecraft's ponderous prose, but also without any of Lovecraft's creepy atmosphere.

I've only read snippets of Lovecraft's writing but based on what little I do know, Winter Tide features a sanitized, gentrified version of the Deep Ones. For me, lacking any significant background in things Lovecraftian, this was stunningly boring.

The story follows Agra or Adra, or whatever her name is, a member of a human/not-human species of humanoids who turn fishy after living f
Feb 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I’m giving it 3 stars overall. This isn’t a bad book. It’s just very slow. Slow isn’t always a bad thing, but I have a lot on my mind right now and I wasn’t able to dedicate the level of focus I think this book requires.

I enjoyed the writing style and I liked the characters for the most part. I adored Charlie and Audrey. A couple people I read this with said they noticed some anachronisms in the text. I didn’t notice them myself but I am not as brushed up on my WWII era history as perhaps I shou
Megan Baxter
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I said recently that I've now read more reinterpretations of Lovecraft than I have Lovecraft. (That wasn't hard, I've only read In the Mountains of Madness.) I guess today the scales are weighted even further on that side, with three interpretations up against one original. There's something about Lovecraft, even with, and perhaps because of, the racism, that makes it something to explore further, to look at how race intertwines with the Mythos, and grapple with what it would mean to take the li ...more
Dec 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Oh wow, the concept. I don't feel particularly strongly about H.P. Lovecraft either way, but I can't say his works had no impact on me; if not directly, then through other works of fiction. Emrys takes this legacy and makes it something else while remaining true to the mythos. Giving voice to the monsters was a brilliant idea, and Aphra is a compelling character. At some point, the mundanity of monstrosity effect wears off, but you still stay for the narrative. ...more
Oct 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
So many excellent Lovecraft re-imaginings in the last few years. This is a pretty great one and a solid start to a new series.

Longer review later.
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Madison Mega-Mara...: #36 Winter Tide by Ruthanna Emrys 1 3 Aug 03, 2019 05:34AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: "Winter Tide" Final Thoughts *Spoilers* 16 49 Feb 26, 2018 10:43AM  

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The Innsmouth Legacy (3 books)
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