The day has finally arrived — for upon this morn, my fifth novel hits the streets. Hypothetically, if all goes according to plan, you ought to find Fathom on the shelves at finer retail establishments everywhere. This pleases me on a number of levels, not least of all because it’s this month’s selection for the Barnes & Noble paranormal bookclub — where the discussion is already underway; and the preliminary critical reception has been very, very good.
Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review; Booklist says that Fathom is a “character-driven yarn … unlike anything else in contemporary fantasy.” Even Kirkus didn’t hate it, calling it “Pleasantly offbeat, with plenty of vivid, compelling action sequences.”
But maybe you’re asking yourself, “Self, what’s it about?” Well folks, let me offer up a short summary I originally concocted as flap copy (because what we actually used is significantly longer, and I’m trying my best to keep this kind of short):
- An ageless water witch schemes to bring old gods back to glory, but awakening the Leviathan is no small feat–and itâ€™s none too compatible with the survival of humanity. Nevertheless, a handful of ambitious villains are open to recruitment and the ranks of darkness fill with surprising speed. Aided by an eighteenth-century Spanish pirate and his deranged young lover, the witch strives to bring about the end of the world.
But between the cracks hide forgotten old things. Ignored–but far from powerless–they claim a hero of their own. The soul they salvage was destined for a watery grave, but the timing is right and the lingering elementals have better ideas.
Now the End of Days is challenged by a strange and powerful new creature, distilled from stone by a servant of the earth who refuses to surrender his green fields and muddy plains. Not yet. Add to his arsenal a hapless insurance inspector and the irate priest of a fire god, and suddenly rural Florida doesnâ€™t seem quite so sleepy anymore.
Though it’s definitely a fable for adults, one of the point-of-view characters is a teenager; so it has been suggested that this might make a good Christmas gift for the adventure-loving adolescent on your list. If you’d like to know what your young reader could expect from a “Parental Controls” standpoint, feel free to email me and I’ll be happy to fill you in.
And while I’m on the subject of this book, please bear with me while I make an impassioned, humble plea: If you’ve ever thought about picking up my fiction, and you’ve never read anything but this blog … then please consider nabbing this novel; or if you’ve been keeping up with my fiction career all along, then first of all I thank you most profusely — and second, please stick with me on this one. This is my first wide-release hardback novel, and hardbacks by writers like me typically don’t sell very well. The truth is, I have a lot riding on Fathom, and there’s a lot working against it.
So. Anyway, yes. I thank you for your time, for your readership, and your support. I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d link this post around, or perhaps make recommendations to your friends, or even leave Amazon.com or BN.com reviews once you’ve read the book. You guys are the best, and it’s a privilege to show you my kitty videos and pirate scars.
[Edited to add: I’m having truly terrible internet issues at home — and in fact, right now I’m piggybacking off an unsecured neighbor’s network out of pure desperation, which makes me uncomfortable on a number of levels. But anyway, I apologize in advance for any undue silence to comments or emails; and rest assured, I’m wracking my brain trying to fix it.]