Deep Roots, the second novel in Ruthanna Emrys’s Innsmouth Legacy series, builds on the strange world her protagonists discovered and fought in Winter Tide. This entry in the series shows Aphra Marsh’s confluence—her magically bonded family members and friends—taking on new enemies and learning more about the creatures they didn’t know were already living on earth.
At the beginning of Deep Roots, Aphra et al. are in New York looking for distant family members who might have survived the devastating government raids of 1929. New family members could help them rebuild their species. They’ve traced a couple of distant cousins to the city, but it seems that someone else has a claim on cousin Freddy. While Aphra and the confluence try to get the measure of the Outer Ones and their bizarre, disturbing abilities to travel, they also have to contend with old frenemies: the weird stuff office of the FBI. Aphra reluctantly asks for their help because the Outer Ones have a fearsome reputation. But the problem with asking for federal help during the opening years of the Cold War is that the FBI agents will use every opportunity to find an advantage they can use against the Soviets.
While there are some great scenes in Deep Roots, notably the fight scene at the end of the book, most of this book is dialogue. Much of the dialogue is negotiation and plotting, between Aphra and the FBI, between Aphra and her much older relatives, between Aphra and the Outer Ones, between the Outer Ones and the FBI—and between Aphra and the members of the confluence. Too be honest, it was all a bit wearying. I enjoyed learning more about this revamped version of the Lovecraft mythos. The problem with this book is one I’ve seen in later series entries in urban fantasy when the various factions in the book all have immense powers. Instead of fighting or, well, any kind of action, it’s all talk.
Reader who were hooked by Winter Tide may enjoy this continuation. I suspect that it will be necessary reading for the next book in the series. I’m still curious about what will come next in the Innsmouth Legacy, since the ending of Deep Roots seems to clear the board for more adventures for the confluence. I just hope that those future adventures have more magic and action than talk.
I received a free copy of his book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration. It will be released 10 July 2018.