I LOVED this story! It's going on my 10* favorites shelf. I think you absolutely have to listen to the audio to get the full experience of Nettie Lonesome aka Nat aka Rhett.
On the surface it's a dark and gritty, western fantasy but down deep it's a whole lot more then that. The author touches on quite a few serious topics-gender identity; sexual orientation, racism, cultural identity, slavery etc.
The entire story was just so well written too. If you haven't read it, you should definitely add it the audio to your 'TBR-Now' pile.
An anthology built around the theme of the ocean? How could I say no to that? Not all of the stories resonated with me, but many did. And the ones that did- resonated deeply.
FODDER'S JIG by Lee Thomas. Sea monsters, a gay couple and a gold-digging relative. Every time I thought this tale was nothing special, something special happened. I need to read more Lee Thomas!
WHAT MY MOTHER LEFT ME by Alyssa Wong blew me away. Imaginative and bold, I already purchased another story from this author. This was my favorite tale in the book.
SISTER, DEAREST SISTER, LET ME SHOW YOU TO THE SEA by Seanan McGuire. I always wanted a sister. Now, I know I was better off alone.
SHIT HAPPENS by Michael Marshall Smith. I laughed my butt off. Then I became nauseated and then I laughed some more. This is one of the grossest and funniest stories I've ever read.
HE SINGS OF SALT AND WORMWOOD by Brian Hodge. Even though they weren't the main crux of the story, I never knew ship-worms existed and now I may never go into the ocean again.
A SHIP OF THE SOUTH WIND by Bradley Denton. This one wasn't about the sea as we know it, but instead, a sea that dried up long ago. It also features the coolest ship I've ever read about.
With a few more notable stories by Christopher Golden and Steve Rasnic Tem, I thoroughly enjoyed this anthology and can honestly say that I highly recommend it!
You can get your copy here: THE DEVIL AND THE DEEP
*A big thank you to Marion Schwaner at Night Shade Books for the free ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*
This is an enjoyable book of folklore from the Maldives, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. Though the author’s writing in the introduction is a bit stiff, the 80 tales included are characterized by strong storytelling, and paint a vivid picture of the traditional culture of the Maldives. The stories are perhaps best described as legends, featuring kings, ghosts and spirits, good and evil sorcerers, and monsters from the sea, alongside regular people who interact with all of the above, and of course a few animal stories. A few tales are based on recent historical incidents, while most seem to be set sometime in the distant past. Despite the large number of stories, ranging in length from 1-2 pages to 12 or 14, they felt fresh and engaging throughout. In fact, two different stories about a man who falsely sets himself up as an expert have opposite endings.
I would have appreciated more information about the Maldives and the storytellers, who are identified by name and place of residence but not otherwise discussed, though the author might reasonably have seen that as beyond the scope of this book. I was surprised to learn that the book is actually banned in the Maldives, which currently has a strict Muslim government; Islam has been in the islands for centuries and appears in many of the stories, but the stories treat it casually, as part of the backdrop. More information about life in the islands today, to put all this in context, would have been helpful. That said, I think this is an excellent choice for those who enjoy folklore, and I enjoyed reading it.