Then I go back to sleep. Knowing that ghosts and monsters are real.
In fact, some of them are my very best friends.
Fathom by Merrie Destefano takes the normal concept of a legend and completely flips it. It’s a fabulous premise: creatures of the sea* tell the tale of a Kira Callahan, a young woman who mourns the loss of her mother and sister. The legend so captivates a group of these sea creatures that they take the dangerous journey from their homeland (I use the term “land” loosely) to Crescent Moon Bay where Kira lives.
Their arrival heralds a complete upheaval in Kira’s life. She’d always been a loner. The people of Crescent Moon Bay thought her mother killed Kira’s sister, and the stigma of that tragedy caused people to keep a wide berth. Kira was a witness to her mother’s madness. She saw the blood on her mother’s clothes up close during their last embrace, saw her mother run into the night toward a cliff and never come back.
Not even Kira’s history with tragedy could prepare her for the truths revealed with the appearance of the out-of-towners. She goes from being a newly-turned-sixteen-year-old with a possible love interest to a wise young woman willing to sacrifice everything for those she cares about. Her development is one of the things I enjoyed the most about Fathom. She has the common teen-girl foibles with insecurities and not-quite-developed decision making skills, but she grows with each turning page.
Now for the part of the review where I make demands. There must, MUST, be a sequel to this novel. MUST. I knew what happened was going to happen…it was the only possible thing that COULD happen in keeping with the structure of legends. But…I have to know what happens NEXT! It can’t be the end!! It just can’t!!!!!
Ahem. Needless to say, Fathom ends on a cliffhanger. Love, honor, sacrifice, and hope round out this beautifully tragic tale.
*The reason I referenced the sea creatures as such and not by name is because of a page or two around the end of Part I. The scene is written in a way that suggests the identity of the species is to be a shock. It isn’t. At all. And the references to the species, and those who belong to it, directly after the “shock” were the only parts of Fathom I didn’t like. It threw me out of the story and seemed like, maybe, the scene was originally intended to be an opening scene but got moved to the background at some point in the writing process.
- Paperback: 342 pages
- Publisher: Ruby Slippers Press (October 30, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0615717764
- ISBN-13: 978-0615717760