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‘Poseidon’s Children’ an Urban Fantasy Carnavale! (Part 3 – Final in Series)

I remember when I read my first Hemingway. Sitting in my grandfathers study snuggled under my great grandmother’s knitted blanket with a small 60 watt bulb illuminating the treasured book from his shelves. His study smelled like leather and typewriter ribbon, I will never forget that. When I smell these things or snuggle under that blanket, which I still have, I go back to that time in that chair with that Old Man. Memories are heavily tied to scent, taste,  feeling… and for me words. I was so emotionally invested in the Fisherman and I stayed up all night till the tale was done.

You know what books I am talking about, the ones you read which stay with you, like my Hemingway moment.  That have grabbed you in some way with some ‘hook’, dragging you along for the ride. The ones that a month, a year or even five later you see something, or read something which brings you back to that moment in the book, where you are, what you are doing, what you are eating… Some of you have a handful, some  of you, like me, have different handfuls that I cycle through because books are part of a central core of my being. Poseidon’s Children and the rest of the Legacy of Gods series may possibly come to be one of those books. Let’s talk about why, this definitely will not be a normal review, perhaps more of a discussion on passion and why I feel passionate and so excited about talking about Michael West’s latest experience in words.

Earlier this week I asked Michael West why Urban Fantasy? I tend to not read reviews or synopsis’ because every time I do I get thrown completely off and at times I go off on a tangent because these labels that are forced upon authors in order to sell the book at times screws the pooch. Now Urban Fantasy does not screw the pooch with this, however I cannot put Poseidon’s Children specifically in this category nor can I label it as Cthulhuian mythos, or Horror, or thriller, or fantasy, or science fiction, or… this is a book that I had a very hard time nailing down. If I had to I would say Urban Carnivale! but they do not have that subgenre… yet. Michael may just be the first

First off to understand where I am coming from you need to understand the term or phenomena of Carnivale, at least in how I am using it. In its root ‘carnevale’ is derived from the two words meaning, ‘carne’, ‘meat’ (food) or ‘flesh’ (sex). It has been much discussed in the sociological circles as an actual phenomena dating back in many different cultures thousands of years.  During these times the world, society is tumultuous with most social hierarchies being inverted with satire and a farce, even mockery. Reversals of relations between man and beast, men and women, fathers and sons.. and in this book definitely mothers and daughters. If you have read this, you know exactly where I am headed. If you have not read it, think about the fantastical aspects of a Carnivale! The cotton candy, the chaos, the thrills, chills and the Freak Show! Michael presents you one with this amazing read.

I literally did a fist pump and giggled when I read the opening scene The series starts off set on a small New England island off the mainland of New Hampshire. One of those little tourist traps with quaint shops, quirky hotel clerks, clueless tourist and rich mainlanders that summer on the shores. One of these rich mainlanders is a man called Roger Hays and Roger had a son, one that as the book opened up was treading water in the surf coaxing his neurotic girlfriend, who is afraid of open water, out to have a little tryst int he sea. Just like our skinny dipper from Jaws soon finds out, this will be the last risqué thing these two lovers do… ever…

…Susan Rogers had been right to fear the water. There were monsters lurking just below its churning surface. Now, they pulled her down into the dark depths; things with black and orange stripes, things with claws, with fangs like sharpened steak knives, and, unfortunately for her, they were not inclined to swallow her whole…( location 163)

Here is where it gets tricky, I want to tell you all about it, I want to stand in front of my webcam and give you jazz hands and giggle as I recount a scene.. but I can’t! (Plus it is free today so you have no excuse to but to scurry over and grab it! – afterwards it is still only $2.99 which frankly I think it should be more). Yesterday I started blathering on and on about the story to Geoff until he raised his hand up and said, “Stop, wait… sea monsters, Atlantis, a town full of sea monsters, a lost god, a weapon… wait.. a mobster? WTH where is Bruce Campbell!” I laughed so hard because I had been saying all along that all that was missing was a horde of zombies, Bruce Campbell and a chainsaw.

Now before you roll your eyes and dismiss this, you have gotten this far in so give it a bit more. Simply put, it was brilliantly woven. I giggled continually when I saw the correspondences. It is not just the story that is “Urban Carnivale”, the writing style, the cleverly woven plot devices everything fits overlayed into this frantic masterpiece. Oh and the love scenes! *fanning myself* all of them, including the ones that were a bit harder to read, (involving one of the bad guys!)

Since this is the start of the series his cast/character list is large. The protagonists consist of numbers which would fill at least a starting line up for a baseball team! Perhaps Colonial Bay Creatures?? umm no.. anyway. One thing people have discussed is because of this some of the characters did not get “fluffed” enough (could not resist). I started reading this knowing it was the first in a series. Many times when this is the case the first half of a book is nothing but setting up the world, “fluffing” out the depths of the characters so by the time you get to the meat of the piece you are almost finished! It didn’t even occur to me while I was reading because I was swept along with the tentacles of each story arc. The characters that needed filling, were filled and those that were not will obviously be more developed later so this was not an issue for me.

When you open this up, expect to smile, to cover your mouth in horror, to catch yourself needed to grab a breath,  taking a couple of hot showers, checking before you dive into a pool from now on… and appreciating the fact that most beaches are PROBABLY safe.. probably .. Thrills, chills.. train wrecks you cannot stop watching (in a good way)… and remember they may not need to need to worry about being able to take a big deep breath before diving in, but you will! I cannot recommend this book more it will redefine the genre, or become the beginning of a new one. I think I will go tag it with ‘Urban Carnavale’  now!

I have been taunting everyone for weeks since the teaser about tentacles and Cthulhuian dreams and words of horror that will thrill you!  With this incredible book, I have found another treasured memory placeholder. I will always have “a moment” when I read anything that tugs… pulls and twists at my memory. I will probably smile fondly each time I make my crab cakes! But I had not read the book yet. I have now, and Poseidon’s Children will always have this ‘hook’ in the flesh of my subconscious.


Michael West is the critically acclaimed author of Cinema of Shadows, Skull Full of Kisses and The Wide Game. He lives and works in the Indianapolis area with his wife, their two children, their bird, Rodan and turtle, Gamera.

He loves to walk on the beach, but he still doesn’t think it’s safe to go back in the water

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  1. Okay seriously woman you are goddess reviewer. I loved your review and had I know that the book had a fluffer I’d have dropped everything and started reading it, I have to finish what I started first now and then I will let the tentacles ensnare me.
    Show me some love!

  2. Nice review! You’ve convinced me to check it out 🙂
    Show me some love!

  3. Hands down, the absolute best review ever. BRAVO! I had so much fun reading this. Michael has got to be amazed. When I grow up I want to write reviews like this:)
    Show me some love!

  4. Wow! Really nice post Kriss. One of your absolute best!!! Now I HAVE to make time to read this book.
    Show me some love!

  5. Yeah, that’s what I need… One more book to excite me and thrill my very ornery imagination. I can’t wait to read it!
    Show me some love!

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