Deeplight by Frances Hardinge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I've got to hand it to Hardinge. When she decides to do some worldbuilding, she dives deep. And in this case, I mean that literally.
The world is recovering after sea gods destroyed it several decades past and the remnants eke out a hard survival among the waters and the islands. I was fascinated to discover this world and get embroiled in some rather dangerous situations that turn out badly (as stories always do), but I was even more interested in the cool twists that came about soon after a certain heart showed up.
I love echoes of Cthulhu and deep-sea gods and deals with a devil. But more than that, I LOVE stories. Especially stories within stories--or in this case, a storyteller who survives by telling tales--and how he does it by NOT going about the traditional bard route. :)
I admit I didn't absolutely LOVE this book until we were getting to the big action near the end, but between that and the final resolution, I was VERY satisfied. It pushed all my buttons.
I'd call this one a solid 4.5 stars. :)
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