Dev is the captain of the scout airship Smoke Sparrow, and Shay is the scholar of their newest expedition. Their destination is Innsmouth, Massachusetts, a small fishing town that is mentioned in obscure books but shows up on no maps. Might its secrets offer answers? But within the fog-covered, ruined hillside town by the bay lurk unspeakable dangers and horrors beyond imagining. The expedition team soon learns that Innsmouth is one town that should have been left forgotten.
- Books Release Day Review: Skyships Over Innsmouth, by Susan Laine
Release Day Review: Skyships Over Innsmouth, by Susan Laine
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EW Elaine White
About the Author
Susan is an award-winning author of LGBTQ erotic romance, often described as M/M (gay) and F/F (lesbian) romance. She writes for Dreamspinner Press, DSP Publications,Siren BookStrand, and Evernight Publishing. Susan is a Finn but she writes in English. She likes action flicks, pop music, saunas, and the seasons in Finland. Join Susan's newsletter HERE.
August 02, 2016
You really have to know your H.P. Lovecraft to understand this.
Twenty winters have passed since the Cataclysm brought down society and robbed people of their memories. Humanity, vastly reduced in numbers since the initial chaos, has started anew in Canal City with the aid of library books and steam technology. The Scout and Ranger Corps was established to search for possible survivors and to replenish dwindling resources.
(Updated: August 17, 2016)
Cover – Gorgeous!
POV – 3rd person, multi-POV
Would I read it again – No
Genre – LGBT, Steampunk, Science Fiction, Horror
** I WAS GIVEN THIS BOOK BY DSP PUBLICATIONS IN RETURN FOR AN HONEST REVIEW **
DISCLOSURE: I had never read a Lovecraft novel, and didn't know it was going to be paramount to my understand of this story, so I ended up being really confused, thinking this was all the author's original concept, until countless reviews told me otherwise (after I'd written my own, of course). This is why it's a 3 star and not a 2, as it would normally be. I'm pretty sure Lovecraft fans would love this, but I'm not a fan and I didn't love it; perhaps for this reason or maybe just because it didn't work on its own merit.
While the overall story has merit in terms of old classic horror, in the style of Lovecraft (as the author implies), the rest is just a little too garishly ridiculous for my taste. I've marked it a 3, because I'm sure diehard fans of Lovecraft and old horror might enjoy it, but for me, it just didn't work as an overall, cohesive, captivating story.
I've read quite a few Susan Laine books by now and they're a little lopsided for me – I either love them or feel completely ambivalent about them. This one falls into the second category. Although parts of it were good – the first 45% and moments thereafter – there was just no cohesiveness to the plot, the horror aspects felt sort of stolen from the greats of the genre, even mentioning Lovecraft and Derleth multiple times and the characters sort of became second fiddle to the Innsmouth aspect of the story.
There were aliens, tentacles, zombie-like creatures and squids, skyships, amnesia and more. It was just far too much for one story to handle. And, honestly, the horror wasn't scary or frightening, but overdone and over-exaggerated. I found most of it predictable and the rest fancifully ridiculous.
With monologues all over the place and a pair of male MC's that were will-they-wont-they, there was already a lot to keep track of. But then Malia came into the picture, as the only female, but a very unlikeable, unrelateable character, who was borish, rude and marginalized others at the drop of a hat. Her POV scenes were quite a challenge to read, even though she was a character central to the forwarding of the plot.
Again, there were hints of other horror books/movies included here – a little of The Ring, Lovecraft, Derleth, an Ancient Egyptian twist reminiscent of Stargate, even a little hint of The Hills Have Eyes.
By 45% I started skim reading. I normally wouldn't, for a book I'm reviewing, but this one really was a challenge to read and, honestly, by 45% I could see it ending within a chapter or two, as a short story, while wrapping up the plot and giving us a suitable ending. However, it dragged on to the very end, about 98%, and just became more and more elaborate as it went.
Oh, and the end location (not telling you, in case you read it) just added the cherry to the top of the ridiculousness. That one really made me glad I'd skimmed most of the action/adventure aspect in the second half of the book, because it warned me that there might very well be another book in this world and I'm not going to read it.
Overall, I think Laine just tried far too hard to emulate the likes of Lovecraft and classic horror novels. Perhaps if the plot had been simplified and the over-exaggeration of danger every second, twists and turns in every chapter.
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