Ghost Ocean - S.M. Peters The town of St. Ives is a prison for all manner of inimical entities, including the Kitsune, who grants wishes; Baba Yaga; the Muse; and, the worst nightmare, The Goat with a Thousand Young (shades of H.P. Lovecraft). Our world is governed by the Warden, a position held by various creatures (sometimes human, sometimes not) over the millennia. In the 14th century or so, a Warden succeeded to the position who wanted everything to be governed by immutable laws – thus unleashing the Scientific Revolution and the war against superstition and intuition. But the bogeymen of myth still remained and it became the job of certain groups to suppress and bind them to out-of-the-way prisons across the planet.

Te Evangeline is the daughter of Robert Evangeline, a binder, and Sonore, the Muse (though Te only learns of her nonhuman legacy later in the novel), born to be the key that unlocks St. Ives and unleashes its inmates on the world.

But, of course, as in all good novels, things are quite what they seem – Is the Kitsune really all that evil? Would it be a wholly bad thing if St. Ives’ prisoners were freed? Among other questions.

As in White Chapel Gods, Peters creates an interesting, fast-paced story, and an interesting interpretation of why the world is the way it is. Thankfully, he manages to avoid Te evolving into a deus ex machina as she comes into her nonhuman inheritance and leaves things open for further stories in this world (though, again thankfully, the novel is completely self-contained).

I enjoyed this novel nearly as much as White Chapel Gods, and look forward to further works from this author.

Recommended (if that wasn’t already obvious).