Skyships Over Innsmouth is the latest book from Susan Laine. It's an interesting take off on a post-apocalyptic world meeting H.P. Lovecraft. And it works.
Dev is the captain of the Smoke Swallow, a scout airship from Canal City, looking for resources to replenish the dwindling stores as well as survivors of the Cataclysm. With his crew: Shay, the scholar, Malia, the fighter, Stork, the jack of all trades, and Wren, the youngest member of the crew, and another one who jumps in wherever needed.
Our crew sets off to find a mystical city. One only talked about in books. It never appears on any map, and even the books on it seem vague about any details. But they are determined to find Innsmouth, MA. And to unlock any secrets it may hold, including why its location is so secret.
The crew finds Innsmouth, and descends to the ground, leaving Wren aboard ship. Just in case of trouble. And trouble finds them shortly, in the guise of a young girl. A girl who looks oddly like a mix of human and fish? Malia is taken by the residents of Innsmouth, and Dev and Shay wet out to find her, with the help of Stork.
It is revealed that Innsmouth is a dream city. Or rather, a nightmare city, populated mostly by frightening hybrids of humans with fish, and a few hybrids of humans and other animals. And a few other beings that defy explanation.
Skyships Over Innsmouth borrows very heavily from the Lovecraftian universe, using locations, stories, and beings that were popularized by Lovecraft and his fellows. As such, there are things in the book that don't make lots of sense, unless you've got a little bit of knowledge of the lore. Non Euclidian geometry is touched on, as well as you can describe something that can't exist in our grasp of the universe, but not explained.And that bit of the book is difficult to wrap ones head around, but only because of the descriptions of how that "style" of geometry could look.
There's much more to this book, but going much deeper will take away from the mind bogglingness of it. But there is some lovely non-explicit romance, that isn't tiptoed around. It's very obvious what's going on, but there's no explicit sex, which was interesting and very well written. I was very pleased with the book, and how it juggled the two realms of existence. And the wink and nod to other Lovecraftian stories was great.
Skyships Over Innsmouth should be put on your to-read list if you're a fan of post-apocalyptic fiction, Lovecraftian fiction, LGBTQIA fiction, old school horror, and just plain weird creepy fiction. I give it two fins up. And a couple tentacles as well.