Short Story Review: UNDER THE SEA OF STARS, by Seanan Mcguire


click on the LINK to read the story online


Finding a story by Seanan McGuire is always a treat, particularly because I never know, going in, what I will find, although I’m also aware at the same time that it will be an intriguing journey – and this was no exception.

The tale is told in the form of a diary from Amelia Whitmore, who in the latter part of the 19th Century mounts an expedition to explore the depths of the Bolton Strid, a body of water wreathed in mystery, a deceptively lovely place with hidden depths and murderous currents that never gave back the bodies of the unfortunates that dived in it.  Long ago Amelia’s grandfather Carlton found a strange woman on the banks of the Strid, with pale, glittering skin and no knowledge of the world, and named her Molly; after her death, he vowed to look for her family to tell them of what had happened, but was unable to, and now Amelia wants to fulfill that promise, and explore the mysteries of the Strid. What Amelia will find is beyond her wildest thoughts, and filled with terrible discoveries…

The tone of this story is an intriguing one because it uses a language and expressive mode that’s typical of the period in which the tale is set, something that reminded me of the sense of wonder of Jules Verne and the terror of the unknown from Lovecraft’s works: the latter is particularly true at the closing part of the story, when the ultimate truth hits like a scorpion’s sting.  Which is a typical Seanan McGuire’s ending…


My Rating:

10 thoughts on “Short Story Review: UNDER THE SEA OF STARS, by Seanan Mcguire

  1. She does seem to have a thing with stories set in deep waters or the oceanic depths – reading this one’s description, I can’t help but think of the mermaid books she wrote under Mira Grant! Same kind of mysterious atmosphere and the wonder of the unknown, even if this one isn’t about the topic 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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