Winter Tides

Winter Tides

2.5 2
by James P. Blaylock
     
 

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Fifteen years ago, on a deserted California beach, Dave Quinn swam out into the winter ocean to save two drowning girls - identical twin sisters. He was only able to save one.

Now, years last, he meets Anne, a strugglng artist from Canada. He has no idea she is the child he saved so long ago. And he has no idea that Elinor, the long-dead sister he couldn't save

Overview

Fifteen years ago, on a deserted California beach, Dave Quinn swam out into the winter ocean to save two drowning girls - identical twin sisters. He was only able to save one.

Now, years last, he meets Anne, a strugglng artist from Canada. He has no idea she is the child he saved so long ago. And he has no idea that Elinor, the long-dead sister he couldn't save, has come with her...

REVIEWS:
"... a singular American fabulist." -- William Gibson

"This story of good and evil siblings examines how we all learn to live with who we are, and does so through supple writing and a tense and carefully executed plot... Blaylock combines the supernatural with a deep understanding of contemporary California and human nature, producing a book with appeal for both fantasy fans and readers of realistic fiction." -- Publishers Weekly

"Vivid descriptions and deft characterisations... Winter Tides exposes the underbelly of human nature" -- Library Journal

"One creepy, creepy book... Blaylock will scare you to death with a minimum of splatter and maximum of tension, Hitchcock-style. I read Winter Tides in one long sitting and found my heart wouldn't stop racing." -- Woodland Hills Daily News (California)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As in The Paper Grail (1992), Blaylock combines the supernatural with a deep understanding of contemporary California and human nature, producing a book with appeal for both fantasy fans and readers of realistic fiction. The Pacific Coast landscape haunts this tale, which is more literally haunted by the ghost of Elinor Morris, the adolescent girl whom Dave Quinn failed to save from drowningthough Dave did rescue her twin, Anne. Years later, Dave works for a company making theater props and sets, as does Anne. Though Anne helps Dave overcome his guilt over Elinor's death, the two must fight both Elinor's ghost and Edmund Dalton, the deranged son of the company's boss, who is cheating his own brother, Casey, and has a taste for arson and murder. This story of good and evil siblings examines how we all learn to live with who we are, and does so through supple writing and a tense and carefully executed plot. (Aug.)
VOYA - Ann Bouricius
Blaylock tells two stories, one of Edmund, who likes to make porn films-sometimes with women who are unconsenting; the other of Dave and Anne, whose lives first touched fifteen years ago when Dave tried but failed to save Anne's twin sister Elinor from drowning in the ocean. Now Elinor's ghost has returned, working through Edmund, whose mind is sufficiently twisted, to exact her revenge on Anne for living, and on Dave for failing to save her. This is a slow-moving piece filled with disturbing images of sexual perversions and acts of violence both implicit and implied. One subplot concerns Edmund's embezzling money from his wealthy father and attempting to murder his younger brother, who is Dave's best friend. Another subplot shows Edmund trying to destroy the relationship between an elderly man and his young granddaughter. While the book is skillfully written, it is difficult to imagine it holding much appeal for young people. For those who want horror stories, a better choice would be books by Annette Curtis Klause or Patricia Windsor. VOYA Codes: 3Q 2P S (Readable without serious defects, For the YA with a special interest in the subject, Senior High-defined as grades 10 to 12).
Library Journal
Haunted by the memory of only being able to save one twin girl from drowning, Dave Quinn abandons surfing for a safe life in Earl Dalton's theater-props company in Huntington Beach, California. When Canadian artist Anne Morris is drawn back to the town where twin sister Elinor drowned 15 years before, she and Dave find themselves shadowed by Elinor's malevolent spirit. Earl's son Edmund believes that Elinor's spirit is Anne's dark side and obsessively pursues her. Blaylock's (All the Bells on Earth, LJ 11/15/95) vivid descriptions and deft characterizations place ordinary flawed people in escalating horrific situations. This contemporary ghost story exposes the underbelly of human nature and belongs in most fantasy and horror collections.
Kirkus Reviews
More contemporary supernatural horror from the author of All the Bells on Earth (1995), etc. When surfer Dave Quinn saved a young girl from the sea, her twin sister eluded him and drowned. Now, 15 years later, Dave still lives in Huntington Beach, Calif., where he builds scenery for a theater warehouse owned by the rich Earl Dalton—this despite frequent clashes with Earl's creepy eldest son Edmund, whose interests include black magic, snuff movies, and defrauding Earl of various properties. The warehouse's latest employee is artist Anne Morris, whom Dave recognizes as the girl he saved. Anne's dead sister Elinor—a ghostly presence ever since she drowned—crafted a disturbing set of dolls and paintings, which Anne has kept. Edmund discovers the paintings and dolls and assumes they're Anne's; later, he's possessed by Elinor, discovers a secret entrance into Anne's apartment, and uses Elinor's dolls to set fires. Eventually, enraged by the growing closeness between Anne and Dave, and inspired by the evil Elinor, Edmund embarks on a campaign of arson, murder, kidnapping, and torture.

A lovingly evoked ocean/beachscape, along with Blaylock's usual hardworking characters—but the drama never quite coheres, and the ending just dangles.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781936535705
Publisher:
JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date:
06/18/2012
Series:
Ghosts Trilogy , #2
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
352
File size:
626 KB

Meet the Author

James P. Blaylock was mentored by Philip K. Dick, along with K.W. Jeter and Tim Powers, and is regarded as one of the founding fathers of modern steampunk. Winner of two World Fantasy Awards and a Philip K. Dick Award, he is director of the Creative Writing Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts and a professor at Chapman University, where he has taught for 20 years.

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Winter Tides 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The previous review - left a dozen years ago! - doesn't do justice to this fantastically atmospheric and haunting book. Blaylock is a terrific writer, and Winter Tides offers the reader a picture of Southern California that the travel books don't mention! Fantastic to see his work finally available as ebooks.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of the worst books I have read in a long time. I almost couldn't finish it because it was so bad. The characters were shallow and the story was wierd. This book will only stand out in my mind as plain odd.