Monday, March 18, 2019

The Magic of Miraculum

Steph Post spins a dark, mysterious tale.

Steph Post is known for her gritty, rural sagas. Having been a fan since the Hart family tale in A TREE BORN CROOKED, I, like so many others, jump with joy when she delivers a new book. 

I find it impossible not to be drawn in by her authentic and striking way of presenting a story.  Her purposeful way with words and intentional cadence, elements that perfectly illustrate a clear command of her massive talent and be sure, these skills are hard won through years of learning and teaching the art of writing. Immersing herself in the dark mystique of Southern Noir. Watching the world turn.

Her Judah Cannon series, LIGHTWOOD and WALK in the FIRE, is thick with characters living a hard life in north-central Florida, existing hand to mouth, desperate, and willing to do the unthinkable. These stories are packed with crime, violence, and greed, and a family dynamic that will remind you of the best mob tales. Only a writer with true talent can sew all these patches together.

With her latest release, Miraculum, Steph Post delves into magical and fantastical realms while using her Southern Gothic sensibilities for flavor. Post takes us to the Florida of 1922, after the Great War and before the Great Depression. We are introduced to Pontilliar’s Spectacular Star Light Miraculum carnival. 

We meet our main character, Ruby, daughter to the owner of the carnival, the snake charmer whose body is covered with tattoos. Ruby is a tough survivor trying to work past her secrets and lowly life, daring to dream of a life outside the carnival. We come to see what Ruby wants and what she fears. We get close to her.

Soon we meet a tall man by the name of Daniel, a fastidious man in an immaculate black suit who joins the carnival as a chicken-biting geek. He quickly charms the carnival troop, everyone except Ruby. As accidents and calamity befall the carnival Ruby begins to wonder if Daniel is more than he seems and what he may want with her family and friends.

Steph Post brings her characters to life with an extraordinary sense of detail. Her way around dialogue is tight and it is apparent she did her homework in researching the time period and the lifestyle of traveling carnivals. All of your senses are brought into play.You will feel transported.

The same striking aspects of Post’s previous works are present in Miraculum; atmosphere, action, and storyline, but she has followed her imagination and enlarged her world. Under Steph Post’s lyrical knack, Miraculum dances in the weird, creepy, and supernatural. An awesome read, this is a magical book that will leave you enthralled until the last word.

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