Short Story Review: “Those Who Watch” by Ruthanna Emrys

3 of 5 stars.

Libraries, like temples, often rightly receive reverent treatment. From the art and architecture of the buildings to the respect for the mission and knowledge contained within.

This tale follows a newly hired librarian at a rural Louisiana community college library that’s separated from the boyfriend that emotionally supports her and the culture and environment that she understands. Her anxiety is no surprise. What’s surprising is her relationship to the library and the strange sensations and experiences she entertains in her early days there. The building itself and the allegorical statues guarding the corners of the reading room seem to be toying and testing her worth. Meanwhile, the other staff seem to be aware of this supernatural hazing as if they too have been through it.

Meanwhile, the history of the library’s founding and presence of archaic titles held throughout seem to have invited unseen entities and attention . . .

This tale appears in the New Lovecraftian anthology, The Mammoth Book of Cthulhu edited by Paula Guran. I received my copy of the anthology directly from Prime Books. I’ve previously read this author’s “The Litany of Earth” which I enjoyed.
 
 
 
[Check out my other reviews here.]

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