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Not Flesh Nor Feathers: An Eden Moore Story    by Cherie Priest order for
Not Flesh Nor Feathers
by Cherie Priest
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2007 (2007)

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Ghost magnet Eden Moore is finally making moves - long encouraged by her aunt and uncle with whom she lives - to establish her own residence in the city of Chattanooga, Georgia, but why is Aunt Lu so against her purchase of an apartment in a building still under construction on the north shore of the Tennessee River?

When habitual liar Christ Adams tells Eden of friends going missing - taken by something coming out of the water - she doesn't take him too seriously - he's cried wolf before. And she has other things on her mind. Nick Alders, a reporter Eden met in Wings to the Kingdom, has asked her to attempt to communicate with a ghost, the White Lady, who's taken over a room at the Read House. The ghost's violence - as well as Eden's new ability to heal instantly - disturbs her greatly. She's also worried about having invited her half-brother Malachi (who once tried to murder her) to a family dinner - especially anxious as she hasn't told Aunt Lu yet.

As all this simmers, the rain starts to fall and the river to swell and then to flood, giving access to the city and its inhabitants to things long dormant - zombies that are blackened and wet and wrapped in chains - and fueled by a small girl's fury. Trapped in the city with other refugees from the overflowing river, Eden, helped by Nick, tries to make sense of what's happening and of the historical events that gave rise to this modern horror. She finds links to the Ku Klux Klan and to a church fire in which a large number of people died. Along the way, her brother Malachi finds redemption as does the White Lady.

Though I'm not generally a fan of horror, I found Not Flesh Nor Feathers an engrossing read and look forward to what's next for Eden Moore, who tells us 'It's easy to see why the reconstructed South is so rife with superstition ... Entire neighborhoods here are built on Civil War battlefields.' As this episode ends, it looks like Eden is leaving Chattanooga, taking up an offer to work with celebrity ghost hunter Dana Marshall, whom she befriended in Wings to the Kingdom. As always, I expect that ghosts will have no problem finding her.

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