Today on the site, we’re revealing the cover for the Greek mythology-inspired PI noir fantasy (yes, all of those things!) No Gods for Drowning by Hailey Piper, releasing September 20th from Polis Books! Here’s the story:
IN THE BEGINNING, MAN WAS PREY.
WITHOUT THE GODS, THEY’LL BE PREY AGAIN.
The gods have fled. Monsters threaten to invade the city of Logos, hunting mankind as they did in the olden days. In the midst of it all, a serial killer has begun ritually sacrificing victims—to lure the gods back and stop the imminent destruction, or for a more sinister purpose?
Lilac Antonis wants to stop the impending destruction of her city by summoning her mother, a blood god—even if she has to slit a few throats to do it. But evading her lover Arcadia and her friends means sneaking, lying, and even spilling the blood of people she loves.
Alex and Cecil of Ace Investigations have been tasked with hunting down the killer, but as they close in—not knowing it is their close friend they’re hunting—the detectives realize the gods may not have left willingly, and must uncover the truth before Lilac summons the wrong god, who may have come back just to destroy them all.
Set in an alternate reality which updates mythology to near-modern day, NO GODS FOR DROWNING is part hunt for a serial killer, part noir detective story, and unlike anything you’ve ever read before.
Here’s the luminous cover, designed by Mimi Bark!
And finally, here are some words on the cover from author Hailey Piper!
This might sound a little cliché, but my breath caught in my throat when I first saw the cover to No Gods for Drowning from my editor at Polis Books and Agora. We were only playing with ideas and possibilities before, batting around images for inspiration. And then came the cover, and it grabbed onto me the moment I opened that email, rich with mood and elegance.
And honestly, I cried a little. This novel has been growing inside me for the longest time. Its first seeds came when I was only a teenager, and they hadn’t connected into much of anything yet. Really, I hadn’t connected to myself yet. I had a lot of growing up to do, with struggles through depression that often suffocated the creativity out of me. Only after many years and really allowing myself to just be myself could I start writing my truths, and these seeds at last sprouted. They weren’t a garden, but pieces of one big tree that sort of developed into a genre stew of mystery, noir, horror, and dark fantasy.
No Gods for Drowning follows multiple lives across a noir-punk dark fantasy world of killers and detectives, sea monsters and blood-drinking gods. Those gods used to protect and feed off mankind, but they’ve been gone for ten years when the novel picks up, and one woman decides the only way to bring them back is to remind them what they’ve been missing—mortal sacrifice. Doing this means dodging the suspicions of the woman she loves and their friends, a pair of detectives on the hunt for whoever’s behind these ritual killings. But what seems like a simple give and take of blood and gods grows more complicated as the clues point to a grander plot involving which gods could even return, why they left, and who might really be pulling the strings behind all this bloodshed.
That’s a lot to consider when it comes to cover art! But the ultimate result arrives not in a roar of waves about to drown the city where No Gods for Drowning takes place, but instead in the beautiful texture of this deep blue sea, and the clamshell patterns to remind of its life, and the moon above that guides the cycles of a merciless tide. Central to it all is the nine-pointed star of Logoi the Many-Headed, goddess of reason, seen beneath the title. You’ll find this same star painted in blood within the book, same as our private detectives find it glaring at them from every crime scene. It’s also important to several characters personally, be it their shame, their loved ones, their sense of abandonment, their unresolved trauma, or their hope for a brighter future against the bloodshed and doom surrounding them all.
The combination of sea and star form a perfect distillation of the book’s sense of mystery, its visceral horrors, and its fantastical elements too. I’m so pleased to see it all come together this way, and I can’t wait for readers to discover the drowning city and all the people trying to save it, in the best and worst of ways, when No Gods for Drowning releases this September from Polis Books!
Two-time Stoker nominee Hailey Piper is the author of The Worm and His Kings, Queen of Teeth, Unfortunate Elements of My Anatomy, and Benny Rose the Cannibal King. She is an active member of Horror Writers Association, with over sixty short stories appearing in publications such as Year’s Best Hardcore Horror, Flash Fiction Online, Dark Matter Magazine, and elsewhere. Hailing from the haunted woods of New York, she now lives with her wife in Maryland, where their paranormal investigations are top secret. Find Hailey at www.haileypiper.com or on Twitter via @HaileyPiperSays.