Once Ghosted, Twice Shy (Reluctant Royals, #2.5) by Alyssa Cole

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#1.) A Princess in Theory ★★★★
#2.) A Duke by Default ★★★★

“Out of all the train cars in all the world you had to walk into mine.”

Oh my word, this was glorious. Alyssa Cole just keeps proving, over and over, that she is the queen of romance, and that the Reluctant Royals series is such a bright shining light for the romance genre. And I truly and utterly fell completely in love with Likotsi and Fabiola, and this is one of my new favorite f/f stories ever written.

Likotsi is the personal assistant to Prince Thesolo, who we get to know very well in A Princess in Theory! She is also Black, a lesbian, and (in my opinion) a sexual icon. Seriously, I haven’t swooned this hard over a character in a long time. But Likotsi finally has some free time and is planning on spending some time exploring the city, but technical difficulties make her train break down. But maybe fate is at play a little bit, when her ex spots her through the train window.

Fabiola is an up and coming jewelry maker, who is social media famous, bisexual, and is also Haitian and from a family of immigrants, who are having problems with deportation. This book is such a sexy second chance romance, but it really shines a spotlight on very real things that are going on here in America and weaves these important discussions into this beautiful story seamlessly.

But Likotsi and Fabiola decide to get some lunch together, which kind of turns into them spending the day together. And the chapters begin to alternate from the present, to them meeting on a Tinder-like app, and then to why they eventually called it quits eight months ago. And I was so damn enthralled in all the timelines. And the chemistry between these two? Out of this damn world.

Also, I just wanted to also say that this is ownvoices for the Black representation but also the queer representation! And if you all have time, you should check out this article from The Mary Sue because it is magnificent.

Overall, I hope Alyssa Cole never stops writing this series. I will honestly read ninety-nine more installments, with the biggest smile on my face. This series is the stuff that OTPs are made of and Once Ghosted, Twice Shy proves that the side characters are even equally as perfect. And friends, I don’t even have words for how excited I am for A Prince on Paper this April! Also, I totally think you could read this one without reading the previous full-length books in the series! And I completely recommend you do so, if you’re looking for something quick, steamy, and romantic.

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Content and trigger warnings for deportation and forced separation of families.

Buddy read with Kathy from Kathy Trithardt! ❤

 

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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“Alone in the world and alone in my marriage. Alone in love, really.”

So, basically, I’m trying somewhat hard to hit 200 books this year. And last night I just couldn’t sleep, so in the late hours of the night, I decided to read this short little novella to help boost my number. Holy shit, friends, I went into this book not expecting much, but came out weeping over its beauty.

This is a very short read, that is told completely in the format of letters from the late seventies. Letters between two cheating individuals, but, more importantly, letters between the spouses of those cheating individuals, who are sharing the letters they find between each other. Taylor Jenkins Reid is kind of known for pulling off some powerful and emotional twists in her stories, but I am in awe of how flawless she was able to do it in such a short number of pages!

“Dear Mr. David Mayer, My name is Carrie Allsop.”

Carrie Allsop – A stay at home wife, who has always been happy with her dependable, yet boring, husband. Even though she is constantly questioning her worth because she is thirty and still hasn’t gotten pregnant in the decade she and her husband have been trying.

David Mayer – High school teacher, who loves his wife and four sons more than anything in this world. But he has also been questioning his self-worth because money has been getting tighter and tighter.

And I just loved the completely taboo and unconditional friendship that these two form over a horrible situation. I love how they were each other’s soundboards because no one else would even begin to understand what they are going through, the exact way that they understood it together. I don’t know, this was just a really beautiful story. And I really love the way TJR ended this book, too. Legit perfection.

I think this book really has a good discussion about love, and how it is not always that perfect, Hallmark picture that so much of the world will have you believe. Real love can be complicated, messy, hard, and something that you have to work for every single day. And sometimes it can be filled with forgiveness. And I think this book really does a great job at touching on how easy it is for people to judge other’s relationships, without having any empathy and without believe that something similar could ever happen to them.

“It is funny the crazy things our brains make up to save us from the truth.”

Overall, I really loved this. I was blown away and I will continue to read everything that TJR comes out with. She truly is becoming one of my favorite contemporary authors, and I think she is doing some really unique things with her writing. Also, as of today (December 14th, 2018) if you have Amazon Prime, this is FREE on Amazon US!

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Content and trigger warnings for infidelity and talk of infertility.

 

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

“Because in New Orleans, you can’t survive on just dreams.”

The Black God’s Drums is an amazing novella that stars a young girl, Jacquelin AKA: Creeper, living in an alternative historical 1884 New Orleans. Oh, and Creeper also has an African orisha, Oya, living inside her and allowing her to tap into their powers. And even though Creeper is loved in New Orleans by so many people who loved her mother before she passed away, Creeper wants more than New Orleans is willing to give her.

“She said I was Oya’s child – the goddess of storms, life, death, and rebirth, who came over with her great-grandmaman from Lafrik, and who runs strong in our blood.”

And she didn’t get the nickname Creeper for nothing. On top of being blessed by a goddess, she is also sneaky and stealthy, and it completely works to her advantage when she stumbles upon a secret weapon that could alter everyone in New Orleans’ lives forever. But Creeper is also hoping that it will be the ticket that finally gets her out of the city she’s called home forever.

This New Orleans is a free, neutral, and open port even though everything surrounding it is not. Even though this book is set after the American Civil War, we all know that slavery and oppression didn’t go away, it just became different. The same way it’s different in 2018, but it’s still here. And this book really shines a light on that ugly confederate pride that is still alive today. And there is a group called the Jeannots, who will do anything to take back their city, even if it means destroying it.

Trigger and content warnings for slavery, loss of a parent, death, murder, torture, racist comments (always challenged), and war themes.

I loved this book and P. Djèlí Clark is now forever on my auto-buy list. And in this ownvoices novella, the entire cast is black. And the characters in this book are a tier above most, and you can’t help but fall in love with them in only 100 pages! Creeper, Madame Diouf, Anna-Marie (the bi or pan airship captain of my heart, also physical disability rep because she’s missing a leg), Feral, Eunice and Agnes, I loved them all. And I want nothing more than more books from this world.

Overall, this is such a bright shining light in the SFF world. From the writing and prose, to the themes and discussions, to these amazing characters that I won’t soon forget. But my favorite part was seeing all the orishas and talking about them with one of my best friends, Lilly! She blessed me with an in-depth knowledge of all the orishas and makes me appreciate this beautiful book even more. P. Djèlí Clark has created something so beautiful, and so magical, and so important. I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it.

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Lilly at Lair of Books & Alexis at The Sloth Reader! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday | Favorite Novellas and Short Stories

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Wow, this week’s topic feels like it was handpicked for me! Like, you all know how much I love novellas and short story collections! I feel like this was actually really hard to narrow down! But I loved writing up this post, and I hope you all enjoy reading it! And I hope this helps celebrate all the wonderful short works of literature that are out there just waiting to be read, loved, and reviewed.

Novellas

 

Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

I love this entire series, but this installment just happens to be my favorite. I truly loved the Moors and wasn’t ready to leave. I loved the village and the feel of this magical world. I loved seeing Jack grow into what she wanted to be, while seeing Jill grow into what could happen if your needs and wants are repressed to a dangerous point. I loved the representation and all of the feelings that Seanan McGuire was able to evoke from me. I loved this book and these characters, and I will cherish this story forever, while trying to get everyone I come in contact with to read it.

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole

The Armored Saint centers on a village of people who live subservient lives to the Order. The Order is a group of religious tyrants that do horrible things to the wizards in this world, or to the people that are protecting and/or harboring the wizards in this world. The Order follows the word of the Writ, which has lead them to believe that wizards have a portal in their eye, that can open the very gates of hell itself and summon devils. And love is such a driving force in this very character focused story. The love between families. The love between friends. And the love between two young girls who are just trying to learn who they are.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Danielle Cain #1) by Margaret Killjoy

Within 100 pages, this book was able to create a beautifully diverse cast, talk about some pretty important issues, showcases a homeless main character, show the beauty of unconditional-loving found families, and it even gave me some pretty gothic spooky animals. This was amazing, and I think truly believe so many of my book friends would love it. This is such a unique story too, because even though it is set in modern day times, with Instagram, the internet, and iPhones, it still feels and reads dystopian. But I loved this, I loved the aesthetic, I loved every emotion this short book was able to evoke from me. This was nothing short of a treat to read. Also, give me all the books about summoning demons, especially monster deer. Thanks.

Short Stories

 

All the Time We’ve Left to Spend by Alyssa Wong from Robots vs. Fairies by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe

Oh my word, this was utter and pure perfection. I will never forget this story, ever. This story is centered around an alternate future where we have realistic cyborg celebrity robots, who have many memories stored, working in pleasure hotels, where you can spend time with them for money. Our main protagonist, Ruriko, is obsessed with spending time with a kpop group that passed away ten years ago, while trying to learn all the information she can about their memories. This story is beautiful. This story is haunting. This story is oh so heart-wrenching. I loved this. I loved this so very much. Easily my favorite in the entire collection.

Every Shade of Red by Elliot Wake from All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages by Saundra Mitchell

I thought this was going to be good, but it ended up being perfect. This is an awesome Robin Hood retelling. And Robin in this story is a trans boy, who is in love with our main protagonist, who ran away from a father that didn’t accept him. And this m/m romance had me swooning. Also, our main protagonist is hearing impaired and seeing him sign on page was something so magical to me. And the ending? I still feel absolutely gutted. But the heart of this story is about love; the love we have for others, but also the love that we must find in accepting ourselves for who we are. This was so brilliantly done and was honestly perfection in every way, and I loved it more than any combination of words I can come up with.

The Land of the Morning Calm by E. C. Myers from A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman

I cried through 80% of this story. Easily, this was one of my new favorite short stories of all time. I will never forget this story for as long as I live. And I am immediately buying everything E. C. Myers has created. This is a story about a gwisin (ghost), and a girl that is still dealing with the death of her mother, five years later. It doesn’t help that she’s still living with her father and her mother’s father (her grandfather), who reminds her of her mother’s presence constantly. But it is undeniable when the MMO that was her mother’s life, and the reason her parents met, is being shut down forever, but has drawn Sunny into playing again. And Sunny has just found out about a new private server that will preserve the game, and maybe the memory of her mother. I loved this more than words. MMORPGs have meant so much to me during my life. I have played them since high school, and I have some of my very best friends and loved ones to this day because of them. And this short story is a love letter to video games and the impact they can make on your life. And video games are such a huge part of Korean culture, and the significance and importance shined through this story so very brightly. This story just had such a profound meaning to me, because it made me realize that one day I’m (hopefully) going to be a mom that is a gamer, and a con lover, and a writer, and so many of the things that Sunny viewed her mom as. Like, I promise, I was bawling through almost this entire story. This was beyond words beautiful. I have no word combination to string together to let you all know how perfect this was and how much this story meant to me.

Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May from Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood

I finished this one weeping and sobbing. I immediately reread it, aloud, to a loved one. Immediately. It was that important to me. And the second time around, I was still crying. Ugly crying. Truthful crying. I cried for every woman out there, whose voice has been silenced. Whose voice will continue to be silenced until things change. This is about a girl who is sent to work in a forest, lumber, labor camp, because of her sinful ways. There, she is one of thirteen girls, all from different walks of life, but all of them have sinned for just being a woman, therefore a witch. This is about found family, and sisterhood, and reclaiming your identity, and gaining a voice. This was so beautifully structured, and so beautifully written. And it has such great representation, from different races, to a beautiful F/F story, to a trans character, this was just exceptionally crafted. This story should be required reading. I don’t see how anyone who reads this anthology’s life isn’t going to be changed just from reading this short story. And the editors were genius for making it the closing story. This short story is probably the best thing I’ve read all year. I am in awe, I am speechless, but I’m begging you to read this short story. This was feministic perfection.

The Lightning Tree (The Kingkiller Chronicle #2.4) by Patrick Rothfuss from Rogues by George R.R. Martin

The Lightning Tree is a short story that is set in Patrick Rothfuss’ world from The Kingkiller Chronicle. You can find The Lightning Tree and other short stories that are curated by GRRM himself in a bind-up anthology titled Rogues. This story is set in Kvothe’s innkeeper days, and surrounds his mysterious friend Bast. For the record, I absolutely adore Bast, so when I found out that there was a short story that starred him, I literally jumped for joy. Also, The Name of the Wind is my favorite book of all time, so I am absolutely biased with this review.

The Witch of Duva from The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse) by Leigh Bardugo

I can’t recommend you read it enough, because this short story actually shook my entire world. This is such a perfectly woven and absolutely haunting tale about a village who is mourning their lost girls, while also trying to endure very hard winters. And the ending of this story is beyond words, and turned me into a crying, melted, weeping, puddle on the floor. Also, this one should probably have a few trigger warnings for abuse (physical/sexual) and just violence in general, even though these things are very vague in the story they are still there, just woven in quietly.

The Husband Stitch from Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This story is very feminist and very sexually explicit, but so damn important. It’s about the life of a woman, who gives everything to men and never is allowed to keep anything for herself. It’s about life’s expectations on women, and how society shapes the choices we do and do not have. It’s about how, no matter what, giving everything will never be good enough as a woman. It’s about enjoying and exploring your sexuality, yet trying to cope with the shame. It’s about never fully being able to become the person you are, but becoming the person your husband and/or family require you to be. It’s about having children, who will just repeat the same vicious and unfair cycle. This is my favorite short story of all time and it deserves all the stars that Goodreads and every other book rating site has to offer.

I honestly feel like I could add at least ten more short stories or novellas to this list. And I can’t wait to read everyone else’s answers to this week’s prompt! Please, tell me below what is your favorite short story, novella, or anthology! And I hope you all are having the happiest of reading!

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The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne, #2) by Myke Cole

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Armored Saint ★★★★★

“I want to live in a world where everyone, no matter who they are, dies from growing old, and not because someone else killed them for their own good.”

The Armored Saint was my second favorite ARC that I read in 2017. It will still, without a doubt, make my best of 2018 list come December. But for some reason this second book just didn’t captivate me and wow me the way that book one did. I still really enjoyed this, and Myke Cole’s writing is so damn good that I could highlight half of this large novella, but I just didn’t love The Queen of Crows the same way I did The Armored Saint.

Me and Petrik were discussing this book after our buddy read, and we both feel like maybe it is because we let six+ months pass in-between picking this next installment up. The Queen of Crows starts off with quite the bang. Actually, the bangs just keep coming. So much happens at the start of this book that it somehow makes it hard to connect with Heloise. If the things that happened to her in this book happened at the end of The Armored Saint, I know I would have been crying and been an emotional wreck in general. But I just felt such a disconnect because they happened right off the bat in this book. Which again, could totally be my fault for not rereading the first book before jumping into this one.

But as I said above, this book immediately starts out right after the events of The Armored Saint. Heloise is now the face of a budding rebellion, even though not everyone wants to follow her. The Order is a group of religious tyrants that do horrible things to the wizards in this world, and to the people that are protecting and/or harboring the wizards in this world. But the Order also just does cruel and heartless things to do cruel and heartless things, you know, like most dictatorships. And in the first book, Heloise not only befriends a wizard, but does something so incredible that she is now very wanted by The Order.

“When they’d beaten the Order before, they’d had a wizard with them. Now, there was only Heloise, her machine, and the supposed favor of the divine Emperor.”

This action-packed novella centers around Heloise, her family, and what is left of her village, trying to get some sense of stability and safety back in their lives. But they meet a lot of new people while fleeing from the only home most of them have only ever know. I loved the introduction of the new people that Heloise meets in this book. The Traveling People were amazing, and I loved every single scene with them in it, especially Mother Leahlabel. Also, Myke weaves in such an important conversation about the prejudices and the stereotypes that we put on people from cultures we are ignorant about.

Heloise and her people spend the majority of this book prepping for a siege. Most people think the most difficult part of a siege is fortification and keeping your people unharmed. But Heloise realizes quickly the other important elements of a siege: clean water, food, clothes, medications, wood, and everything else you need to live a normal life. Oh, and loyalty. You need a whole lot of trust and loyalty.

And even though I didn’t love this installment as much as The Armored Saint, both of these books just feel empowering, especially reading as a young woman in today’s world. How so many people are unwilling to follow Heloise just because she’s a young adult girl. How people will come up with every excuse in the world to not believe a young adult girl. How sometimes people fear nothing more in this world than a young adult girl.

“I don’t want to lose anyone else. Not to the Order, not to the road, and not because you stand on pride because it’s not a man grown leading the way for once.”

Heloise’s sexuality is brought up a bit in this book, but you all know my queer heart wanted more. But I am totally ready for what I think Myke is crafting. Heloise completely acknowledges that she likes only girls in this book but seeing her realize that she may be able to love again is something so beautiful I don’t even have words for it. Heloise is such an easy character to root for, and if I’m being completely honest here, Heloise Factor deserves the damn universe and every single star in it.

This series has a very dark tone and feel, which is one of the things I absolutely love about it. But I know that it won’t be for everyone. So, please use caution. Trigger and content warnings for heavy war themes, violence, blood depiction, gore, torture, a somewhat graphic animal death, death in general, and loss of a loved one.

“She was in a war-machine and he was just a man.”

Overall, I still really enjoyed this. I swear, it’s such a high three star rating. Hell, even just writing this review, I am tempted to boost it up to four just because the writing and themes in this series are so good, so important, and so needed. I will eagerly await to see how Myke Cole wraps this all up. Also, I’m so excited to see a lot more of Xilyka


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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Petrik, Lilly, Elise, & Dani! ❤

The Barrow Will Send What it May (Danielle Cain #2) by Margaret Killjoy

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

1.) The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion ★★★★

This series means so much to me, and I think these are some of the best novellas that Tor has to offer. Friends, please, stop sleeping on these books and give this awesome series about a group of racially diverse, LGBTQIAP+, modern day Scooby-Doo-like (but instead of the Mystery Machine they have a bookmobile), demon hunting, punk rock, anarchists, a try! I’m honestly begging.

And in this second installment, Danielle and her brand-new friends are on the run after the events that took place in The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion with a certain demonic deer that was summoned. Now, they are half demon hunters looking for their next mission, and half just laying low from the law.

“Also I guess I kind of fed an anarchist to a deer a couple days ago but that’s beside the point.”

And the crew? They are pretty much my favorite crew of all time:
Danielle – 28, has been traveling for ten years, now has a precarious hand bite!
Brynn – Tattoo artist, and half of the sweetest, most wonderful, slow-burn romance with Danielle.
Vulture – My favorite, and the funniest member of the group. He is a transman, black, gay, and Instagram obsessed.
Thursday – I loved getting to know him more in this novella. We knew he uses he/him pronouns and is a PoC from book one, but we found out he is also pretty funny in this book. He is also the protector of the group, and is such a heartwarming character.
Doomsday – She is in a relationship with Thursday and was part of the original summoning from book one.

But they have stumbled upon a new town in Montana, that happens to have a squatter owned building, turned library, that specializes in occult books! Oh, and there may or may not be a necromancer that is raising the dead because of a certain spell in a spell book. #myaesthetic

“Pendleton Library. Still free. Still open to the public. 10 a.m.—4 p.m. Run by anarchists.”

But with necromancy, there is always a price to be paid. And this new, somewhat abandoned tourist town, ends up being a brand-new mystery for Danielle and her new friends. And there is so much good within these magical 160 pages. This book really talks about power imbalances and how people will constantly abuse the power dynamic if you allow it. This book talks about how physical contact can not only comfort but can actually heal. There is always a heavy emphasis on pronouns and correctly using them. This book also completely celebrates the importance of found family. And this book has one of the sweetest and most rewarding friends to lovers, f/f relationships I’ve read about in a long while.

“We don’t get to choose how we die, only how we live, and I like you and I’m glad I got to know you.”

And as diverse as this cast is, there is mention of a gender fluid character, there is talk of polya relationships, and this is probably the only book(s) I’ve ever read that normalizes people not conforming to society and choosing to be homeless and travel around. Also, the author themselves is a transwoman. I also feel like these books are very personal to the author, and the love for these characters truly bleeds onto the page. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them too, and all of their realness and all their rawness.

And Margaret Killjoy has written the most realistic depiction of anxiety and panic attacks that I’ve ever read in my entire life. And I have never even seen another author mention a medical panic attack before. This whole series means a lot to me, but I don’t even have words for how seen I felt seeing Danielle dealing with something I deal with at least once a week.

Content Warnings for a car crash, death of a friend, death of a loved one, murder, talk of cancer, and mild violence.

Overall, I wish I could put these books in everyone’s hands. I know so many of my friends would love them, if they only gave them a try. These are such amazing little horror novellas, that have so much representation just shining brightly constantly. I hope that the world gets so many more books in this series. And I’ll read them all with the biggest smile on my face!

“I’ll stay down here, keep an eye on the door. If I’m going to die again, I’d rather be first and I’d rather be surrounded by books.”

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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Danielle Cain #1) by Margaret Killjoy

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ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

“The revolution is about taking power away from the oppressors, not becoming them ourselves.”

Friends, pick up this so underhyped, yet so deserving of more hype, novella. I am blown away. Within 100 pages, this book was able to create a beautifully diverse cast, talk about some pretty important issues, showcases a homeless main character, show the beauty of unconditional-loving found families, and it even gave me some pretty gothic spooky animals. This was amazing, and I think truly believe so many of my book friends would love it.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion follows Danielle Cain entering a new town of squatters, who have turned this little town in Iowa into something so damn special. In Freedom, Iowa these people have come together and created a community that truly believes in helping everyone and making sure everyone is treated equally and equally giving and taking from the community. Danielle is twenty-eight and has been moving from place to place for the last ten years. But Danielle sought-after this town specifically, because it was the last place her best friend lived before committing suicide.

“No cops, no bosses, no landlords. No poverty. No laws. Hard work and community and freedom and all the shit that we ought to have.”

And right off the bat, when Danielle meets Vulture, he asks her which pronouns she prefers, and then tells Danielle which pronouns he uses. It was so easy, but so important, and I wish we lived in a world where this was the standard when meeting someone. And it started the book off in such a great way for me.

Yet, on the first day Danielle comes to town, a man dies, pretty brutally, from a monster deer demon, named Uliksi, that was summoned to kill anyone in the town that tries to gain power over anyone. Yeah, you read that sentence right. And this tale quickly turns into a mystery of if Uliksi has turned against the town, or if this mystical deer is still only after those who have committed evil acts.

“Uliksi hunts the vengeful, the hateful. As Clay put it, Uliksi hunts those who wield power over others.”

These 100 pages hold such a magical story, but like I said above, they also hold such important themes and discussions. This book talks about the importance of pronouns. This book has an almost full queer cast, with a lot of racial diversity, too. Then, there are discussions to be had about how we live in the most powerful country in the world, but we give some citizens nothing, and others everything. And at the heart of this novella, it is a book about power imbalances, and how people misuse that power for the good of only themselves. Different power dynamics are always at the forefront of this book. Danielle has a panic attack in this book, and it is written exactly how mine feel. This was probably the most accurate description to my personal feelings when having (and starting) one, that I’ve ever read. Also, this book starts by Danielle wanting to go to the last lived in town of her best friend who killed themselves. And there is absolutely no suicide shaming in this book. There is a part where someone asks Danielle if she is upset and she says something like, “only at the world” and I was weeping. Perfection.

“We do good things too, but you don’t get props for not hurting people.”

Trigger/Content Warnings: mention of suicide, mention of rape, animal death, death of a friend/loved one, abuse, violence, and gore. Also, just in case I did a sub-par job at explaining it: this is a horror novel, so it’s a tad bit on the spooky side, so use caution.

“For the past year, we’ve had this benevolent, murderous spirit watching over us. Which is weird, but it’s gone fine.”

This is such a unique story too, because even though it is set in modern day times, with Instagram, the internet, and iPhones, it still feels and reads dystopian. But I loved this, I loved the aesthetic, I loved every emotion this short book was able to evoke from me. This was nothing short of a treat to read. Also, give me all the books about summoning demons, especially monster deer. Thanks.

Danielle finds herself trusting strangers and entering this beautiful found family who truly cares about the members, even though society has turned their backs on them. From witch’s huts, to towns built on trust, to undead animals, to secret notes left in books, I fell in love with this story. And I loved Danielle, but these side characters? Vulture, Thursday, Doomsday, and Brynn have all carved out a special place in my heart and I can’t wait to read more about them and their adventures in The Barrow Will Send What it May! Also, nothing warmed my heart more than Vulture and his Instagram! But please stop sleeping on this book and give this important and wonderful little book a try! I promise, you won’t regret it.

“There’s only a small handful of things in this world that make me happy, and coffee is one of them.”

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