Apr 212023

Booklist: In this viciously dark fantasy, a horrific siren who can’t speak, thanks to a cruel husband who captured her and cut out her tongue, and a plague doctor who has watched the kingdom succumb to a plague impossible for them to stop leave their now-desolate city in search of a new adventure. When the two creatures stumble on a sinister cult of children who believe gods can resurrect them, their interest is piqued. But then, in the snow-covered, frigid forest, they meet the children’s gods, the kind of monsters who enjoy taking apart a child and stitching it back together, and the siren and the doctor realize that it will take quick thinking, sharp teeth, and a lot of courage to get out alive. This novella is short but action-packed, unctuous, and deliciously creepy, a mash-up of Angela Carter’s dark fairytale retellings and the poetic love story core of This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal el-Mohtar and Max Gladstone (2019). The book is overflowing with eerie body horror, sensory details of cold snow and warm blood, and terrifying monsters (both protagonists and villains).