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No gods, no monsters
2021
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Library Journal Review
Turnbull (The Lesson) mashes genres in a way that's both beautiful and explosive. After a werewolf is shot and killed by police, monsters such as shapeshifters and dragons reveal themselves to the world. Humans, though, aren't completely accepting of them, and this reveal also pushes two shadowy factions of monsters to the brink of war. Told through an omniscient but still human narrator, the novel jumps between the POVs of multiple characters, both human and monster, but Turnbull's writing never gives the reader whiplash; he not only fully develops these characters but connects each individual story into the central narrative of the fight between the two factions and the overall fight for monster rights. Dion Graham is the perfect narrator for this story, giving all of the characters unique voices while expressing awe and terror in just the right moments. Perhaps the greatest strength of this novel is its metaphor of monsters as those seeking equality in a flawed system. VERDICT This book is perfect for not only aficionados of fantasy and horror, but also for fans of speculative fiction with a social message.--James Gardner, Clark Cty. P.L., KY
Publishers Weekly Review
Turnbull (The Lesson) delves into the complexities of injustice and identity in this powerhouse contemporary fantasy. Laina awakens to the devastating news of her brother's death at the hands of the police, and the tragedy leads her--and the rest of the world--to discover that monsters exist and that her brother was a werewolf. From there, the novel spins out into multiple story lines, switching between the perspectives of many well-developed characters and encompassing underground organizations, powerful gods, and beings thought to have been simply country lore stepping out into the public eye. Werewolf Rebecca, who knew Laina's brother, struggles to protect what's left of her pack when society's response to their existence threatens to bring them harm. Harry finds solace in online forums after his divorce, leading him to join a secret society. Calvin, grieving his brother, searches through time to find answers to what happened. As these characters' paths slowly converge, Turnbull plunges readers into a layered world of monsters and secrets and uses his supernatural conceit to prompt them to examine the demons that already plague society and endanger the disenfranchised. The expert combination of immersive prose, strong characters, sharp social commentary, and well-woven speculative elements makes for an unforgettable experience. Fantasy fans won't want to miss this. Agent: Nell Pierce, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)
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