Ring Shout is an alternate history dark fantasy novella with horror elements by P. Djèlí Clark. The ebook version is 185 pages. I listened to the audiobook, which clocks in at five and a half hours and is narrated by Channie Waites.
Prohibition isn’t the only evil lurking in this alternate history of 1920s Macon, Georgia. Maryse Boudreaux is a freedom fighter with a magic sword, on a quest to hunt and destroy supernatural evil summoned by the Ku Klux Klan. Joining her on said quest are fellow hunters Sadie Watkins, a sharpshooter who swears like a sailor, and Cordelia “Chef” Lawrence, a lesbian Harlem Hellfighter who likes to play with explosives. All three are gifted with “the sight” that allows them to witness the true forms of the demonic Ku Kluxes.
This was a really interesting novella that takes some historic truth but paints it in a new light, perhaps one more easily digestible. I can see why it won the Nebula and Locus Awards for Best Novella when it came out. The narrator of the audio version did a really great job, and I highly recommend listening to this rather than reading it, especially since songs are important in the story.
There was so much world building in this book, even though it was less than 200 pages. I think the author really excels in this in addition to his character work. This novella has so many layers to it.
CW: violence, death, murder, dismemberment, racism (including racial slurs), fire, body horror, mentions of slavery and oppression (including lynching)
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