An excellent novella, and excellent intro to the author’s work
Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious suicide, Danielle ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa, and witnesses a protector spirit — in the form of a blood-red, three-antlered deer — begin to turn on its summoners. She and her new friends have to act fast if they’re going to save the town — or get out alive.
This is the first thing by Killjoy that I’ve read, and it will not be the last. A slim, perfectly formed novella, Killjoy’s prose is excellent. It’s been quite some time since an author’s writing jumped out from the get-go. If you’re looking for a quick, excellent read with a supernatural twist, then I would definitely recommend The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion.
The characters, too, are great: varied, colourful, complex, and infused with their own personalities — particularly impressive given that the cast is not small, but the novella really is. We get a lot of character-building in the sub-150-page novella, and I would very much have liked to have spent more time with them. The story flows very nicely, the momentum never dips, and we’re pulled through by the great prose and engaging characters. I enjoyed the punk-aesthetic that infuses the cast, their world-view.
The premise is interesting, well-constructed, and quietly creepy — the cover is an excellent depiction of a major component of the story. Killjoy’s prose is spare, the description just enough. It’s a very efficient, economically-told story. I really enjoyed this, and am very much looking forward to the author’s next book (of any length).
Also on CR: Interview with Margaret Killjoy