Book Review: Ring Shout

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Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

BOOK BLURB ON AMAZON

IN AMERICA, DEMONS WEAR WHITE HOODS.

In 1915,¬†The Birth of a Nation¬†cast a spell across America, swelling the Klan’s ranks and drinking deep from the darkest thoughts of white folk. All across the nation they ride, spreading fear and violence among the vulnerable. They plan to bring Hell to Earth. But even Ku Kluxes can die.

Standing in their way is Maryse Boudreaux and her fellow resistance fighters, a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter. Armed with blade, bullet, and bomb, they hunt their hunters and send the Klan’s demons straight to Hell. But something awful’s brewing in Macon, and the war on Hell is about to heat up.

Can Maryse stop the Klan before it ends the world?

 

MY REVIEW

A historical urban fantasy set against the backdrop of the South between the world wars, in the spirit of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” and “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” where normal circumstances are changed by adding horror elements. For Ring Shout, it’s making the hate-filled Ku Klux Klan into hate-fill monsters using KKK as their entry into our world.

Action-packed, this narrative follows three women – one a WWI war veteran, one a survivor of a Klan attack, and one a hot-head tired of being stomped on. They have the Sight and use it to hunt the monsters that have gained entry into our world. But can they keep ahead of the hate summoning more and more of the monsters into our world?

***

On one hand this book fits well into the monster hunter historical fantasies so popular lately.

On the other, it felt somewhat like the assigned reading in school – when I read “Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank” and “1984” by George Orwell – things that made you stop and think and examine your world. Are you eating the meat of hatred? What is the difference between righteous anger and fearful hate?

Both a simple read and a complex one, my book club had some deep dives for this story.

(Checked out through the public library; read for book club)

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