Reviews for No gods, no monsters

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In the first of a series, the monsters who have always lived among us emerge, endangered by prejudice, doubt, and at least one deadly, ancient cult.Laina mourns the death of her estranged brother, Lincoln, lost to drug addiction and killed by a cop. Then a mysterious person sends her a video of the incident, which shows Lincoln transforming from wolf to man. When Laina tries to share the video online, the unedited version soon vanishes from the internet. Someone has revealed that animal shifters, witches, and other supernatural beings exist...but someone else seems dedicated to obscuringor exterminatingthat truth. As these so-called monsters consider the dangers of becoming more public, their allies must decide whether they, too, will take a stand and risk themselves as well. Calvin, a man with the power to move along the timeline of any parallel universe except his own, serves as a semiomniscient and flawed first-person witness to these events, even while greater powers observe him. As in Turnbulls first novel, The Lesson (2019), the otherworldly aspects of the story act as a lens that brings the characters richly depicted lives and complex relationships into sharp focus. Despite her eldritch origins, its easy to sympathize with Sondra, a senator from St. Thomas and secret weredog, who longs for her missing parents and both loves and resents her adopted sister, Sonya, a blood-drinking and usually invisible creature hiding many secrets. The struggles of Lainas girlfriend, Rebecca, a werewolf who has faced many losses and made many mistakes, are absorbing, as are the struggles of Lainas husband, Ridley, an asexual trans man yearning for his parents approval even as he devotes himself to improving society through cooperative enterprise.This is a deeply human story, beautifully and compellingly told. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In the first of a series, the monsters who have always lived among us emerge, endangered by prejudice, doubt, and at least one deadly, ancient cult. Laina mourns the death of her estranged brother, Lincoln, lost to drug addiction and killed by a cop. Then a mysterious person sends her a video of the incident, which shows Lincoln transforming from wolf to man. When Laina tries to share the video online, the unedited version soon vanishes from the internet. Someone has revealed that animal shifters, witches, and other supernatural beings exist...but someone else seems dedicated to obscuring—or exterminating—that truth. As these so-called “monsters” consider the dangers of becoming more public, their allies must decide whether they, too, will take a stand and risk themselves as well. Calvin, a man with the power to move along the timeline of any parallel universe except his own, serves as a semiomniscient and flawed first-person witness to these events, even while greater powers observe him. As in Turnbull’s first novel, The Lesson (2019), the otherworldly aspects of the story act as a lens that brings the characters’ richly depicted lives and complex relationships into sharp focus. Despite her eldritch origins, it’s easy to sympathize with Sondra, a senator from St. Thomas and secret weredog, who longs for her missing parents and both loves and resents her adopted sister, Sonya, a blood-drinking and usually invisible creature hiding many secrets. The struggles of Laina’s girlfriend, Rebecca, a werewolf who has faced many losses and made many mistakes, are absorbing, as are the struggles of Laina’s husband, Ridley, an asexual trans man yearning for his parents’ approval even as he devotes himself to improving society through cooperative enterprise. This is a deeply human story, beautifully and compellingly told. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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.)


Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

It's been seven years since Laina last saw her brother Lincoln; now she's staring at his dead body. He's been shot and killed by Boston cops, and Laina expects it'll be difficult to find out the truth about his death. A mysterious voice leads Laina to a video, and she's stunned when it reveals the existence of werewolves. Monsters who hid in shadows come into the light, and Laina pieces together another mystery and discovers a secret society. A boy with incredible abilities is forced to choose between two factions that will exploit him; werewolves are silenced with threats; and an anonymous narrator is unmasked, in a story of magic, physics, secrets, and choices that pit friends and family against each other. One thing is certain: after the Fracture, no one will ever be the same. Juxtaposing supernatural scenes with themes of otherness and humanity, this novel leaves some questions to be answered in the next book of the series. It has a multiracial cast of characters with broad LGBTQ representation. VERDICT Turnbull's sophomore work (after The Lesson) puts him at the top of the field of fantasy literary fiction. It reveals social faults with insightful commentary and intriguing characters.—Kristi Chadwick, Massachusetts Lib. Syst., Northampton


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A disembodied voice promises Laina the footage of her brother being shot by police. Her actions, and the ensuing protests, will reveal to the world that werewolves and other monsters exist. While the proof is quickly destroyed by mysterious forces, many people remember the Fracture, and struggle to incorporate the new knowledge into our reality, as monsters struggle just to survive in the midst of a war between two secret magical societies. Turnbull’s book, the first in a new series called the Convergence Saga, is an epic, meta, Caribbean-inspired fantasy that dives into the dark and shadowy: the Order of the Zsouvox makes gruesome, firey sacrifices to obtain more power; a soucouyant slips in and out of her skin. Multiple viewpoints and protagonists are easy enough to juggle while being compelling, and the inclusion of asexual, trans, and other non-conforming identities and relationships adds a rich layer of truth and reality to the text. This novel is built out of the shadows in the corner of a dark room, out of disembodied voices and meta-universes, out of blood, conspiracy, and mind control. Readers will itch for the next book in the Saga.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

A disembodied voice promises Laina the footage of her brother being shot by police. Her actions, and the ensuing protests, will reveal to the world that werewolves and other monsters exist. While the proof is quickly destroyed by mysterious forces, many people remember the Fracture, and struggle to incorporate the new knowledge into our reality, as monsters struggle just to survive in the midst of a war between two secret magical societies. Turnbull’s book, the first in a new series called the Convergence Saga, is an epic, meta, Caribbean-inspired fantasy that dives into the dark and shadowy: the Order of the Zsouvox makes gruesome, firey sacrifices to obtain more power; a soucouyant slips in and out of her skin. Multiple viewpoints and protagonists are easy enough to juggle while being compelling, and the inclusion of asexual, trans, and other non-conforming identities and relationships adds a rich layer of truth and reality to the text. This novel is built out of the shadows in the corner of a dark room, out of disembodied voices and meta-universes, out of blood, conspiracy, and mind control. Readers will itch for the next book in the Saga.

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