Read an ARC from the publisher
Content warning: death by police officer, discrimination-based violence, guns, drug abuse, drug addiction, cannibalism, suicide
This book has everything. It’s got shifters, conspiracy theories, communities coming together, families falling apart, time skips, parallel universes, and the meaning of truth in light of things incomprehensible. Turnbull delivers another genre masterwork that this time blends literary fiction with urban fantasy, where werewolves and weredogs exist alongside humans, some of which want to ascend to godhood.
With heart-wrenching prose and deft navigation of several POVs, No Gods, No Monsters is a wild ride that I didn’t want to end.
This book is high octane chaos from start to finish. It flows with the ferocity of a river. It starts with a shooting and escalates to frightening reveals about the very literal monsters among us. Turnbull balances so many characters, each with their own stakes and desires, twisting towards a climax where it all begins making sense. I found myself dropping my jaw at the layers and levels of emotion woven throughout. It hits hard with both the heaviness of its social commentary and the terrifying wonder of its fantastical elements.
What really resonated with me was the way Turnbull has his characters navigate so many different types of grief is particularly effective. It’s mirrored particularly well in the story of Cory, whose life falls apart due to drug addiction, and a college professor who falls into the literal Order of the Golden Dawn. They navigate threads of losses both temporary and permanent, but when things go off the rails in each storyline, there are ripple effects to the experiences of the other characters. There’s never a moment in the narrative where any character’s arc feels separate from the overall narrative around fighting against what feels like relentless oppression and stunning breaks in reality.
Definitely a must-read for those who love shifters in their stories and those seeking a more literary bend in their speculative fiction.