Book Review: Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark

Ring Shout: Clark, P. Djèlí: 9781250767028: Books

Title: Ring Shout

Author: P. Djeli Clark

Genre: Fantasy/Horror Novella

Number of Pages: 185

Rating: B+

Recommended?: Yes

This was a very cool novella about badass women hunting down supernatural creatures posing as human members of the KKK. In Djeli’s world, The Birth of a Nation is a cursed film designed to provoke hysteria in it’s white viewers and monsters lurk behind the everyday horror show of racism. Maryse is an African-American woman in the 1920’s who fights ‘Ku Kluxes’ with her two companions, Chef and Sadie.

When she begins to uncover a sinister conspiracy that will effect the lives of Black civilians everywhere, Maryse is haunted by visions and battling against the traumas of her past. She’ll need all the allies she can get to win this seemingly unwinnable battle. Ring Shout if full of nightmarish and wildly inventive imagery with tons of creepy moments and a breakneck pace. Unfortunately, the characters aren’t quite as interesting as the ideas and Maryse’s arc is a little on the predictable side.

That said, I still enjoyed the protagonist’s journey and her friends’ combination of believably flawed intentions and pure grit. Considering the fast pace of the novella and it’s brevity, I thought the characters were actually pretty well-developed. I’m not familiar with any of this author’s other books and I’m definitely interested in reading more of his stuff. He’s a strong writer and I absolutely love his imagination.

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