Title: Queens of Noise
Author: Leigh Harlen
Genre: Fantasy Novella
Number of Pages: 88
Okay, this novella is extremely short and I’m going to keep my review similarly quick and to-the-point. Queens of Noise is a gleefully unhinged little book about a queer punk-rock group contending with witches, werechickens, and the impending closure of their favorite bar. Oh, and they’re also werecoyotes.
Mixie, the non-binary head honcho of the group and lead singer of their band the Mangy Rats, is in an intense love-hate rivalry with a beautiful werewolf, and they must put their differences aside to defeat a mysterious witch who seeks to practice mind-control on lycanthropes. Going in, I was afraid (partially because of the punk rock/anarchist motif) that this was going to be one of those books that hits you over the head with it’s ‘wokeness’ and left-wing politics.
I’ve seen a lot of books like that lately. To my relief, I got a sweet found family story that didn’t take itself seriously at all. All of the main characters are GLBTQIA+ and their relationships are strongly written and endearing. The book normalizes their diverse sexualities and gender identities to the point where barely anyone talks about them at all.
They’re just a natural part of their characters. There isn’t there much character development (since it’s so short) then I wouldn’t mind seeing these protagonists in a sequel and getting to learn more about them and their backstories. This book is a good pick for somebody who wants something short and fast-paced with a light-hearted feel.
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