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WE ARE THE CRISIS by Cadwell Turnbull Kirkus Star


by Cadwell Turnbull

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 2023
ISBN: 9781982603755
Publisher: Blackstone

In the second installment of The Convergence Saga (No Gods, No Monsters, 2021), the monsters—werewolves, witches, vampires, and other magical beings—have finally emerged from secrecy.

The Cult of the Zsouvox is fomenting a war between humans and monsters for obscure, apocalyptic reasons. On the human side, the Black Hand escalates violence against monsters. Werewolves Laina Calvary, her husband, Ridley Gibson, and Laina’s girlfriend, Rebecca Vázquez, don’t know where to find support in this rising tide of hatred, since few other monsters are willing to reveal themselves and be exposed to attack. Dragon, a tween who can shift into his namesake, has escaped the Cult of the Zsouvox’s basement cell but is being watched both by the Black Hand and a former CIA agent, Alexandra Trapp, who is only partially aware of who’s pulling her strings. And weredog former senator Sondra is hoping her husband, a current senator, can push through a bill establishing legal protection for monsters; she’s keeping a lower profile in hope of concealing her monster identity as well as her presence at a bloody pro-monster rally in Boston three years ago. Will more established pro-monster forces emerge from the shadows before large-scale tragedy strikes? Meanwhile, in a parallel universe, Calvin continues to escape his troubled personal life in sleep, where he secretly observes the events occurring in the “monsterverse” and other universes, a practice which may prove more dangerous than he knows. Turnbull packs a lot of plot and character development in a fairly compact set of pages, using his story to explore complex issues of prejudice, intersectionality, and personal identity, as well as the scars left by the darker parts of one’s past. As in the first book, he also devotes considerable time to not-so-subtly endorsing the model of worker-owned, non-hierarchical cooperative networks. Rather than a jarring insertion into the plot, this helps highlight a key intersectionality issue: Even idealists may not be open to all ideas and varieties of people, particularly when they are afraid.

Rich, brilliant, and often sad, because this contemporary fantasy pulls no punches; blood will regretfully be spilled.