BLACK MAMBA by Jac Simensen

BLACK MAMBA

KIRKUS REVIEW

Voodoo, sex and violence mark the story of a remarkably resilient young girl who survives a world of sordid corruption on the way to wielding astonishing powers.

At once mysterious and relatable, Simensen’s supernaturally tinged heroine, Stella, strides through the muck and mire of a tawdry world where the lives of innocent young women are cheap and exploitation is a daily affair. The lurid proceedings enveloping Stella’s life kick off in the claustrophobic confines of imprisonment. From there, the narrative spills forth in tangential lines that leapfrog back and forth between time periods before coalescing in an outlandishly twisted climax reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Although unnerving, the temporal disruptions ultimately enhance this story of a young voodoo priestess facing off against her tormentors. However, graphic depictions abound, including steamy eroticism, two-bit pimps and privileged, wealthy elites who get their kicks by preying on the weak in order to feed their insatiable lust for power. At times, some of the story threads threaten to overwhelm the narrative, but the author maintains a pliable sense of cohesion throughout Stella’s remarkable journey. Dialogue does much of the heavy lifting, from clearing up the pulpy plot to adding atmosphere and a genuine sense of reality. The abject deviltry—in the form of loathsome sex trafficking—bounces between being human and oddly bizarre. Throughout the busy plot, Stella proves to be an intriguing character who demands further exploration the more readers get to know her.

An exciting, imaginative mix of magic and creole charisma.

Pub Date: April 28th, 2011
ISBN: 978-1612960296
Page count: 202pp
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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