Hello friends. My last handful of reviews have been for horror things. This novel is not directly horror, though has a fair amount of gore and horrific themes. I just wanted to warn you, should you choose to pick this book up, I wouldn’t classify it as horror, but more of a dystopian novel.
So this book took me forever to read. I described it on Twitter as “a phenomenal story about revolution and a woman with teeth in her vajay.” It’s a little blunt, but it’s also pretty accurate.
Before I start, I do want to put forth a content/trigger warning. This book does contain a fair amount of scenes depicting violence (sexual and otherwise) against women and children.
Without giving too much plot information, this book is incredible. It takes place in a future dystopian America where global warming and war has left much of the country an unlivable wasteland and women are essentially slaves, raising crops and livestock for men, as well as used for pleasure and breeding.
From the first few paragraphs, the book had me hooked with the description of the world and how relatable and real the characters were, especially Donthiki (also known as Dawn). The writing is very good, and I found myself very emotional as the plot progresses, taking us through a journey from starved and abused livestock-slave to revolutionary, using her unusual gift — the aforementioned teeth in her vagina — to spark dissent among the women first of her own small community outside of Feenix, and then far, far beyond that.
I think one of my favorite parts of the novel was how little the actual teeth came into play. While Dawn’s gift (called “the black cleft”) is certainly a tool she used to inspire the women, it’s use as a symbol of hope and revolution is where it sort of stops. The story takes us through not just the physical journey of revolution, but Dawn’s journey from farm-girl to a sort of war-chief to the women who follow her.
It’s bloody, it’s violent, but it’s also soft and moving. And there’s surely enough action to go around, right up to the book’s conclusion, which I’m willing to admit had me on the edge of my seat, and up until about 2am reading because I could not put it down.
If you’re unsure if this book is for you based on some of the warnings I’ve given, I’d recommend downloading the sample from Amazon Kindle to try it out. The first few chapters do an excellent job of setting the tone of the rest of the novel, and you’ll know by the end of them (or before) whether or not you have any desire to see this book through to the end.