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author: Darcie Little Badger (2020)
date read: 24 April 2023
rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

A fun story an America in which fantasy and magic are real and somewhat commonplace, including vampires, ghosts, and evil scarecrows. Ellie can talk to ghosts, and she’s investigating the murder of her cousin.

The plot is a little slow, but the worldbuilding is gorgeous – it feels rich and real, without being heavy-handed. We get little glimpses of detail, but it’s never treated as spectacular or obsessed over.

When chatting about it in book club, it struck me that this is a parallel to writing about Indigenous people (which include both the author and the protagonist) – a White author might regard aspects of Indigenous life as a spectacle, but an Indigenous author treats them as matter-of-fact.

I’d happily read more stories in this setting, but it also works nicely as a standalone.

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