Hello Gemmies! I have an exciting book review to share with you today. Please note: I received an audiobook ARC of this book (via NetGalley) from its publisher in exchange for an honest and fair review.
Ring Shout is a new novella by P. Djeli Clark. I have to start by saying P. Djeli Clark is the MASTER of the novella. He has an incredible talent for creating vast detailed worlds, intricate and complicated characters, and heart stopping action that capture the African American experience in a novella format. Ring Shout is no exception and unlike anything else i've read before. It is so inventive, clever, and different. Clark takes a moment in this country's dark history and mixes in fantasy and horror to come up with a wicked alternate vision.
Ring Shout takes place in the post war South in 1922. It immediately pulls you into a world shaped by hate and fear, where hate literally takes on a life of its own. Ring Shout is also an extremely well written character driven story. Maryse Boudreaux is our main protagonist and such an enjoyable character. She's smart, brave, and an all around kick ass heroine. I found Maryse to be complex and relatable as she struggles to reconcile the hurts from her past and discover who she will be going forward. There are so many plot twists and gut punches, this story left me on the edge of my seat throughout. This is a tale of the dangers of being led by hate and the strength and beauty that are built out of struggle and the fierce determination to love and thrive despite it all.
Ring Shout is narrated by one person, Channie Waites. Channie does a good job of differentiating the different characters voices. I wish there would have been a bit more variety in the characters voices specifically between Maryse, Sadie, and Chef. But...I really enjoyed Sadie's vocalization. Channie was able to bring her lively disposition to life. The premise of Ring Shout is deep and Channie does an excellent job of conveying the gravity of the situations our heros find themselves in. The pacing was perfect and the story was over way too soon. I found myself wanting to hear more.
If you are a fan of alternate history interpretations, horror, speculative fiction, justice, black girl magic, and action galore then go read this book! This gem published by RB Media is available for purchase from all major booksellers. I give Ring Shout 5 out of 5 gems. I cannot wait for everyone to get to read this powerful story. Happy Reading!