Ring Shout by author P Djeli Clark
Ring Shout is a very popular horror novel that promises to put a spin on the genre. It takes a group that is already scary, the KKK, and makes them a supernatural horror instead of just real-life terrorists.
The book follows a group of minority young women who have been blessed with the ability to see the KKK for what they really are, dog like bone monsters. With this sight they can hunt them and hopefully eradicate them from the earth.
I did not know much about Ring Shout going in, I basically knew it had a cool cover. Had I known it was so supernatural I might have passed. I definitely would have passed if I had known that it was a book 1. Seriously, I can’t escape this problem. If something is part of a series make that very clear before I start it!
Supernatural horror isn’t always my scene. And young girl with magic sword fights monsters is certainly not. No matter what kind of social commentary it may have. The biggest problem is that Ring Shout doesn’t actually have that much commentary to make. It’s not smart enough to overcome how basic is is at heart.
We have a young black woman who is the chosen one. She has the sight and she has a magic sword that only she can use. She has a diverse friend group that helps her and a magic guide that speaks in riddles and idioms. This cast of characters being black (and asian and gay) isn’t enough to make this plot not trite and predictable.
The main redeeming factor is some really awesome horror imagery. The monsters have a creepy design and any violence or gore is described creatively. I can always appreciate body horror and this book has just enough to keep me interested.
I cannot express how disappointed I am that Ring Shout will continue to a series. Every time I read a book that doesn’t actually have a conclusion it fills me with rage. It’s getting so bad. Endings are important and we’re getting fewer and fewer of them. Unfortunately, Ring Shout didn’t impress me enough to want to read more books to eventually find out what the ending may be. If it ever gets there at all.
If you like YA horror and supernatural horror this one might be a lot of fun for you. I’m just not impressed.
3/5 hounds 🐕🐕🐕
For more YA horror check out My Best Friend’s Exorcism
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Buy it here: Ring Shout