And What Can We Offer You Tonight

ECW. Dec. 2023. 2:43 hrs. ISBN 9781778523182. $22.99. SF
In a disturbing future where rising waters threaten to swallow the lower classes, the wealthy tower over them and assert control. The poorest people are frequently bought and sold, and many even choose to sell themselves. Jewel is one of these, having traded her freedom for the protected lifestyle afforded a courtesan of the prestigious House of Bicchieri. When a murdered friend comes back to life, intent on seeking revenge, Jewel must choose between self-preservation and helping bring her friend’s killer to justice. Mohamed’s (A Broken Darkness) novella relies on familiar concepts like a stark class divide fueled by a wealth-focused hegemony, immersing readers through descriptive worldbuilding and a seductive noir aesthetic. The often overwritten prose dances perilously close to purple but is made palatable by Elana Dunkelman’s brilliant audiobook narration. Through Dunkelman’s performance, Jewel’s investigation is conveyed with measured desperation and hopefulness, supporting the protagonist’s conflicted desire to do the right thing while protecting her way of life.
VERDICT Mohamed’s haunting novella will check the boxes for fans seeking horror, fantasy, and dystopian worlds. Recommended for fans of Mia V. Moss’s Mai Tais for the Lost and C.L. Polk’s Even Though I Knew the End.
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