When the Night Bells Ring

CamCat. Oct. 2022. 10:45 hrs. ISBN 9780744306231. $19.95. HORROR
Kaplan’s (It Will Just Be Us) latest is made up of two narratives that seem thematically different but end up entwined by the end. The story opens with Mads and Waynoka, two women making their way across an America ravaged by climate change. Seeking respite from the unrelenting sun and desperate for water, they enter an abandoned mine, only to become trapped. Waynoka soon discovers the diary of Lavinia Kane, a woman from the 1800s who was looking for a better life for her family, but instead found something stalking her and her fellow townspeople—the same something that is stalking the two women deep within the earth. Blending a not-so-distant future climate message with a piece of feminist historical fiction doesn’t seem like it should work, but it does by alternating between the two narratives until they finally collide at the end. As both narratives progress, the individual voices of narrators Rachel Fulginiti and Nicol Zanzarella keep both narratives distinct until the final brutal end.
VERDICT Part Weird West horror and part claustrophobic descent into darkness, this book’s double narratives will drag readers into its Stygian depths.
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