Daughters unto Devils by Amy Lukavics
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Okay. It might be YA, but to me, it's horror all the way, baby.
I may not care all that much about old-tyme american settlement, little house on the prairie - type fiction, but there's a goodly number of creepy frontier horror out there in the wide world, and I seem to be stumbling upon them a bit more in the last few years. As I was reading this one, I was reminded about how much I like my Rasputina collection, and a special little song in the Violent Femmes collection, too, but more than anything, I felt like I was sitting down to a good homemade meal by one of my favourite authors. Was I reminded of SK? Yes. Pleasantly so. And I was gratified at the end to see him in the acknowledgements. :)
So, first of all, most of the story is all character development, slow reveals, creepy setup, and then we get the zinger in the last quarter that puts me at the edge of my seat. It was a perfect execution. Nothing was out of place. The story flowed so very nicely. We knew something had either gone very wrong in the past or something was going to go very wrong in the future, and either reveal would have been perfect, but we were sandwiched between both the entire trip and they both love to feed on the reader from both ends until everything goes to hell.
Ah, so lovely. It feels like a very old ghost tale done with modern sensibilities because that's exactly what it is, although it doesn't matter a whiff whether there are actual ghosts in it. It draws us in from all the angles it had set up, made us care, and then slammed us up against the wall. I love horror. I seriously love horror when it's done right, and this was done right.
The taste of a moral message nearing the end was probably just a passing glamour. The real end made everything just right.
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