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And Then There Were Crows
July 2, 2018
And Then There Were Crows by Alcy Leyva Black Spot Books General Fiction (Adult) , Sci Fi & Fantasy Pub Date 03 Jul 2018
I didn’t know what to expect when I started reading And Then There Were Crows. Part satirical urban fantasy, part black comedy - the end of the world begins with a Craigslist ad for a roommate. In this case roommate from hell is an accurate description. Amanda Grey has agoraphobia and panic disorder. Dealing with the everyday is hard enough, but now she has shades trying to kill her, a disturbing excuse for an angel blaming her for the oncoming apocalypse, and a new neighbor trying to be her friend. Odd things are happening in New York, and somehow it is up to Amanda to save the day.
Amanda isn’t the most likable heroine, but she is perfectly believable as a young woman with serious anxiety issues. Her main methods of coping are avoidance and driving people away by being unpleasant. But she is the perfect heroine for this unique novel and difficult to classify novel.
My only complaint is that there are times when the novel drags. Otherwise it is an excellent and unusual read.
4 / 5
I received a copy of And Then There Were Crows from the publisher and netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
Urban Dark Fantasy, Filled with Angels, Demons, Biting Social Critique, and What Might Happen When You Find a Roommate on Craigslist
WITH AN ANTISOCIAL ANGEL AND A ROOMMATE WITH ASPIRATIONS TO ENSLAVE HUMANITY, AMANDA GREY GOES FROM A WOMAN WORRIED ABOUT HER OWN PERSONAL DEMONS TO HUMANITY’S LAST HOPE AS SHE FACES NEW YORK CITY’S DEVILS, CURSES, AND CULTS
New York City has always been a big fat sack of stress attacks for Amanda Grey. From turning herself into knots to evade rubbing ass cheeks with strangers on the train, to round-housing public bathroom door handles to stave off plague contaminations, Grey has always found the simple technique of avoidance best in dealing with NYC. What's always saved her—what’s always served as her bastion from the City’s bright lights and cat-calling construction workers—was the little one-bedroom apartment in Queens she’s shared with her parents. Of course, that’s all about to change.
When her parents go on an extended vacation and leave Grey to her own devices, she quickly manages to screw everything up, soon finding herself broke, behind on rent, and facing eviction. That’s how fast life in the city goes: One second, your biggest concern is rising Metrocard costs and avoiding eye contact with creepy looking children. The next, you’re nearly murdered by a man infested with demons, one of which you’ve rented your bedroom to, and before you know it you’ve set into motion the biblical apocalypse prophesized in the Book of Revelations—literally.
In Alcy Leyva’s debut dark urban fantasy novel, And Then There Were Crows [Black Spot Books, July 3, 2018] Grey goes from a woman concentrated on clamping down on her own personal demons to the woman responsible for recapturing the six Shades she’s unleashed on the city. To accomplish this, she must venture out into a society even more alien to her now than before—oh, and try to stay alive, too. She manages to survive by accepting the help of Barnem, a seraphim who just happens to reside in an upstairs apartment and also just so happens to be equally terrible at human interactions as she is. Oddly, the demon Grey now shares an apartment with also steps up to help her vanquish the Shades, though she can't be sure if it's out of roommate loyalty or a secret plot to enslave humankind. Probably the latter.
Together the unlikely trio faces a bevy of social demons, from navigating political warfare, to breaking the curse of infomercials, to figuring out exactly how Grey becomes the leader of a cult. For Grey, it becomes harder and harder to tell the difference between the ills of society and the influence of the Shades. She begins to notice that living with her social anxieties makes her more sensitive to the oddities around her, which, ironically, seems to make her the perfect person to deal with the world's mounting weirdness. As Grey comes to be part of a society that has accepted the strange ways we communicate with each other, she questions if the “social sanity” she felt excluded from her entire life ever really existed in the first place.
And Then There Were Crows is dark, satirical view of the apocalypse, where we find that the balance between good and evil, black and white is sometimes, well, a little more Grey