Creatures of Want and Ruin by Molly Tanzer
Creatures of Want and Ruin was one of the books included in my January Night Worms subscription box.
Goodreads Synopsis: Amityville baywoman Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine by night. It’s dangerous work under Prohibition–independent operators like her are despised by federal agents and mobsters alike–but Ellie’s brother was accepted to college and Ellie’s desperate to see him go. So desperate that when wealthy strangers ask her to procure libations for an extravagant party, Ellie sells them everything she has, including some booze she acquired under unusual circumstances.
What Ellie doesn’t know is that this booze is special. Distilled from foul mushrooms by a cult of diabolists, those who drink it see terrible things–like the destruction of Long Island in fire and flood. The cult is masquerading as a church promising salvation through temperance and a return to “the good old days,” so it’s hard for Ellie to take a stand against them, especially when her father joins – but Ellie loves Long Island, and she loves her family, and she’ll do whatever it takes to ensure neither is torn apart.
Review: The first time I ever laid eyes on this book my initial impression was that it looked like a creepy Alice in Wonderland. The similarity stops at the cover. Reading the book actually felt like a mix of The Great Gatsby and Stranger Things.
I loved the excerpts from the fictional book, The Demon in the Deep, even though I was very confused about the book’s significance at first.
The two main characters are strong females and I enjoyed reading both of their back stories. It gets even better when their paths finally cross. There were so many great supporting characters as well! I don’t think there was a single person I didn’t like (besides the obvious antagonists of the story).
For a good portion of the book it feels more like a historical fiction/fantasy read, but the horror aspect becomes apparent in the second half. I enjoyed the mix and the slow build to tension.
Overall a fantastic read with a strong ending and a new author that I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up again.
Publisher:John Joseph Adams
Publication Date: November 13, 2018
Page Count: 352
Overall Rating: 4/5