This novella is not a quick read. The opening sequence was so intense and visceral, covering deep emotion to intricate descriptions of things that will haunt me, that when I hit the second segment I had to stop, sit back, study the book and read the synopsis again to be certain it wasn’t a short story collection and I’d somehow missed the conclusion of the first story. Robert Chambers fans are going to love this new addition to the lore of Carcosa. There is a teenaged girl experiencing dual worlds, one of mistreatment, torture, and disfigurement and the other in a place where she bonds with an angel. At least, she calls it an angel. There is a research scientist fighting to create a living weapon to prevent the world from sliding into darkness and the absolute control of the Yellow Queen and there is the weapon. Three points bonded.
Joanna Koch has a mastery of words that can be, at times, overwhelming. In this novella you can sometimes catch a breath during the periods when you are visiting the research facility, but then, those begin to slide as well.
This is a darkly poetic work that will challenge reader’s imagations. It’s a wonderful homage to classic horror while, at the same time, deepening the wounds and clawing it’s own way forward. Not for light reading… but highly recommended.