The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion
June 30, 2019 6:32 AM - by Margaret Killjoy - Subscribe

Danielle Cain is a queer punk rock traveller, jaded from a decade on the road. Searching for clues about her best friend’s mysterious and sudden suicide, she ventures to the squatter, utopian town of Freedom, Iowa. All is not well in Freedom, however: things went awry after the town’s residents summoned a protector spirit to serve as their judge and executioner. Danielle shows up in time to witness the spirit—a blood-red, three-antlered deer—begin to turn on its summoners. Danielle and her new friends have to act fast if they’re going to save the town—or get out alive.
posted by dinty_moore (7 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not so much that there aren't that many books that feature punks or anarchists as protagonists, it's that it feels like it's rare to find a book that features them with any actual familiarity.

With this one, I recognized the characters - almost too much (and this is just from knowing some traveling kids a decade ago, not really being part of the community). But the way this community started and then tore itself apart seemed very real, ignoring the demon summoning portion of it.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I thought this was very fun, and much too short. Hopefully the author writes more in the same vein :)
posted by triage_lazarus at 6:48 PM on June 30, 2019

There's another novella in the same series - The Barrow Will Send What it May.

(I haven't read it yet)
posted by dinty_moore at 6:53 PM on June 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

I’m so glad you posted about this. I hadn’t heard of it and now it’s mine
posted by schadenfrau at 5:55 PM on July 1, 2019 [1 favorite]

That’s no way to talk about a book with an anarchist protagonist! Surely, it is ours....

Excited to read this.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:34 AM on July 2, 2019

...and satisfied after.

I liked:
1. Danielle’s voice was a little flat but believable. She felt like a person carrying trauma, which doesn’t always work. I really liked her inner urge to trust at war with the need to mistrust, community vs survival instinct. Also her second-guessing herself, which made her feel real even though events just kind of fell on her from the plot machine.

2. Even with the magical elements, Freedom felt believable, from its ramshackle structure to the way it began to come apart when the compact that holds the participants began to fray.

3. The feeling of desolation when a beautiful thing is destroyed, but maybe has to be.

4. The way the story was true to it’s anarchist ideals; the resolution was a resolution on anarchist principles, and the sins that start the horror are anarchist sins.

5. The police seems as individually motiveless as the resurrected animals.

6. The way that magic is guesswork — something happen Red, and we know when and why, but not precisely how.

7. Trans and queer characters who are casually trans and queer; it’s not a big plot point or anything, just a “ok, data point for the character” way.

I liked less:
1. The story should have been longer. That would have made the plot seem more organic, and Danielle’s affect would have had more time to open out and feel 3D, and the opposing sides could have been explored more, making them less flat. Also, more space for the horror and wonder to bloom.

Um, that’s my big complaint. I wanted a shirt novel.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:28 AM on July 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

happen Red

“Happened,” voice to text, not “happen Red.” Surely, in this book, it would happen Black, not happen Red.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:39 AM on July 4, 2019

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