Cover Image: Maeve Fly

Maeve Fly

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Member Reviews

Filled with rage, humor, halloween, and murder. I loved this book so much! I can't wait to read more for Leede!
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Full disclosure, I went into this novel not knowing what "splatterpunk" was as a subgenre or that Maeve Fly itself was classified as such. I only knew that it was considered extreme horror (sometimes both being interchangeable subgenres) and that the synopsis and cover were awesome. What shocked me the most about the book and what actually makes it splatterpunk is the depictions/suggestions of sexual violence and the graphic sexual/kink scenes. Now, we do not kink shame in this house, but that is not what I went into this expecting and it really threw me. Having since schooled myself in this subgenre of horror, I think the author did a good job taking the story where it needed to go. Our main character, Maeve Fly, is deeply flawed but very interesting and I saw myself connecting with her on many of her interests (obviously not the killing people one). I just wish we had gotten more back story from her from before she had moved to Los Angeles. It was a wild ride and a story I won't soon forget.
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Maeve Fly is the embodiment of a female rage story done right. Leede allows readers to get to intimately know Maeve in the first half of this book. We learn her history, her quirks, her passions. I loved how layered and real Maeve felt. I could relate to so much of what she felt and while her reactions at times were most definitely extreme, they also felt justified. 

It’s so hard to review this book without giving away details that I think are better left unknown in advance. I’ll instead share a favorite quote: “Men have always been permitted in fiction and in life to simply be what they are, no matter how dark or terrifying that might be. But with a woman, we expect an answer, a reason. But why would she do it? Why, why why?”

I don’t think this book will be for everyone. It’s incredibly dark and gory with scenes that are truly shocking. I loved every moment of this book and appreciate the accuracy behind the comparison of this story with American Psycho. As always, I recommend checking the content warnings on Storygraph.

🎧: I picked this one up on audio and strongly recommend checking it out in this format. Sosie Bacon does a phenomenal job of bringing Maeve and her story to life!

A huge thank you to Tor Nightfire for my gifted copy!
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This was a little too American Psycho for me. If you used to watch my booktube channel you will remember my loathing for American Psycho. I really felt that Maeve was meant to be the female Patrick B. I think I really dislike the way these books were written. The characters are really pretentious, and it is not fun to read. I do like the psycho MC pov, but I need more from it. There was some horror throughout with quite the gore, but nothing that held it up for me. I was disappointed because I really thought, from the synopsis, I would love this. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy of the book, in exchange for a honest review.
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Maeve is a princess at an amusement park. We all know which one. She's famous for her beautiful dress and Nordic look and all the things that come with fulfilling the desires of children, and some adults, as she dances and sings her way through her days.
Her life outside the park is definitely not a magical kingdom, but it makes her happy. In all sorts of ways.

I knew this was a story of semi-extreme horror. Didn't realize how much sex and debauchery would be involved. Honestly, it was a little over the top for me and I started skimming past the sex scenes once I hit the 50% mark in the book, but I enjoyed the story enough to stick with it and see how it ended. 

I won't go into detail, but there are a lot of horrific death scenes. Even more graphic scenes of sex and mutilation. All in all, if you enjoy that sort of content, or can skim past it, it's a pretty decent little slasher/horror read. 

I've seen other people criticize the history of old Hollywood that comes at the beginning of each new chapter. I enjoyed those stories of days gone by and found them almost as interesting as the tale being told by Maeve about her grandmother Tallulah, Lester the Cat, and her search for something that made her life worth living. 

4 stars for the story. It loses one, for me, because I don't commonly care for explicit sex in my horror. But I would be willing to read another book from this author in the future. Maybe even a continuation of this story.
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“𝕀 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕟𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕣 𝕦𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕥𝕠𝕠𝕕, 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕤𝕥𝕚𝕝𝕝 𝕕𝕠 𝕟𝕠𝕥 𝕦𝕟𝕕𝕖𝕣𝕤𝕥𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕟𝕠𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕒 𝕨𝕠𝕞𝕒𝕟 𝕞𝕦𝕤𝕥 𝕗𝕚𝕣𝕤𝕥 𝕖𝕟𝕕𝕦𝕣𝕖 𝕒 𝕧𝕚𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕞𝕙𝕠𝕠𝕕 𝕠𝕗 𝕤𝕠𝕞𝕖 𝕤𝕠𝕣𝕥—𝕒𝕓𝕒𝕟𝕕𝕠𝕟𝕞𝕖𝕟𝕥, 𝕒𝕓𝕦𝕤𝕖, 𝕠𝕡𝕡𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕤𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕠𝕗 𝕥𝕙𝕖 𝕡𝕒𝕥𝕣𝕚𝕒𝕣𝕔𝕙𝕪—𝕥𝕠 𝕓𝕖 𝕞𝕠𝕟𝕤𝕥𝕣𝕠𝕦𝕤. 𝕄𝕖𝕟 𝕙𝕒𝕧𝕖 𝕒𝕝𝕨𝕒𝕪𝕤 𝕓𝕖𝕖𝕟 𝕡𝕖𝕣𝕞𝕚𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕗𝕚𝕔𝕥𝕚𝕠𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕕 𝕚𝕟 𝕝𝕚𝕗𝕖 𝕥𝕠 𝕤𝕚𝕞𝕡𝕝𝕪 𝕓𝕖 𝕨𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕥𝕙𝕖𝕪 𝕒𝕣𝕖, 𝕟𝕠 𝕞𝕒𝕥𝕥𝕖𝕣 𝕙𝕠𝕨 𝕕𝕒𝕣𝕜 𝕠𝕣 𝕥𝕖𝕣𝕣𝕚𝕗𝕪𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕥𝕙𝕒𝕥 𝕞𝕚𝕘𝕙𝕥 𝕓𝕖. 𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕨𝕚𝕥𝕙 𝕒 𝕨𝕠𝕞𝕒𝕟, 𝕨𝕖 𝕖𝕩𝕡𝕖𝕔𝕥 𝕒𝕟 𝕒𝕟𝕤𝕨𝕖𝕣, 𝕒 𝕣𝕖𝕒𝕤𝕠𝕟. 𝔹𝕦𝕥 𝕨𝕙𝕪 𝕨𝕠𝕦𝕝𝕕 𝕤𝕙𝕖 𝕕𝕠 𝕚𝕥? 𝕎𝕙𝕪, 𝕨𝕙𝕪, 𝕨𝕙𝕪?“

Maeve Fly is an absolute MENACE to society and I love her more for it. I love a good unhinged fmc with questionable morals and this delivered that and more! I actually was not expecting it to be as gory as it was, but I ate it up (no pun intended). WHAT A WILD RIDE! 

My only critique is that I wish that it had been longer and—with that—given us even more scenes of Maeve’s depravity.
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Warning: Not for the squeamish!

However, if you're more than a bit bloody minded this book should tickle your fancy. Personally, this book hit my limit for gore and depravity but I'm still glad I took the ride.

By day Maeve plays everyone's favourite ice princess at the Very Happy Place™ but by night she haunts dive bars and reads books about misanthropes. Maeve's not our hero but as things unravel and she grows increasingly unhinged you maybe almost want to root for her. Probably don't though. She's not an antihero, she's a villain.

What's compelling is Maeve's exploration of being the villain without having to be broken first. She's never been anyone's victim to give her the compulsory tragic backstory. She is what she is without trauma and without apology.

A through line is Maeve's isolation. Her obsession with being seen, if only in brief moments, usually rejected by the seer. What is connection to a degenerate misanthrope? I'm not sure this book answers that question but it doesn't shirk trying.

In the end this book left me just a little bit unsatisfied. The ending sticks with you but I could have done with something more.
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Weird and wonderful in the best way possible. Unlike other genre mates I've read before - lives up to the hype as promised by the synopsis!
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It’s been a while since I’ve finished a book and thought, “DAMN! Haven’t read anything like that before!” Holy cow, Maeve Fly is an absolutely unhinged ride with so many wild elements that somehow all come together perfectly.

This felt like classic horror! It’s creepy, downright disturbing, yet there’s a lingering layer of vulnerability that our protagonist, Maeve, brings onto the page. It’s really hard to review this book without giving too much away, so I’ll leave it at this: the prose is strangely beautiful, the consistent homage to Halloween songs sparked much joy, and there were some scenes that had me nearly sick to my stomach 😅

Trigger warnings for violence/torture, but in my opinion, it’s not done gratuitously. Leede isn’t splashing gore on the page simply for the fun of it; she is building out a very complex character and honestly not pumping the brakes until the point has clearly been made. 

I’ll certainly be on the look out for more work from CJ Leede. It’s about damn time we see more unhinged female leads!
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Maeve Fly moves to LA to live with her famous grandmother, Tallulah, after being disowned by her parents. She works at "the happiest place on Earth" as the ice princess, she loves to read, and she's obsessed with Halloween - but there is more to Maeve than what meets the eye. When she meets Gideon, her best friend's brother, her whole world changes, leaving room for Maeve to explore the darkest, and most violent, parts of herself.

Maeve Fly is weird, fucked up, and so much fun to read. It gave me everything that I wanted (but didn't get) out of American Psycho, and more. Maeve is so strange and edgy, but she's also funny and interesting. She loves LA, which at the very beginning I was a little annoyed by because it felt awkward, but as the story goes on you can tell the author has a lot of knowledge about LA, and I enjoyed reading about it as someone who has never been to the West Coast.

Maeve also doesn't have a tragic backstory to reason for her being violent, she just is, which is one of my favorite details about her:
"Men have always been permitted in fiction and in life to simply be what they are, no matter how dark or terrifying that might be. But with a woman, we expect an answer, a reason. But why would she do it? Why, why, why?"

This book is extremely graphic, with a lot of sexual content and body horror, but to me it felt like it mostly all served a purpose. We truly got to see how fucked up Maeve is, and the way she makes sense of the things she does. This book also did a great job of building up to the violence instead of just throwing it all at the reader at once. We get to understand Maeve first, and then she really lets go in the last several chapters of the book.
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I really wanted to like this. The book has an interesting premise, but I just lost interest. I still think that this is a good book. I just don't think it was for me. I would like to thank the publishers and the author for the arc of this book, while not for me it does have appeal and I have seen tiktoks about it and others have seemed to like and love it. 3.5 stars for me.
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“What wolves need is a disguise. We need to be shrewder, quicker, ready to outwit and outmatch and strategize. We will never be like them. We will never truly belong here. But we can make it appear as though we do. We play this game from the outside..."

what better disguise for debauchery than a princess?

as she navigates a world in which she is slowly losing the people she loves most, Maeve is in turns captivating and terrifying, as much as the city she loves. by day at the happiest place on earth, by night in seedy bars and haunted hotels, Maeve struggles with her disguise, trying on personas like outfits. in the days leading up to Halloween, Maeve fights to keep the wolf inside contained, eventually losing control. what follows is savagery, a bloodbath, fueled by unadulterated rage.

huge thanks to tor nightfire and netgalley for the arc and for a new favorite. i see that CJ Leede has two more books coming soon....
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One of the most weirdest and most unique horror stories I've ever read. I loved it but it's definitely not for the faint of heart. It is truly horrifying yet also hilarious and weirdly, deeply romantic. It is also a love letter to LA. There is lots of gore and body horror so keep that in mind. Highly recommend for horror fans, especially those of the "Good for Her" type ie Pearl. PS Maeve has excellent taste in music.
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There is somebody out there for whom this book will really work. I imagine somebody young, somebody looking for something subversive and a little weird, and somebody who starts celebrating Halloween in mid August, But unfortunately it didn't work for me.

It’s about a theme park princess with…urges. Dark urges that she tries to keep hidden. Urges that of course cannot and will not remain hidden for long. It’s an often disturbing book, one that owes much to American Psycho in both its horror and commentary on gendered violence.. It’s brutal and gross and sometimes a little cringey but if you like your murder with a side of Halloween kitsch you might want to check it out.
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I'm not bothering to rate this one. I like dark stuff but this one is just weird. I LOVE the whole working as a princess thing while you an evil little heifer but the rest of it sucks balls. It felt like the book was trying way too hard to be torture porny.

Booksource: Netgalley in exchange for review.
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When I saw Maeve Fly everywhere on Bookstagram, I had to jump on the bandwagon and see what the hype was about.  

This is going to be the horror book of the year. It started intense and didn't slow down until the last word. It was shocking and brilliant. Definitely the book to pick up for your Halloween reading list.
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Maeve Fly by CJ Leede

“By day, Maeve Fly works at the happiest place in the world as every child’s favorite ice princess.

By the neon night glow of the Sunset Strip, Maeve haunts the dive bars with a drink in one hand and a book in the other, imitating her misanthropic literary heroes.

But when Gideon Green - her best friend’s brother - moves to town, he awakens something dangerous within her, and the world she knows suddenly shifts beneath her feet.

Untethered, Maeve ditches her discontented act and tries on a new persona. A bolder, bloodier one, inspired by the pages of American Psycho. Step aside Patrick Bateman, it’s Maeve’s turn with the knife.”


So from the beginning and from the plot summary above you know this girl Maeve is more than what she appears to be, but it is not the cliche serial killer. What I enjoyed about this book is that you really get to know Maeve on a deeper level that you root for her above all else going on. The first half of the book actually, is about Maeve Fly and getting to know her, her friends, her life, and her past. After a while things escalated and quite quickly. You feel like you know what will happen next, and things go off on a complete turn. I definitely tried to guess many times what would happen, based on your typical serial killer novel and I was very wrong. The ending had be shocked and definitely want more of Maeve Fly.

TW: be advised that there is mention of sexual, and gruesome scenes throughout the book that may be triggering too many.

Thank you for the ARC!
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I wanted this book to work for me so badly but I just wasn’t a fan. I love horror and I love unhinged and destructive female characters so I thought this would be the perfect book for me. It’s bloody and violent but ultimately it felt lackluster. I know that there are horror fans who will adore this book, but it just wasn’t for me.
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This was a wild ride that I didn't want to end!

Maeve is a "disney style" ice princess by day and a halloween obsessed psycho by night. She lives with her dying grandma and Lester The Cat, over time Maeve comes to terms with her dark feelings and starts to embrace them. 

The first half felt like a dark comedy, I felt icky for laughing when things would happen and more icky when the gore would show up. This book is filled with Violence, Sexual content, body horror, and some torture. While reading at some point I was like is this porn? Is this torture porn? It has been said that this is the "female version" of American Psycho. I haven't read that yet, but from what I know this is not as violent and definitely not as sexually violent. 

I would have loved if it was maybe 100 pages longer, and the ending didn't feel rushed and squished, but overall this was a wild ride and I want more from this author!!!
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wow! what a wild ride. c.j. leede is definitely cementing herself as a strong new voice in the extreme horror genre. the first third of the book moved a bit slowly, functioned more as a character study than something very exposition heavy, but once the narrative picked up steam, it was a fun, chaotic romp right until the end! maeve was the true embodiment of "lonely women behaving badly" trope, and her depravity and internal monologue was absolutely delightful. drawing from bataille and bret easton ellis affirmed that this book has such strong satirical elements, focusing these acts of repulsion from a woman's perspective--really encourages us to think differently about extreme horror. the end of the novel was also a huge subversion of how i thought the story was going to go, and i was on the edge of my seat squirming until the very end. can't wait to see what leede writes next!
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