Cover Image: No Gods, No Monsters

No Gods, No Monsters

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Member Reviews

It was really hard for me to get into this one and I'm not sure I ever really got it. I am new to fantasy, but this plot was very disjointed and hard to follow. Also all the violence and gore was not for me.
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Really enjoyed this! The narrator was excellent, and it was such a unique take on the topics explored.
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This book was WILD. 

Thank you to Netgalley/the publisher for giving me access to the audiobook for review.

It is definitely a super unique book, unlike anything I've read before. Essentially the author draws parallels between how people who are part of minority communities are treated like "monsters" and are outcast from society. Humanity doesn't understand them, so we demonize them, even though the monsters are in most ways just the same as everybody else. There aer calls for solidarity and understanding. Definitely a lot of political undertones, symbolism, and social commentary. I appreciated the author's message (or at least what I perceived to be the message), and I liked the unique way he delivered.

For me there was kind of a lot going on in this book (so many characters! so many story lines!)--this isn't a bad thing, but for <i> me personally</i> I found that sometimes the story was muddied and confusing. This is likely because I got the audiobook and not a physical book--I struggle in particular with audiobooks that are overly complex lol. But!! I did like this one enough that I expect I will do a re-read of the physical book, which will hopefully clear up some of the things I found confusing.

Overall I enjoyed this book. I see that it is going to be part of a series, and I look forward to seeing the books to come.
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This was a really weird book and it was not what I thought it would be. 
It had a creeping horror kinda, and complex characters that felt very real (and some also surreal).
The beginning was a bit confusing, but after some events in the book it got better and I think people who like urban fantasy with werewolves and mysterious beings would love this book!
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That was dense!! And very good, listening to this book was a real pleasure. The plot is a bit confused in my head but that’s always what happens with audiobook so that’s on my part. Other than that I really enjoyed the story, it reminded me of Ninth House so if you liked it, try this one. Bonus point for the diversity.
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This book was incredible. I didn't know fantasy books could be like this. It combined classic concepts of monsters with new ideas and deep characters. The narrator was perfect for this book. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by this author.
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I  found myself struggling to connect to this book. The premises is so promising; secret werewolf groups, secret societies, and groups that don't usually get representation. Maybe it was how fast the book hit, or maybe it was just my headspace. The narrator was wonderful, and I'm sure that when this story hits the right person it will click. It just wasn't for me.
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DNF at 30 %

It didn't take long for me to realize that the voice and storytelling of this book were not going to fit what I enjoy reading. I tend to be drawn more toward plot driven books with more direct storytelling style. This book is told in a more atmospheric and literary style. I am pretty confused on what's happening and I am not able to picture the scene and characters. However I do give the author props on the prose because the language flows around the story in a way that is quite masterful. It is just not enjoyable for me, personally, as a reader. 

Overall if you are a fan of highly stylized writing and storytelling this may be the book for you.
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This is an extremely cool blend of scifi and fantasy, realism and surrealism, the known and the unknown. I didn't always know what was happening given the shifting between timelines but I still really enjoyed this and am excited to read it again physically!
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I will admit that I was a bit confused in the beginning as there are many characters and stories seemingly happening at once. Also, listening to this in audiobook doesn't allow you to see the clear delineation of characters and stories and leaves you a bit unclear at times who  it is that you are following.  However, with some focused listening and some repeated chapters, I was able to understand what was going on and enjoy this book

Turnball's writing is beautiful. His prose is really exquisite and you find yourself getting lost sometimes in its lyrical style. The narrator's voice lends itself to this kind of writing. Low, deep and melodic. 

I understand why this book was so anticipated. It is so unique. There is literally nothing like it. It crosses so many genres; sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy and yet manages to deliver such important social messages about race, sexuality and identity.  

There's  a lot going on in this book and it leaves many questions unanswered. Luckily that is why there will be a book 2. Sign me up!

Thank you Blackstone Publishing for gifting me both the hardcover and audiobook of this amazing read
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I literally had no idea what was going on throughout this entire book. I was confused and not in a good way. Even at the end of the book I was like what did I just read? I hope that the 2nd book clarifies things but I don’t know if I’ll be reading it.
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DNF: I liked the writing style but hated the narrators voice so I couldn’t force myself to keep going. Would love to read this in print though.
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This is an ambitious and timely book- arriving in the time of deep political unrest in America, racial justice, and of course the upheaval of the pandemic. The narrative juggles multiple characters and storylines that intersect, and I found myself really enjoying the characters. The plot weaves around a central tragedy that starts as personal and soon unravels to become a societal fissure. I loved seeing the parallels to our own current reality, while simultaneously this story was different enough from what's going on to distance and comment on it in a compelling way. I had trouble grasping fully what was going on throughout the book however, partially due to the multiple story threads and my difficulty focusing with audiobooks despite years of training. The narrator read the story beautifully and would always draw me back in.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the audiobook of No gods, no monsters. 

Firstly, the cover artwork is very tasteful, and part of what attracted me to the title in the first place. It doesn't always follow that the prose or story is any good, but many a young author is relegated to the bargain bins because the publishers have been too cheap to assign a decent artist; I'm glad they saw the cost-benefit on this one, as the cover is merely a taster of the thrilling story within.

Turnbull combines urban fantasy with social/economic commentary, great characters (I disliked some of them intensely, but that's just due to the skill of the author in making them so credible), politics, sexual identity, a study in how we create our own monsters (whether supernatural or different in race, gender or class), and the salvation in solidarity.

Sure, Turnbull does a bit of hopping about with the vast array of characters with which he has thronged the book, and I'll admit it was a bit confusing at the start (mostly because it's harder to keep track on audio), but it soon became apparent that this book was the mere start of a very thought-provoking saga, and you just have to relax back and trust the author to carry you - which he does, very capably. I particularly enjoyed how he makes supernatural entities realistic in their various social and cultural settings and geographic locations; I've read many urban fantasy books, and this was a new, almost pragmatic, but therefore far more credible version of the others. And his interweaving of the sexual politics was, if not subtle, then far more nuanced than usual, almost verging on the "otherness" theories of Stanislaw Lem.

The last section of the novel was nail-biting suspenseful, and whilst Turnbull tidied up certain narrative arcs, he left a huge amount to play for, and I, for one, cannot wait for the next installment.
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This story follows Alaina, who is mourning her estranged brothers murder. However, when a video leaks, she - and the rest of the world - discover that her brother was not human. 

Unfortunately, this story was not for me. It was relatively slow-paced and character-focused. I believed this would be more of an action-packed urban fantasy/science fiction novel. However, this story does have its audience and it’s merits. The main character definitely felt tangible. If you like seemingly “cold” characters who end up being complex, you may enjoy this story. 

2.5 stars.
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This was a great book-- a bit of a slow burn, but ultimately fascinating. Monsters and gods are real, if exploited or in hiding. The novel hinges on a central event that becomes clearer the more you read. I enjoyed the characters and intense conflicts.
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I finished this one a while ago and thought I had reviewed it, oops. It pulled me out of a bit of a reading slump, so I’m grateful for that and my only complaint is, where is the next one?! Anyway, here’s the summary from the publisher:

“One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it.

As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend’s trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters.

At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark?

The world will soon find out.”

Horror as social commentary is one of my very favorite things, so when the book opens with the death of a young black man at the hands of police who also may be a shifter, well, it touches the lives of so many, those who knew him and those who didn’t.

This is the first of more books, and though it jumped in time and between characters a lot, I finally put all the pieces together by the end and will definitely read the next one. There’s a ton of unforced representation, and it brings up as many questions as it answers, holding up a mirror to ourselves just now. Highly recommend if you don’t need fluffy and light right now.
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I'm glad I read this, stretching my reach outside my favorite genres. I found it intriguing, but at times I was also a little confused. There were some really well-written characters, I just didn't connect with it the way I thought I should.

I received a copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This novel begins with Laina. Her brother was shot by a cop in what appears to be another case of racialized police brutality but is actually something unexpected and that one moment opens up the world(s) of gods and monsters. 

I really enjoyed this book, audio book actually, because it surprised me in wonderful ways. I will be honest here and say that in the beginning I was quite confused. There are a lot of characters and Turnbull wants them all to have dimension so we get a lot of information about them and, at least because I was listening, found them all hard to keep track of. At least at first. As the story went along I was able to piece together who was who. The great thing about this confusion though, for me, is that he created this world of characters that felt very real. It is a group of characters that are from various gender identities & sexual orientations, different racial backgrounds, different ages, different worlds, and they all felt real and fleshed out. 

Another thing that confused me a little, and again, something I think wouldn't have been as much of an issue had I been reading a physical copy, was the jumping of timelines, storylines, and worlds. Turnbull does it with such ease that at times I didn't realize it had happened until I found myself needing to rewind a bit to figure out what was happening. It's not something that happened often but I definitely had to make sure I wasn't distracted while listening. 

As you may have seen this is book #1 in a series and I honestly can't wait to read the rest. This book on its own feels complete, which nice to see when so many books that are part of a series leave you with that empty feeling of incompleteness as a way to draw you back. I feel like Turnbull has created a world (or worlds?) that you'll want to come back to but if you only read this first book, it stands on its own. 

Is this urban fantasy? Yes. 
Is this literary fiction? Also yes. 
Will I be buying a copy of this book so I can read it again? Highly likely, and you should too. Or whatever format you enjoy your books in. 


Since I mentioned having read the audio version I just want to say that Dion Graham did an incredible job. There were a lot of characters, situations, and emotions to capture and he narrated beautifully.
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4/5 - Great writing, magnetic characters, baffling story.

One of the things I well and truly love about this book is the casual, natural way it weaves in the characters’ identities (queer, trans, poly, etc). They don’t feel clumsy or “token,” it’s just who they are as people.

The writing is smart, it feels prosaic and immersive, despite the numerous storylines. The changes in POV don’t feel jarring in the way that those shifts sometimes do.

With all that said, I still don’t know what this book is *about.* Don’t get me wrong, I could give you an in-depth explanation of the various storylines, but I don’t think I understand the actual crux of the story. It feels deep and important, but it has settled more in my heart than in my brain.

This is one of those books that I’m almost certain I’ll return to and understand a little more each time I read it. Ultimately I would absolutely recommend it, with the caveat that the reader may need multiple passes to “get it.”

Content Warnings: police brutality, domestic violence, child abuse, brief gore.

(Thank you to Blackstone Publishing via Netgalley for the eARC! All opinions are my own.)
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