Cover Image: When Among Crows

When Among Crows

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Member Reviews

This book was a DNF for me.

From the first chapter I had trouble keeping everything (plot and characters) straight and the book just seemed to bounce around more than I liked. I found myself confused and even though this book was short, I simply didn't want to spend so much time trying to keep everything straight. This book will definitely be great for some, but it was not for me.

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What a quick and captivating read centered around regret, repentance and responsibility.
I enjoyed the romantic relationship and the way in developed organically. I admired the story of each of our three main characters and their drive.

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Dymitr is a man with a heavy burden, and he hopes that by procuring a legendary flower and helping a cursed woman escape that which weighs her down, he'll also be able escape what troubles him. Set in Chicago and filled with the creatures of Polish folklore, this short book sets Dymitr and the cursed woman, Ala, on a one-night quest to save them both. There's not much more I can say about the plot without major spoilers, but I will say that it's an intriguing urban fantasy featuring creatures with which I wasn't previously familiar. It's definitely enjoyable, though I wish a few things had been fleshed out a bit more.

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I was very excited to read this as I love reading lore from other cultures. However, I feel like it was just too short. We were dropped into the story and then it just felt like the scenes were rushed. I did like how all the characters were intertwined and the growth and internal battle we saw within Dymitr. I wish that certain points had been expanded on. If you are looking for a quick fantasy with slavic lore this would be a good read though.

Thank you to Tor and NetGalley for this digital arc copy, all opinions are my own.

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What a gorgeous cover! This is my first by Veronica Roth since reading Divergent many years ago, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. This has some really lush lore inspired by Slavic folklore, but the story itself wasn't as gripping as I was hoping it to be.

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Thank you Tor for the eARC!

When Among Crows by Veronica Roth tells of a road trip around Chicago to look for Baba Yaga. The characters motivations are a mystery, but since this is novella, you don't have to wait long to find out.

• urban fantasy
• Slavic mythology
• queer romance

Being a novella, sometimes the pacing is hard to get right. The pacing was perfect during the most important bits but other parts were confusing and it was hard to tell who was speaking. There were also a few unnecessary side characters (the sister for one) that didn't add anything to the story but just jumbled in more character names. I was satisfied at the story's completion but feel like this maybe could have worked better as a full length novel.

If you like gritty urban fantasy that almost has a Mafia feel to it, this one might be for you.

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When Among Crows is a short fantasy read (under 200 pages) but it packs quite a punch! I really enjoyed the world that Veronica Roth was able to build and the story she was able to tell in such a short amount of pages. The story unfolds a mystery surrounded Dymitir, a human who has sworn to help his enemies, as he finds new friendships and possible love. Overall, it lacked the page-turning action I love in a fantasy book, but it was still a great story of overcoming what you were destined to be and creating a destiny of your choosing.

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I had a fun time with this one. I was unsure about it going in because I haven't found a Veronica Roth book that I have vibed with since her Divergent series but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It was fast paced and got right into the main plot with a prologue that draws the reader in. The stakes were laid out early too so you knew what you were going to get into. I enjoyed the polish folklore and the supernatural creatures were really fun to learn about. It was very cool to see this urban fantasy world where these species coexist with humans but the humans are unaware of them. There was an underlying m/m romance tone to it that I was loving and wanted more of. I would definitely read more from this world because there is so much more to explore.

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When Among Crows by Veronica Roth was such a perfect read. It's by far one of the best books I've read this year and I cannot wait for everyone else to experience this. The writing was concise but beautifully done. It has a small cast of characters and they were all so captivating. The length of this book was also perfect. It's short but it's fulfilling. The worldbuilding is amazing considering how short the book is. Overall, a really delectable reading experience.

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When Among Crows is a captivating dark fairytale that takes place in Chicago over the course of a few nights. Our cast of characters is small, our quest simple, and the world built with just enough detail to be intriguing but straightforward enough to not overwhelm the reader in less than 200 pages. I couldn’t put this book down and truly hope that Veronica Roth continues with this world or at least this type of storytelling because she struck gold.
I would highly recommend this to fans of One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake and the work of Holly Black.

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Without a doubt, one of the best fantasies I've read in the past year. Despite being fewer than 200 pages, Roth packs a powerful punch, building an urban fantasy world that is fully captivating and original. I also absolutely loved how the author transposed elements of Polish folklore onto modern Chicago. (I'm such a sucker for the concept of traditional folk creatures following immigrants to new lands.)

The only thing that made me sad was that it wasn't longer -- the book was the perfect length for the story being told, but I loved the world and characters so much that I wanted to live with them longer than the span of these 176 pages.

This is the first book I've read from Roth since I was in middle school, and I'm incredibly impressed with it. (Which makes sense! I would sure hope someone grows as a writer over the course of a decade plus career!) Definitely planning to pre-order a copy of this book, as well as to order it for my library. Highly recommend!!

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I had zero expectations going into this, and I was pleasantly surprised. The characters, prose, and setting were all spectacular. If you’re looking for a quick novella to read, this one is worth adding to your list.

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What does it take to break traditional curses, curses of magic and curses of guilt?

Inspired by Slavic folklore and tales, we receive this book that is both blessed & cursed by magic, like many of the characters within it. It captures a unique atmospheric tone to its storytelling, and I found it captures the charm of Grimm stories in writing.
It had many characters holding their own burdens, and I loved the presence of magic creatures, but sadly, I didn't connect enough to the book. There was just one element that the writing didn't have, and it was the one that would usually have me obsessed with the world and story. I think it was a mixture of the pacing and how I wanted it longer to get more from how we got there (aka the beginning).

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This is the first work I've read from Veronica Roth since I finished the Divergent series eleven years ago and I'm pretty impressed.

Some of the creatures in the novella are ones I've never read about before, and I'm eager for more Slavic mythology. I liked where the story went, and I felt fairly emotionally immersed by the end (a difficult feat reading something so short).

There was a point shortly before the end that I thought would have been a more satisfying end--novellas are a great medium to leave slightly unfinished and leave the reader with implications instead of concrete answers, and I would have been content with that in this case.

Content warnings: body horror, gore, sacrificial self-harm

Thank you to the publisher for the ARC!

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A captivating story steeped in Slavic folklore. The world building/characters are phenomenal for such a short book. Everything was well written and tied together perfectly. I hope the author decides to write more from this world because I would gladly devour whatever she puts in front of me. My favorite book of the year so far!

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I really had no idea how this book would play out. I've read Veronica Roth before and because of that, had reasonable expectations for this book, but the reality has been so much more impressive.

An urban fantasy set in modern day Chicago with a focus on Polish folklore and themes of belonging, regret, acceptance, family/found family, religion, and immigrant families, I found it to be a bit of an emotional reflection. Roth even managed to weave a beautiful romantic storyline in the most unexpected place.

I do wish this book were longer, or part of a series, but that's only because I loved the characters and world so much.

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I feel as though this novella stepped deeply in folklore reminded me a great deal of the duology by Emily Tesh, starting with Silver in the Wood. While that was more enmeshed in Irish folklore, this one is Polish and it has one hell of a spoiler which I'm gonna try to avoid in this review.

The main character is a nameless man met by a leszy who bookends both sides of this novella. There is a test he needs to pass in order to gain the fern flower, a mysterious and mystical item that we are told he is pure of heart enough to earn at the end of the test.

But this is only the first part of the main characters plans, which then go on to involve Baba Jaga, strzygi and zmora, as well as of course the human people who try to kill 'creatures' like this.

There were a lot of elements to this novella that were covered in a relatively short period of time, but the turns of the plot kept me guessing around the romance subplot between Dymitr and Niko. This author really has so much imagination still up her sleeve.

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Biggest thank you to Tor for this early copy!

Wow, this small book packs a huge punch. This fast-paced urban fantasy blends Polish folklore and Catholicism into a magical version of Chicago that's both familiar and horrifying. There's romance, bone weapons, and a grueling blood curse. This is Veronica Roth at her BEST!

Some spoilers Below:
This novella introduces us to a trio of Dymitr, Ala, and Niko, each bearing their own curse. Dymitr is burdened by the guilt of his upbringing and the creature-hunter that his lineage has raised him into. His upbringing and induction into the Holy Order has left him riddled with a guilt for a sin that he believes can only be repented for in pain. Ala's curse is more literal, passed down through her family for generations. It flares brighter in the evening, and she locks herself away to manage the horrific visions that plague her. Niko, while not necessarily cursed, bears the burden of being a protector of his kind, one of the few men born into a species of shape-shifter. The character building for each of them was done marvelously, and I finished this book wanting more of them. More of this alternate Chicago. More of everything.

Roth introduces us to a few different types of magical creatures and races, but she does a brilliant job (in my opinion) of telling us what's important and what needs to be remembered. The worldbuilding has the potential to be confusing under anyone else's care, but this book had a perfect balance between well-rounded, immersive worldbuilding and succinctness. I just adored and can't wait to have a copy on my shelf.

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I appreciate Netgalley and TorPublishing for this ARC. In this novella we follow Dymitr, a Knight of the Holy Order. He is supposed to hunt and kill monsters that live among people. This novella really centers around Dymitr's internal struggle with the morality of what he is doing. I really enjoyed these characters and the way this wrapped everything up in the end.

I wish this was longer. I feel like you were just dropped into a story half way through. It had me very confused in the first couple of chapters. I also felt like it switched point of views. In the beginning, I thought this was going to be told by the creature with the flower in it's eye, but wound up being from the knight's point of view. I found the world building kind of clunky. Part of the story takes place in Poland, the majority of it takes place in Chicago, and the beginning of it seems to take place in some kind of magical forest area. I almost wish this had been longer and either been a full blown fantasy, or an urban fantasy.

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I surprised myself with how much I loved this. The characters were complex and interesting, and I adored the mythology, language, and customs that Roth included. It's a quick read with A LOT going on, but it all works so well together.

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