No Gods, No Monsters

Narrated by Dion Graham
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Pub Date 07 Sep 2021 | Archive Date 22 Dec 2021

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“Riveting…[A] tender, ferocious book.”

-New York Times

“Beautifully fantastical.”



-Chicago Tribune

The first book in The Convergence Saga, a new series from Cadwell Turnbull, the award-winning author of The Lesson

*An Indie Next Pick*

*A LibraryReads Pick*

*Included in Forbes Magazine's 10 Most Anticipated Books of 2021 According to Independent Booksellers*

*Included in Marie Claire's 35 Must-Read 2021 Book Releases by Black Authors*

*One of Buzzfeed's 35 Amazing Fantasy Books Coming Out This Summer*

*One of Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of September*

*A GoodReads Most Anticipated SFF Novel of 2021*

*Included in GoodReads' roundup of The Year's Most Anticipated Fiction by Black Authors *

*A BookRiot Pick of 2021 Black LGBTQ Books To Preorder*

*A Polygon Pick of Best New SFF Books to Read this Summer*

*A Tor Pick of Most Anticipated SFF Books for the Rest of 2021*

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.

“Riveting…[A] tender, ferocious book.”

-New York Times

“Beautifully fantastical.”



-Chicago Tribune

The first book in The Convergence Saga, a new series from Cadwell Turnbull, the...

A Note From the Publisher

Cadwell Turnbull is the author of The Lesson. He is a graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing M.F.A. in Fiction and English M.A. in Linguistics. Turnbull is also a graduate of Clarion West 2016. His short fiction has appeared in The Verge, Lightspeed, Nightmare, and Asimov’s Science Fiction and a number of anthologies, including The Dystopia Triptych and Twelve Entanglements. His Nightmare story “Loneliness is in Your Blood” was selected for The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2018. His Lightspeed story "Jump" was selected for The Year's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2019 and was featured on LeVar Burton Reads. His novel The Lesson was the winner of the 2020 Neukom Institute Literary Award in the debut category. The Lesson was shortlisted for the VCU Cabell Award and longlisted for the Massachusetts Book Award. Turnbull grew up in the U.S. Virgin Islands and currently lives in Raleigh where he teaches creative writing at North Carolina State University. His second novel, No Gods, No Monsters, will release in September 2021.

Cadwell Turnbull is the author of The Lesson. He is a graduate from the North Carolina State University’s Creative Writing M.F.A. in Fiction and English M.A. in Linguistics. Turnbull is also a...

Advance Praise

“Riveting…[A] tender, ferocious book.”

-New York Times

“Beautifully fantastical.”



-Chicago Tribune

“In the first of a series, the monsters who have always lived among us emerge, endangered by prejudice, doubt, and at least one deadly, ancient cult…The otherworldly aspects of the story act as a lens that brings the characters’ richly depicted lives and complex relationships into sharp focus…This is still a deeply human story, beautifully and compellingly told.”

-Kirkus Reviews (STARRED review)

“An epic, meta, Caribbean-inspired fantasy that dives into the dark and shadowy…Multiple viewpoints and protagonists are easy enough to juggle while being compelling, and the inclusion of asexual, trans, and other nonconforming identities and relationships adds a rich layer of truth and reality to the text. This novel is built out of the shadows in the corner of a dark room, out of disembodied voices and metauniverses, out of blood, conspiracy, and mind control. Readers will itch for the next book in the saga.”

-Booklist (STARRED review)

"Turnbull delves into the complexities of injustice and identity in this powerhouse contemporary fantasy…Turnbull plunges readers into a layered world of monsters and secrets and uses his supernatural conceit to prompt them to examine the demons that already plague society and endanger the disenfranchised. The expert combination of immersive prose, strong characters, sharp social commentary, and well-woven speculative elements makes for an unforgettable experience. Fantasy fans won't want to miss this."

-Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)

“Turnbull’s sophomore work puts him at the top of the field of fantasy literary fiction.”

-Library Journal (STARRED review)

“Profound and unsettling in the best way…Sharp, insightful social commentary wrapped up in a tale of the uncanny.”

-Rebecca Roanhorse, New York Times bestselling and Hugo Award–winning author

“You’ll stay up all night bingeing this cosmic political thriller about monster factions battling over the past and future of the multiverse. Cadwell Turnbull has created a fascinating world of supernatural conspirators whose goals are sometimes unknowable, and sometimes align perfectly with the mundane, systemic injustices of human life. No Gods, No Monsters is also a moving journey through many families across many worlds—all coping with traumatic loss, but finding new ways to love each other.”

-Annalee Newitz, author of The Future of Another Timeline and Autonomous

“No Gods, No Monsters is a haunting tale of the monsters that live among us, and those who despise them. Through a series of diverse, rich, and beautifully written voices, Turnbull deftly weaves together a story of supernatural beings, otherworldly entities, magic, and quantum physics, superimposed onto the social and political challenges of our mundane world. Throughout, we are forced to dwell not only our own humanity, but question who exactly are the monsters we fear? Once I started this novel I could not put it down. You won’t be able to either.”

-P. Djèlí Clark, Nebula Award-winning author of Ring Shout

“The Lesson was a perfect debut, and this is a perfect second novel. Big and bold and ambitious, packed with everything we need right now: more heart, more monsters, more cooperative solidarity economies.”

-Sam J. Miller, Nebula Award–winning author of Blackfish City and The Blade Between

"Magic and monsters roam every corner of this page-turner, but the real star is Cadwell Turnbull's breath-taking prose. A perfect hymn to otherness and the beauty of the strange, NO GODS, NO MONSTERS is so good it reads like music. Simply masterful."

-Sylvain Neuvel, author of the Themis Files, The Test, and A History of What Comes Next

“Structurally ambitious, intricately imagined.”

-Elizabeth Bear, Hugo Award–winning author

“No Gods, No Monsters is both elegant and violent: a cutting, clarifying illumination of humanity in all of its magic and monstrosity. It balances narrative complexity with extraordinarily nuanced characters, and remains compulsively readable throughout. This is a story with blood, brains, and, ultimately, heart.”

-Isabel Yap, author of Never Have I Ever: Stories

“No Gods, No Monsters is a thrilling story, set in a world not unlike our own, that follows events in the wake of the discovery that creatures from myth and legend are real. It’s a page turner…an exciting plot, full characters, complex moral dilemmas, mystery, mayhem, with a bit of romance. This science fiction/fantasy story grabs your attention from the beginning. I love the way Turnbull changes the narrative of hate and division that has been written about so many times and makes us ponder the question, Who are the real monsters?”

-Keri Cooks, Forbes

“Across a web of storylines, we follow a series of characters ranging from a college professor looking for a missing friend—only to discover a secret society—a werewolf who’s trying to protect her pack from the public, and more. The book makes for excellent commentary on the state of society, as Cadwell Turnbull follows the implications as those supernatural creatures and beings make their existence known to the rest of the world.”

-Andrew Liptak, Polygon

"It's such an expertly crafted novel that I'm almost mad about it; it's smart and intense in the best way. Turnbull pulls no punches here, and the result is something powerful."

-Christina Orlando,

“Turnbull’s prose is captivating, poetic without being pretentious, a pleasure to read…A stunning, enthralling novel.”

-New York Journal of Books

“Riveting…[A] tender, ferocious book.”

-New York Times

“Beautifully fantastical.”



-Chicago Tribune

“In the first of a series, the monsters who have always lived among us emerge...

Marketing Plan

Major campaign for award-winning author of The Lesson, which has been optioned for television by AMC.

An Indie Next Pick

A LibraryReads Pick

National Print, Online, TV, Radio, and Podcast Media Coverage

National Print, Online and Social Media Ad Campaign

Lead Title Showcase at library, bookseller, and consumer trade shows and conferences

Major bookseller merchandising/co-op

Official Author Website:

Official Author Twitter: @CadwellTurnbull | Official Author Instagram: cadwellturnbull

Major campaign for award-winning author of The Lesson, which has been optioned for television by AMC.

An Indie Next Pick

A LibraryReads Pick

National Print, Online, TV, Radio, and Podcast Media...

Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781982602109
PRICE $19.95 (USD)
DURATION 9 Hours, 48 Minutes, 35 Seconds

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 113 members

Featured Reviews

Here's the thing. Is this book what I thought it would be? Definitely not. I'm not even sure what I read.

BUT the writing is absolutely gorgeous and as a bookseller I have no doubt that many readers will absolutely love this book and that it deserves to be featured .

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I have mixed feelings about this book, and I do think it will divide readers because of the particular way the story is told, almost through a stream-of-consciousness pov that isn't always so easy to follow, particularly with the audiobook version.

The author is undeniably gifted, and the prose-like writing really stuck out to me. The diversity of the characters and their identities was so casually entwined into the story that it will appeal to all readers, while giving LGBTQ+ readers and readers of colour some much-needed representation,

That being said, after finishing the book, I can tell you more about the characters and their individual trauma than I can the overall plot, which isn't a huge problem for me personally as I very much enjoy character-driven stories. I do think I will return for a reread in the future to better grasp some plot points, but overall this was a unique story in which monsters seemed to represent minorities and the way they are treated and underrepresented. True to its title, it is a book with Anarchist ideals, featuring community organizing among monsters and their rights when their existence is revealed, and really puts forward the question of what exactly makes a monster to begin with. Definitely a worthwhile read.

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4.5 stars. I'm thrumming with excitement. I love when I finish a book and my mind won't shut up about it; my brain keeps spinning with ideas and theories and turning over all the cutting, delicious, insightful things this had to say. This book landed at the perfect intersections for me; fantasy, folklore, mystery, queerness. It's dense, but told in the perfect way, so I never felt overwhelmed, just eager for every new reveal.

Monsters are real, and the world is about to find out just how real they are. We're following a diverse cast of characters: a woman who just lost her brother to police violence, her bookstore owning husband, a little boy who's a pawn in ways he doesn't understand, a conspiracy theorist professor, an invisible woman, and several varied shifters. They each have their part to play in the story that unfolds, as the reality of monsters is brought to light in the world. The thread that ties them all together and the way it's revealed is one of the cleverest, coolest things I've ever read; I loved it so much. I can be really picky about POV in books, and all I can say without giving away too much is that I loved the hell out of the way this was told. The story does take some time to find its legs, and the beginning chapters where the reader is in the dark were confusing in a few ways. But never in a frustrating way; I devoured this, and just wanted to know everything about this world. The writing was so sublime; raw and heavy, always packing a punch, but never overwrought or over the top. There are a few scenes and images from this book that keep coming back to me; they were so striking and vivid. In a couple scenes I felt like I was being held by the face and being made to LOOK. I loved it.

I'll probably never stop yelling about how I love seeing dialect used in books, no matter how small or casual; especially when it's a Caribbean dialect. I adored the way USVI culture and folklore played a part in this world, amongst all the other cultural influences that were evident. I especially loved it when it came to the monsters. One of my favourite folklore characters has a role here; I suspected who/what she was from the moment she appeared (so to speak) on page, and I was delighted with pretty much everything she did and said and the type of part she played. I also loved the casual diversity of this; we've got a mostly black and brown cast, and there's all the queer characters, the trans and nonbinary characters, the polyamory. This also talks about activism in a way that clearly calls to mind recent events, but in a far less clumsy way than I've seen other recent books try to do it. It felt firmly rooted in Turnbull's world, but also relatable.

Listened to the audiobook as read by Dion Graham, and really loved it. He has one of those universally changeable and (imo) universally pleasing voices. Because of the style of the POV, and all the different characters, this might have been a tricky one to narrate, but Graham handled it perfectly. There are a lot of different accents in this book, and I'm not an expert on any of them, but they sounded great to my ear, and made the experience such an immersive one. This was just such a satisfying read; giving a voice to monsters and marginalised people. It's been a while since I've been this excited to start a new fantasy series; particularly one that isn't even done yet. But this was absolutely gorgeous, really powerful, and I can't wait to see what's next for these characters and this world.

Content warnings: police violence, gore, death, child abuse, domestic violence.

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Thank you Blackstone Publishing and NetGalley for this great advanced audio book!

No Gods, No Monsters is a fantastic supernatural story! Turnbull’s writing style is one of the best!
Beautiful dialogue, real character growth coming out to the world. This is one story y'all will not want to miss!
This is a fascinating narrative perspective, and fast-paced plot, kept me on the edge of my seat from the very first page. It will suck you right in!
I read this ebook copy. And once I seen the audio was released I had to listen to it!
It was phenomenal. The narrator was great. Making the story come to life was amazing!

I can't wait for the next one
Thank you again for this awesome book!

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This will be one of those reviews where I'm not sure I can do the book justice to express its good.

There are creatures among us, but they make sure that their existence is a secret. This changes when Laina is sent a video of her brother transforming into a werewolf before being shot to death by police. She uploads this to the internet, sparking a domino effect that has far reaches.

This book reminds me of The Bone Clocks and The Glass Hotel. Beautifully written books will never get the love they deserve because there are elements of sci-fi/fantasy in the stories.

Each chapter follows a character who is a fully nuanced person. Everyone is connected in ways that are either immediately figured out or understood later. Characters that are introduced earlier become fully dimensional people during their chapter.

The only problem I had was that it ended and I have to wait for the next book. I wanted to keep reading about what happens next. There is more to their world than the main characters or the reader knows. There are more connections to be made.

The book gets a 5, but the audiobook gets a 4. Dion Graham does a good job, for the most part. However, he does a quick intake of breath that makes it impossible to listen to the audiobook on 1.5 speed. After I got used to it, he's a great narrator.

Review based on an advanced reader copy provided through Netgalley for an honest review.

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This is, most definitely, a must read.

Monsters are real! What the hell are we gon' do now?
I didn't know what to expect from this story, but it delivered everything I liked and more. There's monsters, every type you could possibly imagine, from werewolves to... dragons? There's eldritch terrors picked right from Lovecraft's imaginarium, there's secret societies, time and space travel, and a mysterious narrator.

It's an absolute page turner. A completely diverse cast of characters, LGBT+ and race-wise, that's gonna make you want to know more about every single one of them. Sometimes a fantasy book, sometimes a thriller one, many times a horror. And it all happens seaminglessly. The prose is great, much like a literary fiction.

The audiobook is amazing, but i wouldn't recommend reading it only on audio just because the story is very complex, with a web of characters that might be hard to follow just on audio. I listened to another book with the same narrator, Lovely War, and he also did a wonderful job there. Dion Graham puts an emotive tone to every chapter, elevating the reading experience.

I'm so so happy it's the first in a series because i NEED the next books. I feel like this one just showed me the tip of the iceberg and I'm so excited to see what else is there in the universe Cadwell Turnbull created.

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Thank you for my early review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I believe this book will be a huge bestseller.

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I read this novel a while ago, and have been raving about it ever since, so when I saw the author tweet about the audiobook, I knew I just HAD to get my hands on it - and let me just say, this did NOT disappoint.
This is potentially the best audiobook narration I have ever heard. EVER. To the point where I truly believe that even if Urban Fantasy is not your usual genre, I recommend you still get your hands on this. The narration completely animated the story exactly as it deserved to be animated: that is to say, beautifully. Listening to this was an immersive experience, utterly delightful.
The novel, too, was a delight upon a second read (or listen, in this case).. I loved every second of my first read, but this is a novel that I could read over and over, and feel truly rewarded each time I do so. I previously described the world as a piece of origami that you unfold carefully; reproaching the story felt like undoing the origami to find another smaller and more delicate piece of origami hidden and waiting underneath.
Frankly I have no idea how Turnbull does it, this is a phenomenal novel. I genuinely have not stopped thinking about this novel since I first entered it's pages, and the thoughts it left me with have been swarming in my head since I set it down.
If you like a wonderful narration, beautiful plot, and diverse cast of characters, filled with thought provoking moments that don't shy away from the big things, this is for you. Really, if you want an excellent novel, I assure you, No Gods No Monsters is that.

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I read this book while also listening to the audiobook and what a fantastic story. At first, it was hard to follow, especially when listening to the audiobook because there are so many interwoven stories and characters that it was difficult to keep them all straight. However, once I got about a quarter of the way in I was hooked. I had a better understanding of who all the characters were and it was a wonderful journey to see how everyone was connected in the end. Turnbull did an excellent job creating the characters and the storylines, I couldn't put the book down. The audiobook was also done very well, especially considering it was just one narrator as opposed to a cast of narrators with this many characters expected to be narrated. Highly recommended!

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This book, wow, this book blew me away. I am not sure I would have had the same reaction to the print version. Dion Graham's narration made an incredible difference to me. I have rarely had an audiobook that ​immersed me so completely in its world.

This was an incredible book. It all begins with a shooting. It seems to be a story that we're all familiar with, police shooting an unarmed man. But as the book goes on it becomes so much more. The point where the book turns was a huge surprise. I seriously did not expect "that." The narrator was fantastic. When he was doing a woman's voice I wasn't thinking this is a man doing a woman's voice I was thinking this is a woman's voice. And the same thing when he did the man men's voices or the child's voice. His accents were wonderful. But just the way he tells the story he's not reading it he's telling it. Really incredible I'm definitely going to be looking into him more for future books

I didn't understand some of the Multiverse stuff but the explanation of photons was better than my high school chemistry teacher.

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God damn, this book is beautiful and brilliant.
At first I thought I was maybe too dumb (or too white) to understand what Turnbull was getting at. But the story ends up weaving together so beautifully and perfectly. The only issue I really had was keeping up with all the characters and how they connect. Will probably reread soon but keep a list of all the characters so I can better connect the dots.
The audiobook narrator does a great job, though he does randomly take long pauses between words mid-sentence

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4.25 Stars

Content warnings at end of review.

Thank you to Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for an ALC of this book

A diverse cast of characters come together when Monsters are publicly revealed to be real, and a power struggle between those who want equal rights for Monsters and those who want them swept under the rug begins.

Firstly, I want to say that I would love to reread this book with a physical copy in my hands, because there were so many characters that I was getting a little lost with just the audiobook. That being said--I don't think it was the audio's fault at all, and I loved loved loved the narration by Dion Graham .

There were so many amazing characters with diverse identities that I loved! This was dark and tempting and I loved reading/listening to it! I thought it was so interesting and I love that this was just the start of a series! Can't wait to read more!

Pub Date: Sept 7, 2021

Content Warnings
Graphic: Gun violence, Violence, Racism, Police brutality, Mass/school shootings, Death, and Grief
Moderate: Gore, Addiction, and Body horror
Minor: Child abuse, Suicide attempt, and Drug abuse

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I am a big fan of monsters. I believe that there are unexplained beings all around us and there are things we don't understand. I don't believe that we are the only intelligent being in the universe. If you are like me, I think you would enjoy this book.

This book combines fantasy and the real world issues that we are facing today, but puts different faces to them. What do you think would happen if it was revealed on a global scale that monsters existed? And as you're trying to get a handle on that all of a sudden all of the proof is wiped from existence and all you're left with is the question of what you actually saw. A question if you just conjured those images in your mind or if you did see it and you realize there is a force powerful enough to wipe viral videos from existence (we all know how hard, if not impossible, that is).

This book has a lot of points of views. I think this helps with getting the full scope of the story and seeing the way it affects different people that are within this story. This allows for empathy and clearly is something I wish we had today - a way to see an issue from all sides. However, this does add to the confusion. This book is kind of all over the place which I think is also the allure of it. It's from many different perspectives and it goes between different time lines, different universes, and doesn't fully explain each monster and god. Instead, it gives you tid bits that you won't understand without following the whole book. There are still things left open ended that hopefully future books (this is meant to be a series) will address.

Overall, I enjoyed this. Once I got the rhythm of the writing and understand each POV, their roll (as much as I could understand) and how they related to each other I thought this was an incredibly interesting book. This was an audio book for me and the narrator did a fantastic job as well. I recommend this for those that are interested in civil rights issues and especially those that enjoy the paranormal/unexplained. My one piece of advice, embrace the confusion and roll with is.

Thank you Netgalley and Blackstone Publishing for an advanced eCopy for an honest review.

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I'm unsure what I was expecting going into this novel, but whatever it was wasn't anything like what it actually is. That's not a bad thing, but I am unsure exactly how to articulate my thoughts on this book. I don't even think I could properly summarize it, but I'll try my best.

This novel begins with Laina finding out about her brother's death. What seems like another tragic case of police brutality is revealed to be much more-- there are monsters living among humans. This event spurs the monsters of the world to come out of the shadows and fight for recognition and equality. But there seems to be another force that is fighting against the monsters, trying to keep them hidden. As you travel further and further into the book, you find more questions than answers, but one thing remains at the top of the list: why have the monsters been hiding? And why are they choosing now to be seen?

This book is very much character-driven. That is kinda my jam, so I enjoyed that aspect of the book, but I know that's not for everyone. I received an ARC of the audiobook, so the introduction of all the characters caused me to be a bit confused at first. The confusion about the plot and characters caused it to be a bit of a slow start for me. However, once I figured out the growing connections between the characters and how the overall structure of the book was going to be shaped, I started to get more and more into it. The writing is beautiful, and the characters are fully realized and perfectly imperfect. The book is structured so that you can really take a deep dive into the characters' lives and pasts which causes you to become more and more attached to them. The narration by Dion Graham only added to the richness of the characterization. There is an abundance of bipoc and lgbtq+ rep as well which is seamlessly incorporated.

This very much felt like the setup of the plot to come in future books in this saga. It was wonderfully weird and thought provoking and I can't wait to read what happens next.

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

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Do you ever read a book and feel like you need one of those giant conspiracy boards with the red string?
Because that is how I felt thru out this book. So much so that I will be purchasing a copy to tear apart and create a conspiracy board. I do feel that I must wait until I can get a paperback as somehow it feels wrong to subjugate a Hard Cover to that level of use.

Turnbull's writing is incredibly gorgeous that I found myself so engrossed that it took me way to long to realize that we were seeing characters reoccur, and that I should have paid more mind to the names of the individuals in the beginning.
I'm honestly excited for the opportunity to read this again, because this book is so packed with information wrapped in gorgeous writing that I'm sure that there is so much more I will see by delving back in.

IT IS GAY! IT SLAPS. It has some good representation of polyamorous relationships.

I did learn today though, that this book is not a stand alone novel it is part of a series. (Which makes the ending make way more sense)

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NO GODS, NO MONSTERS is a stunning novel.

While completely different in most ways, it has the kind of impact GIDEON THE NINTH had on me. It is complex and compelling, brainy and emotional. Dark as night with a thread of hope.

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This is a really odd and dark book that was right up my alley. Unfortunately I do not think this is a book for everyone. A lot is going on in this book and a lot of it is hard to swallow. The switching between story lines also doesn't help the dense nature of this book. All of it together makes this book really hard to chew. I will say if this sort of book is something you are into then this is a great example of the genre. I really enjoyed this book and I know many people who will as well. Just be aware this book is a lot to take but definitely worth it.

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Rating 4.5

I really liked this book. It was really well-written and I liked most of the characters. Some of it went over my head, but I think that's just because I listened to the audiobook. I'd recommend this to anyone who liked Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark.

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*I received this book as a digital ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Thank you NetGalley, Cadwell Turnball, and Blackstone Publishing for approving my request for this book.

CW: drug use, past sexual abuse, death, referenced police brutality

This book is… amazing! I’m not gonna lie, I still don’t totally understand everything that happened in the book, I’m not gonna lie. But this novel was haunting and riveting and ahhhh! I truly don’t have words. A unique take on a modern fantasy that requires a lot of attention to detail and connecting the dots. I listened on audiobook and had to keep rewinding to make sure what I thought I heard.

Definitely worth giving a read if you don’t mind putting the pizzle pieces from several different character stories together.


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Excellent book. There was a lot going on. I could tell it was a set up for a big series, but I really loved the character development and the way it unfolded. The omniscient narrator was interesting, a little unsettling at first, but it makes sense as you go along. Overall, a great story with lots of suspense. Can't wait for the next one.

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The title of this book is a play on the old anarchist slogan, “No Gods, No Masters.” It’s a reference to the belief that no one should be above anyone else and no one should be below anyone else. That all humans should be equal

The “monsters” that have suddenly come out of wherever they’ve been hiding themselves have adopted the old slogan to put forward the idea that monsters aren’t separate from the rest of the population, that neither humans nor monsters should be above or below each other, that all should be equal.

It’s a question that has come to the forefront in the wake of an event that the amorphous, unreliable narrator of this story refers to as the “Fracture”, when a group of shifters – werewolves and their kith and kin – staged a peaceful demonstration of their ability to shift from wolf to human. A demonstration that took place in front of a bunch of cops and other bystanders, and was filmed in its entirety.

The video of the demonstration appeared very briefly on the internet, showing the full change from a line of wolves to a line of humans. The video went viral. Everybody saw it. People were debating the existence of monsters and what it meant.

At least until all the copies of the video were edited to eliminate the parts that showed the change. And the debate shifted, from people discussing what they saw to people arguing about whether or not they’d really seen it. About whether or not monsters really exist at all.

But even with and beside and under the debate, the world is changing. The “Fracture” has had an effect on everyone, whether believer or skeptic, monster or human. Even for those who have chosen not to rock their familiar world by admitting that there might be more things on heaven and earth than were dreamt of in anyone’s philosophy, nothing and no one will ever be the same.

Escape Rating B: There are multiple ways of looking at this story, because it feels like it says different things depending on how the reader approaches it, beginning with the debate about whether this is science fiction or fantasy. To which the answer is probably “Yes”.

The point of view characters, whether monster or human, focus the story on the perspective of the “other”, where being a monster is just one additional axis upon which a person can be considered “other”.

The story opens with the death of Laina’s brother Lincoln, where Laina is looking for the truth about why the cops shot him. Laina expects to find yet another police cover up of cops killing a black man for no particular reason. What she finds is a video of really, truly, seriously frightened cops shooting an out-of-control werewolf who only turns into her brother after he’s dead. That the video is left for her by an invisible woman adds to Laina’s desire for answers to questions she hadn’t even known were possible.

The story spins out from there. Laina releases the video. Mysterious forces edit the video. More monsters reveal themselves to their friends and family. More people have questions and search for answers – only to find that those answers are more dangerous than they ever imagined.

The story doesn’t so much proceed as it spirals outward in ever increasing circles and greater and greater number of perspectives, from the members of a co-op who learn that one of the members is a techno-mage and that factions of monsters are hunting all of them to a young politician and secret weredog and who is still desperate to learn what happened to the parents who disappeared when she was a child – only to discover that the forces that broke them want to take and break her as well.

Conspiracy theorists learn the lesson about being careful what you wish for because you might get it. Or it might get you. That it takes a monster to catch a monster – as one of last week’s books explored much less seriously and considerably less well – and that the only ones capable of really damaging creatures who are seriously at the top of the food chain are others who are just the same.

The switches in perspective and narration made it a bit difficult to follow the story. They give a strong sense of the story being much bigger than what we see, but also make it harder to put everything in any kind of order. At the same time, because this is also a story of the multiverse, those hints that the situation is bigger than we imagine make a certain kind of sense.

Even if I occasionally wished we stuck with one perspective so we could figure out a bit more of what’s really going on.

One of the things that I kept coming back to in my own head was that we all know that there ARE gods and there ARE monsters, even if the gods are the kind that man creates in his own image and the monsters all walk on two legs all of the time. The certainty of both of those things does not prohibit the possibility that there are also gods or pantheons of gods of the omniscient and omnipotent variety, nor that some of the monsters that go bump in the night in fiction don’t also do it for real.

It becomes clear over the course of this story that the humans are capable of being way more monstrous than the actual monsters, and that the ones who believe they are godlike are the worst of all.

The end of the blurb leads readers to questions that the story itself doesn’t raise – at least not yet in the series. Why is this happening now? (At least for certain perspectives on exactly what “now” means.)

Speaking of perspectives, at least in the audiobook that I listened to they blurred into each other just a bit. The reader was good, and if his voice was intended to represent the unreliable narrator we begin and end the story with, he does a good job of representing that particular voice. But this story has a LOT of voices, all of whom are unreliable to one degree or another – some because they don’t know what they don’t know, and some because they don’t want to know what they don’t know – and the audio might have worked a bit better if there had been a few more narrators to help the listener keep track.

In the end, which is not an end but really just a pause, I’m intrigued. It feels like this book opens a tiny window into a much wider and deeper catalog of worlds and stories and possibilities and what ifs. This first book felt like a whole bunch of teasers and I want to see where they ALL lead.

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This wasn't AT ALL what I expected it to be, but ultimately I don't think that took away from my enjoyment. The writing is great - I really cannot overstate how talented I believe Turnbull is. They really understand their characters and how to create characters that are engaging and interesting. I cared more about the individual characters than the plot, which I don't think is a slight on Turnbull or the book, but definitely something I hadn't been expecting. The plot definitely was secondary to the trauma + emotions of the characters.

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Wow! This book is weird....but creepy-cool weird! I loved it!

What would happen if monsters were suddenly and completely real? Myths, legends, strange gods....all those things your parents told you weren't in your closet, under your bed or outside at night.....

It took me awhile to get into this audio book. The story switches from character to character and jumps perspectives without any warning. But that weird vibe of constantly switching directions fits with this story. Once I got into the rhythm of the tale, I was hooked!

There's more to this story than just a monster tale though. It's not hard to see through the supernatural trappings and understand what the author is really getting at.

So creative! So many facets to this book. It's definitely a story that warrants a second listen....and a third! This is the start to a series -- can't wait to find out happens next!

The audio is almost 10 hours long and narrated by Dion Graham. Excellent voice acting -- Graham did a wonderful job! Very entertaining -- and thought provoking -- listening experience!

**I voluntarily listened to a review audiobook from Blackstone Publishing. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.**

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One of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to. The narrator does a fantastic job at immersing you into the world.

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I am in love with this audiobook. The book itself keeps you on your toes and moves at an amazing pace. Set in our world but werewolves, monsters, shapeshifters, witches, and even a child dragon come out of the shadows. If you enjoy urban fiction or speculative fiction and want some mystery but also monsters for a spooky read this is perfection. The narrator of the audiobook is one of the best voice actors and how many different character voices he blended so well felt like an immersive movie. Highly recommend 10/10!

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Wow, wow, wow. This book was mesmerizing and terrifying. The writing was so good. I really enjoyed the audiobook narrator.

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Netgalley e-ARC


I randomly added this book into my August Netgalley reading vlog because I saw it on a YA LGBTQIA+ fantasy reading list and I have never been more happy with my compulsory need to add books to my TBR.

Completely unexpected, this book imagines what life would be like if werewolves were suddenly exposed to the real world. Alive, living & breathing, very real MONSTERS, which then opens up Pandora's box to the question: if werewolves are real, then what else is too?

I LOVED this book so much. Love, love, LOVEEEED this book. I'm not going to lie I was very confused for the first part of it, but the writing execution is so good that I had to keep going. I'm so glad I did!

This is obviously an urban fantasy, BUT ALSO did you know there are sci-fi elements as well? O_0 WHAT. I loved the originality of the monsters and what their powers are, and putting it into an urban fantasy setting... y'all I loved it. We have real honest to god monsters that were alive when Dracula roamed the earth, and our MCs are still trying to beat 5 o'clock traffic to get to a birthday party on time.

There is also some really nice LGBTQIA+ rep, mental health rep, and I loved the questions this book brings up about the value of a person's life- I.e. if a monster isn't deadly, just different, are they still considered people? Can all monsters be put into the same category regardless of their intentions and who they are? Loved it. LOVED IT.

Overall, if you're an urban fantasy reader, and you want a story with a sprinkle of sci-fi, mystery, romance, diversity, heartbreak, and downright REALNESS, then this is the book for you. Highly recommend!!


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It's difficult to describe this book. It's almost like a quilt of interconnected characters pieced together by an unseen quilter. A professor leaves his academic job to move home to St. Thomas. A Boston woman's brother is murdered by police, a shocking video shows him in his Wolf form before death. A child escapes a secret society.

It takes a while for the connections to be made and understood, but I wouldn't say the book is slow moving. The characters are diverse and interesting. This book is the first in a series, and is revving up to be a complex, fascinating story.

The Narrator, Dion Graham does an excellent job, he definitely belongs in the narrator hall of fame!

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Thank you to NetGalley for blessing me with a fantastic audio ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This review is going to be fairly long, I have a lot of thoughts. There are A LOT of balls in the air in this book but firstly I want to praise the casual queerness, that always has my heart ❤️

It’s rich with werewolf’s and witches and parallel universes and secrecy societies, but at its core it’s about community. It’s pure social commentary: politics, marginalisation, complicit silence, the importance of unity, what it means to be human and deserve human rights.

The beginning of this book is incredibly intense. You’re thrown right in with no clue what’s happening BUT it works, because the characters have no clue what’s happening either, and that makes the panic and fear more real. The confusion feels completely purposeful and it’s masterfully done.

That being said, I don’t think this is going to be for everyone. It’s a very… different style of storytelling. Kind of Emily St John Mandel (whom I ADORE) meets Neil Gaiman: mosaic, half-character study, multiple seemingly tangential narratives continuously coming together in a “fuck I blinked and missed the point, let me go back” kind of way.

Which is to say, you have to pay attention and give it patience, but it’s worth it because the “point/s” are incredibly impactful once you get them. The writer leads you to most of them slowly (with lovely prose and metaphor) but the biggest messages are not subtle. Nor should they be, honestly.

(For those of you that have read and are moved to action, these websites are a good starting point:

It’s a slow reveal of plot. It’s erratic shifts in tone and all over the place pacing, and some things <I>are</I> tangents (as far as I can tell) but that just makes it even more disarmingly creepy. Tense is a good word for how I felt for most of the first half. You’re purposefully lulled into a false sense of mundanity time and time again, only to realise it’s been sneaking up on you slowly. Sort’ve like that analogy of the frog boiling. After a few instances of that, I was on edge waiting for the next. (Which, now that I think about it, fits with his social commentary points in and of itself 😅. Cadwell you genius.)

One thing I will say is that there are A LOT of characters. And, given it jumps between POV/time/universe and many of them interact with each other briefly or hours down the line, it can get very confusing trying to keep them all straight in your head. Even still, I <i>cared</I> about all of the characters. Even those that were minor were so complex and were moving the story along.

Also, the ending was a little... odd. Don't expect resolution, although there is a climax and you witness the fallout etc., but I'm glad it's a series. I'll be devouring the next ones as soon as humanly possible.

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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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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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