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.
A Note From the Publisher
“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, Tor.com
“Turnbull’s prose is captivating, poetic without being pretentious, a pleasure to read…A stunning, enthralling novel.”
-New York Journal of Books
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: https://cadwellturnbull.com/
Official Author Twitter: @CadwellTurnbull | Official Author Instagram: cadwellturnbull
|DURATION||9 Hours, 48 Minutes, 35 Seconds|
Average rating from 50 members
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 .
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Thank you for my early review copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I believe this book will be a huge bestseller.
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.
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!
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 Spoiler: I didn't understand some of the Multiverse stuff but the explanation of photons was better than my high school chemistry teacher.
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
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
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
*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. 4/5
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.