And Then There Were Crows

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Fiction - REBECCA HUSSEY

Alcy Leyva Black Spot Books (JULY) Soft­cover $13.99 (280pp) 978-0-9997423-2-7

Alcy Leyva’s And Then There Were Crows is a funny and fast novel in which an­gels and demons un­ex­pect­edly in­vade the iso­lated ex­is­tence of the book’s en­dear­ing and prickly pro­tag­o­nist, Amanda Grey.

Pub­lic spa­ces make Grey anx­ious; she avoids them in her par­ents’ Queens apart­ment while they are on an ex­tended va­ca­tion. Grey must sub­let her bed­room, though. One ap­pli­cant comes to see the space and at­tacks her; when she fights back and kills him, his body breaks open and crows climb out.

The crows are shape-shift­ing demons, one of whom be­comes her room­mate. She must find the rest of the demons be­fore they de­stroy the city. Along­side a cast of char­ac­ters in­clud­ing an an­gel, cult lead­ers, the pope, a neigh­bor, and her sis­ter, Grey des­per­ately tries to get an in­creas­ingly dire sit­u­a­tion un­der con­trol.

Grey is a sym­pa­thetic and en­ter­tain­ing nar­ra­tor. She is snarky and al­ways ready with a funny re­tort, but her vul­ner­a­bil­ity shows through. Watch­ing her face an in­creas­ingly wild and wacky bat­tle—one with real-life po­lit­i­cal res­o­nances—to avert the loom­ing apoc­a­lypse is sat­is­fy­ing.

Al­most as big a chal­lenge as fight­ing demons for Grey is ne­go­ti­at­ing in­creas­ingly com­plex re­la­tion­ships, both new and old. Grey must learn to in­ter­act with peo­ple and ce­les­tial be­ings of all types at the same time as she re­thinks her feel­ings about her sis­ter and her par­ents. Leyva makes Grey’s per­sonal and su­per­nat­u­ral bat­tles equally in­ter­est­ing.

The plot is com­pli­cated, some­times too much so. New char­ac­ters and in­creas­ingly ab­surd sit­u­a­tions arise at such a quick pace that they can be dif­fi­cult to ab­sorb. More successful is Leyva’s evo­ca­tion of New York City, a grim, dan­ger­ous place that’s also the only place that Grey would ever want to be. Her story is a comedic ur­ban fantasy that is both rich and de­light­ful.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.