Into Bones like Oil by Kaaron Warren

(8.0/10)

A strange and compelling novella that plays with the reader's expectations, bending the narrative and its themes until its thought-provoking final page. 

Dora has lost everything a mother and wife could lose. She blames herself for these tragedies, and her low self-esteem and lack of confidence has turned her into a shell of a person. We meet Dora as she checks into the Angelsea, a rooming house in a nameless watefront town with almost no belongings, money, or purpose. The Angelsea is dilapidated, meager, cramped, and populated with the lost and forgotten people that society would rather sweep under the rug: ex-convicts, the mentally unstable, and a handful of other guests who silenty agree that one never talks about the past.

The inn is also rumored to be a conduit for supernatural occurrences.

Kaaron Warren is an accomplished, award-winning author with dozens of science fiction, fantasy, and horror short stories under her belt. Her talent for deftly weaving through these genres is on full display here. Although many of these characters are given little time in the spotlight, they are crafted with enough depth and dimension to bring about a understanding of their histories and motivations. The story culminates in a hazy, dreamlike catharsis that had me re-examine how I viewed the story from the beginning.

Into Bones like Oil an unusually effective tale; hard to define, and harder to forget.

ARC via Edelweiss. Into Bones like Oil will be released on November 12, 2019.

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