What can you do when you’re reeling from trauma but you’ve tried it all? Counselling, yoga, pills, meditation, art, healthy living… none of it makes a dent. What’s left?
Magpie is out of ideas. She’s desperate enough to try anything. Just when she thinks her life can get no worse, she discovers herself, or rather her own dead body, partially buried in the mudbank of a river. A man stands by, a familiar stranger. What does he want? And why can’t she remember getting here? Why can’t she remember anything?
Unbeknownst to her, two pairs of eyes watch from behind an observation screen, in a room filled with computers and sensors. An experiment is unfolding, but is Magpie the subject, or practitioner? Reality becomes a slippery concept. And beyond the glass is something worse still: a hint of an outline, shaped in darkness…
Magpie realises all too soon that her journey has transformed from healing to survival. She must become the hunter rather than the hunted, with her missing memories the prey.
Gemma Amor’s sci-fi horror novel perfectly blends the horrors of postpartum depression with supernatural/sci-fi horrors. Magpie is desperate to escape her suicidal ideations and finds herself penning a letter to an experimental group in hope that they can fix her. The only issue is that the researchers aren’t prepared for Magpie’s fear to manifest in a true identity ready to devour and destroy everything that comes in its way. This book expertly describes the malaise that often comes with motherhood and how still today many women face these same issues alone drenched in shame. This was an emotional and scary ride – kudos to Amor for having the balls to write something so deeply personal and share it with the world. But I feel like the world is better with such an important book like this available. I recommend this book if you love horror and sci-fi genre blends and seek horror with a ton of heart and soul.
*Thank you so much to NetGalley and Angry Robot for the digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!