Creatures of Want and Ruin

Creatures of Want and Ruin

Amityville baywoman Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine by night. It's dangerous work under Prohibition--independent operators like her are despised by federal agents and mobsters alike--but Ellie's brother was accepted to college and Ellie's desperate to see him go. So desperate that when wealthy strangers ask her to procure libations for an extravagant party,...

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Title:Creatures of Want and Ruin
Author:Molly Tanzer
Rating:

Creatures of Want and Ruin Reviews

  • rebecca

    This may be my favorite Molly Tanzer novel. The plot is smart, the pacing is perfect, the historical setting is convincing without becoming precious, and the nods to Weird Fiction's forbearers are organic, not contrived. Tanzer's characters are vividly drawn, and she excels at writing smart capable women.

    In 1920s Amityville, baywoman Ellie West is saving every penny she makes to put her brother through medical college. Her bootlegging has consequences far beyond the expected scrapes with the Lo

    This may be my favorite Molly Tanzer novel. The plot is smart, the pacing is perfect, the historical setting is convincing without becoming precious, and the nods to Weird Fiction's forbearers are organic, not contrived. Tanzer's characters are vividly drawn, and she excels at writing smart capable women.

    In 1920s Amityville, baywoman Ellie West is saving every penny she makes to put her brother through medical college. Her bootlegging has consequences far beyond the expected scrapes with the Long Island mafia when she accidentally delivers a batch of demonic moonshine to wealthy clients Fin and Jimmy and their tedious friends. The consequences of the mistake draw unwanted attention from local bigoted cultists. Ellie, African-American distiller SJ, the friendly local Cuban-American cop, and her Polish fiance are Long Island's only hope against the demon-raising temperance preacher. Fin realizes she's better off without her husband and joins Ellie to summon a demon of their own and sacrifice everything to prevent the impending cataclysm, as one does in such situations.

    This is the second book in the loosely connected Creatures series with the next volume promised next year.

  • Deborah Ross

    My introduction to the work of Molly Tanzer was her novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, a 19th century urban fantasy revolving around The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and demonic possession. Creatures of Want and Ruin takes place in the Roaring Twenties on Long Island, New York. The common thread between the two books is the role of demons controlling human lives. Demons take possession of people who freely agree to the arrangement, granting their hosts long life, wealth, beauty, or in this case th

    My introduction to the work of Molly Tanzer was her novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, a 19th century urban fantasy revolving around The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and demonic possession. Creatures of Want and Ruin takes place in the Roaring Twenties on Long Island, New York. The common thread between the two books is the role of demons controlling human lives. Demons take possession of people who freely agree to the arrangement, granting their hosts long life, wealth, beauty, or in this case the ability to detect falsehoods and to compel others to tell the truth. In exchange demons receive various experiences that can come about only through physical incarnation. Some demons are benign, but others are highly malevolent. Demons pass summoning instructions through generations or encoded in children’s books, as is the case here.

    In this story two women from very different walks of life encounter unsettling changes in the sleepy community of Amityville. (The Amityville Horror, it should be said, lies decades in the future and does not play a part in this story.) One of the women is a boat woman engaged in the moonshine smuggling trade during Prohibition. The other is the wife of a newly wealthy Gatsby type of social idler who finds herself increasingly alienated from her husband and his party loving, booze zwilling friends. Spooky things are afoot: illegal liquor that causes most people to hallucinate. a preacher who gathers bigger and bigger crowds, bent on ridding their community of immigrants and anyone who isn't a white Protestant. And creepiest of all, slimy fungus growths that appear and spread.

    As in the novel the characters are engaging and the story moves right along. The creepiness grows, step by Lovecraftian step. Just when you think nothing more terrible could happen, something else goes disastrously wrong. Stopping the white nationalist mob and defeating the fungus-monster necessitate finding out the truth, which is where the bargain with the demon comes in. There are moments of sweetness, of courage, and of terrible but necessary choices. I loved every page of it and I'm eagerly looking forward to Tanzer’s next.

    The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to say anything about it.

  • Sh3lly (grumpybookgrrrl)

    RELEASE DAY!

    Review also found at:

    : ★★★★★

    Follow me at

    .

    RELEASE DAY: Tuesday, November 13, 2018. I really liked

    and this new release is a stand-alone set in the same world! That means more diabolists and demonic shenanigans.

    Ellie was a great female lead, and there is another female character, Fin, who couldn’t be more different. But the two join forces and there is a lot of girl power. You can t

    RELEASE DAY!

    Review also found at:

    : ★★★★★

    Follow me at

    .

    RELEASE DAY: Tuesday, November 13, 2018. I really liked

    and this new release is a stand-alone set in the same world! That means more diabolists and demonic shenanigans.

    Ellie was a great female lead, and there is another female character, Fin, who couldn’t be more different. But the two join forces and there is a lot of girl power. You can tell the author is forward-thinking and there aren’t any stereotypes to be found here. It’s unconventional and exactly the kind of book I love to read.

    The demon in this one is very different than the one from the previous book. The extremist group working for this malevolent entity provides an ironic (or maybe it was intentional) backdrop for what is going on in America right now.

    To sum it up, it’s a fun-to-read romp involving bootlegging, religious nutjobs, and two young women who will do whatever it takes to save their home. Throw in some mushrooms with bad juju and a demon or two, and it’s a paranormal historical fantasy you shouldn’t miss!

    :

    ERMAGHERD. So excited!

  • Lauren Stoolfire

    My first introduction to Molly Tanzer was with last year's

    and I was really impressed by her Dorian Gray inspired tale. Of course as soon as I caught wind of her newest release I knew I had to try it as well and luckily for me I managed to get approved for it via NetGalley. This new companion story (you don't need to be familiar with her previous release, but it will certainly make things much more int

    My first introduction to Molly Tanzer was with last year's

    and I was really impressed by her Dorian Gray inspired tale. Of course as soon as I caught wind of her newest release I knew I had to try it as well and luckily for me I managed to get approved for it via NetGalley. This new companion story (you don't need to be familiar with her previous release, but it will certainly make things much more interesting if you already are) is also a historical horror fantasy set during the Roaring Twenties in New York which has to be one of my favorite genres and time periods to read about. I couldn't help but think of

    series by Libba Bray while I was reading this novel. Anyway, my favorite aspects of this slow burn novel are Tanzer's eerily lush world-building and visual descriptions. She does a magnificent job of making the era and the characters come to life. The only issues were with the characters themselves, while they were all intriguing to follow none of them exactly grew on me. I wasn't particularly interested in any of them. Overall, if you're looking for a new fantasy novel with set in the 1920s during Prohibition with just the right amount of atmospheric horror, you'll absolutely need to try Molly Tanzer's

    .

  • Evelina | AvalinahsBooks

    I was very excited to be able to read it, and very thankful to both the publisher and Molly Tanzer herself who was so sweet to help me out to procure a review copy as an international reviewer - considering how NetGalley makes us nearly invisible.

    - both because of the lighter nature of the book, and the characters invo

    I was very excited to be able to read it, and very thankful to both the publisher and Molly Tanzer herself who was so sweet to help me out to procure a review copy as an international reviewer - considering how NetGalley makes us nearly invisible.

    - both because of the lighter nature of the book, and the characters involved, who were just more relatable to me personally, as well as of the time period. Despite that,

    is a great read that I can truly recommend.

    - in the last novel, we had a sword fighting and headstrong independent girl, plus a rebellious and flamboyant younger sister, and this time we have a few girls who are just as strong - a bootlegger street kid who is quite tough and a married archer who finds herself in the wrong society. Those are not all the strong females though!

    - queer

    and straight, rich and poor, black and white. It's truly wonderful.

    They are physically strong - one used to take boxing lessons, another is good at archery, the third can defend herself with a crossbow. They are all physically capable and do not set the example of cowering behind a man - they're more likely to defend a man. And that's not all!

    They won't let themselves be put down. they are inspiring.

    These themes are so important right now, in the current political climates. One of the things that really touched me was how the bigots of Long Island claimed that they wanted to return to the

    when the land was

    , because they came first.

    Americans never remember that. I wish that had been touched on in this book - in fact, that would have brought it up to five stars for me. But the racial and national minorities talk still remains very important and I'm really happy that the book was centered around it.

    I am at a place in my life right now where I don't enjoy dark and that might have influenced my rating. As I've mentioned before,

    It's dark in a much more serious way, where loss and death are real, and so is the hate. Judging by the book's name, this was the plan! I would say it's executed well, the demons are believably dark and evil, as is their plan.

    I'm sure there were more of them than I even noticed, as I read the sequel a year later. But we do get to see the demonic entity from the first book, as well as mentions of the

    from it. The lore in this one is much darker than in the previous one, and it's interesting to compare.

    Triggers include

    although it was a little bit hard to get into it at first, because it has quite a lot of characters.

    - although I definitely recommend reading the first one, because it's simply brilliant! You can find my review of

    .

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  • Alan Baxter

    Brilliant fun. A wonderfully written dark weird adventure built around prohibition era moonshine running in Long Island. Recommended.

    Brilliant fun. A wonderfully written dark weird adventure built around prohibition era moonshine running in Long Island. Recommended. ‬

  • Devann

    I really enjoyed Creatures of Will and Temper from this author, but I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. This isn't a sequel really so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy it, although I think they might have name dropped a few characters briefly. This story blends the supernatural elements of weird plants and demons with an unfortunately still all too realistic preacher who basically wants to 'make Long Island great again

    I really enjoyed Creatures of Will and Temper from this author, but I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. This isn't a sequel really so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy it, although I think they might have name dropped a few characters briefly. This story blends the supernatural elements of weird plants and demons with an unfortunately still all too realistic preacher who basically wants to 'make Long Island great again'. It's both an interesting piece of historical fiction and an incredibly relevant commentary on our society today. I honestly don't know why I had such trouble getting into it - it took me over two weeks to read - but I feel like if I was in a different mood it would have easily been a four star book. I would definitely recommend it to people who like historical fiction with awesome female protagonists.

  • Acqua

    follows Ellie, a moonshine smuggler in prohibition-era Long Island. She is a

    , and in this story she will have to fight demon-raising bigots masquerading as religious people with the help of her diverse group of friends.

    I thought I wasn't going to like this book. I DNFed its companion prequel earlier this year, and I stil

    follows Ellie, a moonshine smuggler in prohibition-era Long Island. She is a

    , and in this story she will have to fight demon-raising bigots masquerading as religious people with the help of her diverse group of friends.

    I thought I wasn't going to like this book. I DNFed its companion prequel earlier this year, and I still don't recommend it, but the good thing is that you don't need to read it to understand this one. It's just set in the same world, but it feels darker, and it

    I thought this book said some really interesting things about

    . Bigots are people who project their insecurities on people who - according to them - don't belong there, but just because there are bigots, it doesn't mean the place you grew up is any less a part of you, any less yours.

    This book also talked about

    in general, and it was really interesting - and heartbreaking - to read.

    However, there were many things I didn't love about

    . First of all,

    , and the main reason I read this book so quickly is that I skimmed a lot. Also, I didn't like how

    (who also

    ) throughout the entire story.

    This story is told through two PoVs: Ellie's and Fin's. Fin's just wasn't as interesting, I didn't care about her failed marriage - the resolution of that was obvious from the start - but I did end up liking how she and Ellie became allies. I also liked the side characters, there was black and Cuban side representation here.

  • Michelle

    I wanted to like this so much. The storyline was intriguing, the cover was fantastic...I couldn’t wait to read it.

    But then I started it...and it went downhill from there. It took me ages to get through it because it felt like a chore. I ended up skimming it around 35%.

    The characters are unlikable. The conversations seemed forced and often uncomfortable. Actually the entire book was uncomfortable. Which could be purposeful, but it didn’t work for me. I think this may be a sequel, but this is my

    I wanted to like this so much. The storyline was intriguing, the cover was fantastic...I couldn’t wait to read it.

    But then I started it...and it went downhill from there. It took me ages to get through it because it felt like a chore. I ended up skimming it around 35%.

    The characters are unlikable. The conversations seemed forced and often uncomfortable. Actually the entire book was uncomfortable. Which could be purposeful, but it didn’t work for me. I think this may be a sequel, but this is my first book by this author.

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

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