Review: To be Devoured
I wish I could use the trope that it was a dark and stormy night that I read this novella but it was really a warm, Hawaiian September evening. I hsd just gotten home from work and was settling in to start up my laptop to do coursework when my power went out.
I looked at my growing to do pile and then looked at my TBR pile. I wasn’t sure how long the power would be out so I grabbed the smallest book from my Ladies of Horror Fiction readathon pile. “To be devoured” by Sara Tantlinger was my Indie pick from the suggested list.
I grabbed one of my new bookmarks from A Stranger Dream and one of my candles from Get Fictional before I sat down to read by candle light. Without much background, I was pulled in.
To be Devoured
Author: Sara Tantlinger
Genre: LGBQT+, Horror, novella
The novella is told in a feverish first person narration by Andi. Andi was working as a bartender when she met the love of her life or rather, her pressing obsession, Luna. She would give anything to have Luna to fill the void inside of her. Full of rage and despair at being orphaned, Andi had few lifelines to cling to.
But Luna thinks Andi’s fixations on lunar moths and morbidity is weird. Luna rejects Andi’s gift of wings made from Lunar moths and crushes Andi.
Left alone, Andi looks to the vultures that circle her property for the secret meaning and nourishment in death.
What would it be like to eat carrion? What would it be like to take nourishment from people to hold that piece of them inside of your forever? Andi has to know.
Thoughts: The Luna moths! It made me think of Frederick from The Collector by John Fowles and of course, Thomas Harris’s Buffalo Bill from the Silence of the Lambs. The theme of transformation and desiring freedom from all of the rage and despair echoes throughout the book.
Obsession is the main driving conflict. Andi is obsessed with Luna from the first page. It’s fascinating to see how the concept of devotion is easily twisted to creepy obsession. How quickly one’s desires overwhelm the wants and needs of the other. Tantlinger’s debut novella is a feverish ride! Gorey, engaging, and might make some people squeamish. I definitely recommend giving it a read!
Disclaimer: This was a not sponsored review. A copy of this novella and the referenced items were purchased unsolicited by the companies mentioned.