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So Good. I read the bulk of this novella on a flight from Denver to DC. and I was completely engulfed in it the whole time. The entire book is an imaginative creation of dark fantasy dystopian world building. Much of the mood and atmosphere comes from the architecture of Obsidia’s Becher District where our main character Alex exists and is just trying to survive in its harsh environment. Llewellyn does a great job of constructing the world up around you so it feels like you are there in this city built completely of machines in the dead heat of summer. The environment is oppressive and surreal. There are hybrid human creatures integrated into society as well as monsters lurking on the periphery.
The controlling body of this world, the Ministry of Obstetrics is planning Epoch II, an evolution or transition of its city and people. Alex has a violent history and the Ministry has put a hit out on her because they feel her to be a danger to the transition. Alex, despite not having magical abilities, is perceptive and unforgivingly violent when she is in the mood to kill. Killing also puts her in the mood too if you know what I mean. Llewellyn ties in the sexual nature of killing in even when the world is ending. The story is written with a depth and poetry that Llwewlly is extremely adept at. I do not think I am capable of describing the prose in a way that you can understand without picking up the book and reading it yourself.
Livia Llewellyn is quickly becoming one of my favorite writers. I have not read her first collection but her last collection, Furnace, is one of my favorite collections in recent memory. If this is your first LL and you like it I strongly suggest you pick up Furnace. It was truly a mind effing experience. I definitely recommend this to fans of Ligotti or PKD. I cannot wait to read more of this author’s work.