The Barrow Will Send What it May — Margaret Killjoy

The Barrow Will Send What it May (Danielle Cain #2)

TITLE: The Barrow Will Send What it May

AUTHOR: Margaret Killjoy

SERIES: Danielle Cain, #2

RELEASES: April 3rd, 2018; Tor.com

GENRE: Horror

AGE RANGE: Adult

SYNOPSIS: Margaret Killjoy’s Danielle Cain series is a dropkick-in-the-mouth anarcho-punk fantasy that pits traveling anarchist Danielle Cain against eternal spirits, hypocritical ideologues, and brutal, unfeeling officers of the law.

Now a nascent demon-hunting crew on the lam, Danielle and her friends arrive in a small town that contains a secret occult library run by anarchists and residents who claim to have come back from the dead. When Danielle and her crew investigate, they are put directly in the crosshairs of a necromancer’s wrath — whose actions threaten to trigger the apocalypse itself.

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book 1

Barrow: an endless spirit who stands at the gate between the living and the dead, waiting to tear it from its hinges.

First of all, I would just like to say that I absolutely love the setup of this series—each installment being its own individual little mystery, with new locations, characters, and terrors—and I would honestly be so happy to read a dozen of these novellas. I already enjoyed Danielle’s narrative in book 1, but it’s even more authentic and lovable in this one, as she delves into her inner monologue a bit more and faces down some of her own personal obstacles and flaws.

barrowsm

“We ask for good strangers.”
“We ask for the barrow to send what it may.”
“We ask that ill eyes pass us over.”
“We ask for the dead to guard us.”
“We ask that sorrow be held at bay.”

Not only do we get to explore this new adventure with Danielle’s found family (Brynn, Vulture, and the Days), we also get to meet a handful of new people, including my personal faves: a couple of anarcho-punks who run a stolen library for a desolate old tourist trap town, with a secret occult library upstairs. I know I raved about the aesthetic behind The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion in that review, and while this book didn’t check as many of my boxes, I gotta say that I was living for the library setting.

Of all the ways to die, I think pummeled to death by trashy hetero romance novels might be the worst. Or best.

Much like its predecessor, this book offers a super diverse cast with a lot of normalization and talk about queer relationships, but it went a step further by adding in a couple of snarky, harmless remarks about cis/hetero individuals that reminded me so much of some of my friends. There’s never any vitriol behind any of it, but it was so entertaining and reminded me of something that came to mind while reading the first book: Margaret Killjoy is not writing to please the masses; she is writing to an audience of her peers, people who—in some small ways, at least—view the world in a similar manner to her, and I respect and love the hell out of her for it. It is so wonderful to feel so “seen” by an author, especially in the horror genre, where we rarely see authors who tackle these topics in a meaningful way.

It’s not really giving up our freedom to be close with people. Because freedom only exists in relation to other people. I thought I needed to be left alone. I just needed people. Good people.

Underneath all of the adventure and suspense and found family wonder going on in this story, there was also a really gorgeous, subtle development between Danielle and Brynn, and I was living for it. I am shipping this couple so hard by now, and I really love the slowness of its buildup. Brynn is absolutely precious, on top of it—she’s probably my favorite character of all, with her handsome, muscular little tattoo artist self.

“I would like the record to state I think this is metal as fuck.”

At the end of the day, I didn’t love this book quite as much as the first one in the series, but it’s like comparing a 4.75-star read to a 5-star one—this series still hits my checkboxes so hard, and I love these characters so much that I would happily read entire novellas just about them grocery shopping or meandering through the park. Margaret Killjoy has fully earned my affections, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

All quotes are taken from an ARC and may not match the final release. Thank you to Tor.com for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

Buddy read with Melanie! ♡

5flowers

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Just a 25-year-old trying to juggle motherhood, grad school, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

2 thoughts on “The Barrow Will Send What it May — Margaret Killjoy

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