Cass Neary is hard-up for coins and stranded in London whilst she hears about a rare ebook deal and attends the sale out of curiosity. The meeting turns deadly, and he or she learns that the book can also have powers past our understanding. In the chaos that follows, Cass explores the resurgent white nationalist movement in Europe and Scandinavia, confronts her own past trauma and relies on her keen photographer’s eye as she searches for truth. The Book of Lamps and Banners is a hair-raising, mind-bending trip.
You can definitely experience this ebook on its very own terms, but if in any respect possible, discover and devour the first within the Cass Neary series, Generation Loss. (You’ll have nightmares, however I promise it’s worth it.) Author Elizabeth Hand does not shrink back from bleak, unlikable characters, inclusive of her protagonist. Cass is strung out on pace and alcohol, so while she begins ranting approximately an app that turns humans into murderers, the humans round her justifiably roll their eyes. Quinn, a boyfriend from her days as a photographer in New York’s punk demimonde, permits her destruction but tries to melt its impact.
Past and present preserve smashing together, as do truth and the mind-warping outcomes of the sought-after e-book. Hand’s language tightens when Cass spies a element nobody else notices, however we sense the dead weight of her hangovers and the cranked-up jangle of her nerves. It’s unsettling however impossible to appearance away as elements line as much as set a grim climax in motion.
Does this sound impossibly dark? It is! It’s also exquisitely suspenseful, and the paranoia suffusing the story could be very plenty of our present moment. The idea that any single supply can make sense of the whole thing going on round us is as beautiful as it is dangerous. Half of the mystery in The Book of Lamps and Banners is thinking whether Cass Neary will keep us or take us down with her.