No gods, no monsters A novel

Cadwell Turnbull, 1987-

Book - 2021

"One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it. As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend...9;s trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters. At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark? The world will soon find out"--Dust jacket flap.

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Turnbull, Cadwell, 1987- Convergence saga ; bk. 1.
Fantasy fiction
Science fiction
Fiction (LGBTQ)
Ashland, Oregon : Blackstone Publishing 2021.
First edition
Physical Description
387 pages : illustrations, 21 cm
Main Author
Cadwell Turnbull, 1987- (author)
Review by Booklist Review

A disembodied voice promises Laina the footage of her brother being shot by police. Her actions, and the ensuing protests, will reveal to the world that werewolves and other monsters exist. While the proof is quickly destroyed by mysterious forces, many people remember the Fracture, and struggle to incorporate the new knowledge into our reality, as monsters struggle just to survive in the midst of a war between two secret magical societies. Turnbull's book, the first in a new series called the Convergence Saga, is an epic, meta, Caribbean-inspired fantasy that dives into the dark and shadowy: the Order of the Zsouvox makes gruesome, firey sacrifices to obtain more power; a soucouyant slips in and out of her skin. Multiple viewpoints and protagonists are easy enough to juggle while being compelling, and the inclusion of asexual, trans, and other non-conforming identities and relationships adds a rich layer of truth and reality to the text. This novel is built out of the shadows in the corner of a dark room, out of disembodied voices and meta-universes, out of blood, conspiracy, and mind control. Readers will itch for the next book in the Saga.

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission. Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Turnbull (The Lesson) delves into the complexities of injustice and identity in this powerhouse contemporary fantasy. Laina awakens to the devastating news of her brother's death at the hands of the police, and the tragedy leads her--and the rest of the world--to discover that monsters exist and that her brother was a werewolf. From there, the novel spins out into multiple story lines, switching between the perspectives of many well-developed characters and encompassing underground organizations, powerful gods, and beings thought to have been simply country lore stepping out into the public eye. Werewolf Rebecca, who knew Laina's brother, struggles to protect what's left of her pack when society's response to their existence threatens to bring them harm. Harry finds solace in online forums after his divorce, leading him to join a secret society. Calvin, grieving his brother, searches through time to find answers to what happened. As these characters' paths slowly converge, Turnbull plunges readers into a layered world of monsters and secrets and uses his supernatural conceit to prompt them to examine the demons that already plague society and endanger the disenfranchised. The expert combination of immersive prose, strong characters, sharp social commentary, and well-woven speculative elements makes for an unforgettable experience. Fantasy fans won't want to miss this. Agent: Nell Pierce, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review

Turnbull (The Lesson) mashes genres in a way that's both beautiful and explosive. After a werewolf is shot and killed by police, monsters such as shapeshifters and dragons reveal themselves to the world. Humans, though, aren't completely accepting of them, and this reveal also pushes two shadowy factions of monsters to the brink of war. Told through an omniscient but still human narrator, the novel jumps between the POVs of multiple characters, both human and monster, but Turnbull's writing never gives the reader whiplash; he not only fully develops these characters but connects each individual story into the central narrative of the fight between the two factions and the overall fight for monster rights. Dion Graham is the perfect narrator for this story, giving all of the characters unique voices while expressing awe and terror in just the right moments. Perhaps the greatest strength of this novel is its metaphor of monsters as those seeking equality in a flawed system. VERDICT This book is perfect for not only aficionados of fantasy and horror, but also for fans of speculative fiction with a social message.--James Gardner, Clark Cty. P.L., KY

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. Review by Kirkus Book Review

In the first of a series, the monsters who have always lived among us emerge, endangered by prejudice, doubt, and at least one deadly, ancient cult. Laina mourns the death of her estranged brother, Lincoln, lost to drug addiction and killed by a cop. Then a mysterious person sends her a video of the incident, which shows Lincoln transforming from wolf to man. When Laina tries to share the video online, the unedited version soon vanishes from the internet. Someone has revealed that animal shifters, witches, and other supernatural beings exist...but someone else seems dedicated to obscuring--or exterminating--that truth. As these so-called "monsters" consider the dangers of becoming more public, their allies must decide whether they, too, will take a stand and risk themselves as well. Calvin, a man with the power to move along the timeline of any parallel universe except his own, serves as a semiomniscient and flawed first-person witness to these events, even while greater powers observe him. As in Turnbull's first novel, The Lesson (2019), the otherworldly aspects of the story act as a lens that brings the characters' richly depicted lives and complex relationships into sharp focus. Despite her eldritch origins, it's easy to sympathize with Sondra, a senator from St. Thomas and secret weredog, who longs for her missing parents and both loves and resents her adopted sister, Sonya, a blood-drinking and usually invisible creature hiding many secrets. The struggles of Laina's girlfriend, Rebecca, a werewolf who has faced many losses and made many mistakes, are absorbing, as are the struggles of Laina's husband, Ridley, an asexual trans man yearning for his parents' approval even as he devotes himself to improving society through cooperative enterprise. This is a deeply human story, beautifully and compellingly told. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.