Shallow Graves


Shallow Graves (not to be confused with These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly) by Kali Wallace is about the 17-year-old Breezy Lin who is murdered on the way back from a party. A year later, she wakes in a shallow grave, unable to die, with the ability to see shadows around killers and the ability to end their lives. Soon she finds herself immersed in a world of “monsters”. A world she never knew about, of creatures of myth and legend and the dubious humans (a cult who tracks down these “monsters”) who want to either control or destroy them.

Shallow Graves is a dark tale of revenge, but it also has a fairy tale undercurrent that sets it apart from the usual supernatural horror fare. The story takes mythical monsters like zombies, banshees, and revenants and makes them into everyday people except for their longevity, their diet, and their power. They have all the normal problems of human life like income, food, shelter, and all that with the added concern of their special diets, their automatic actions of tindex.jpgheir nature plus wizards and humans alike hunting them down and killing them. These people who are marginalized and don’t quite fit into society like the minorities, LGBT, and other disenfranchised people in our society. The cult in the story doesn’t seek to destroy these people, but to “fix” them to how the cult thinks they should be: without the abilities that they were born or reborn with that are a core part of themselves. Afterwards, these “fixed” people are shown to be shells of who they once were at best. This practice is akin to typically religious programs to brainwash the unsuspecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender people into at least acting like they are heterosexual or cisgender to be what the perpetrators of this abuse think is normal. This metaphor is well done as it shows problems with our own society and builds a unique world with complex characters.

What I didn’t love: Towards the end the pacing gets a little bit slow and the story doesn’t go exactly where I wanted it to. Breezy is a great character but I wanted to delve deeper into her life before she was killed. Also, I felt that the ending lacked some direction.

Overall, I would recommend this book!



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