the review for ring shout by pdjeli clark. i would like to thank NetGalley for approving me for a ARC of this. the only thing that i knew about this book going into it was that it was written byp jeli clark and then it had to do with the ku klux klan. so if you're thetype of person who doesn't want to know very much...that's the way to go into the story! but if you're the type of person who likes alittle bit more here is a general plot summary:so this takes place in atlanta, georgia. like, right in between WWI and WWII and we follow our main character who isa monster hunter. she is hunting down those damn ku kluxes.so her and our friends band together to destroy these kukluxes. that way they can no longer spread their hate. so now let's just goon to my likes. first and foremost, the worldbuilding this is now my second work of clark'sthat i have read and he is a master at world building. it iseffortless and captivating. the imagery was soimpressive and beautifully written that it it literally was like a movie inmy head. and i 100% could see Jordan peele who wrote and directed get out and usdirecting this movie. like, jordan peele... i know you're watching this video, butyou need to get on this right now and bring the story toeveryone! and one of the things that i love so muchabout his world building is that it always takes place in a historicalperiod where a time where black voices wereignored and silenced and he then brings thosestories to life, but in a fantastical way. so this world is no exception. it is veryterrifying and monstrous. realistic and incrediblytangible.
If you're not familiar with clark'sworks he specializes in short fiction. so this is a novella and i'll tell youit is 192 pages of f*cking excellence! it's literally on anotherlevel. like, i cannot even begin to describe to youhow freaking awesome this novella is. it's absolutely remarkable! everycharacter, every scene, every word is well crafted, thoughtful,and full of purpose, everything that is said is incredibly important,so now i'm going to talk about themes and i've kind of tried to discuss thisin my august wrap up and it didn't go over well... so i'm going tolink a review on goodreads by a blackreviewer [Ciara]. so in the review they say, "ring shout isfull of so much unapologetic blackness and literalblack girl magic that it made me ache with pride to be sorepresented". so this is just my little spiel and ifeel, like, this should be pretty obvious, but iguess that it's not? but please please seekown voices reviews. whether that be written reviews on goodreadsor here in visual format on youtube. it's just, there are the themes of this book. there are things in this book that i cannotspeak on. i can tell you how much i enjoyed them, butcoming from a white person it just, it doesn't impact mein the same way. so once again seek out own voicesreviewers. the folklore, the history, the language,the trauma, the joy.
Everything in this bookis rooted in the black community's experience in the united states.so in this book gullah speech and african-american vernacular english isused and there are no translations. i mean, there iscommentary on colorism, slavery by indigenous tribes,white women's active role in the upholding of white supremacy, and theupholding and spreading of white supremacy through mass media andpropaganda. and that is just, like, a touch of the themes, okay? just like abasic general like, "hey, this is what's in there".i mean, as i said before and i cannot really re----reiterate enoughthe way the clark does these things. it's just, it's subtleand nuanced. like i said before, just absolutely effortless.and with that, with all that being said of course, those things can be verytriggering especially to the black community [specifically black readers]. here's just a few trigger warnings: um, there is medical experimentation,slavery, lynching, racial slurs, the explicit use of the n-word, generational trauma, [and hate crime] and things like that. so, so hearing the premise of this bookand then the trigger warnings it probablyseems like this book may be filled with trauma pornand i promise you that it's not.
This is a story ofreclamation. please seek out own voices reviews! and then the last thing that i'm going totalk about is the horror elements. the horror elements areblended seamlessly into this horrifying yet veryrealistic world. the horror is blatant and fantastical. wehave body horror and medical horror and some very ethereal andwhimsical... kind of like psychedelic like horror elements to it? and this isalongside the very vile and monstrous ku kluxes which are the literalmanifestations of bigotry and hate. and that hatespreads like an infection in a virus. and it can be spread throughdirect contact, indirect contact, mass media,propaganda, and all sorts of things like that. but surpriselike with any other horror the real horror isn't the actual monsters.the real horror is the blatant hate and racism and bigotrythat resides in so many people. and then how that is used to inflictviolence on the black community. as i mentionedit's only 192 pages you will whiz through it just like i did.and you'll-- the only thing that you will be leftdisappointed in is the fact that the story has ended.