Curiosity Quills Press
November 21st, 2016
Hank Goodness (nobody calls her Henrietta) is a teenage girl growing up in strange times. The Dust came years ago, and that’s when the dead started walking. They call them the Reborn.
The sound of an oncoming storm doesn’t always mean rain–sometimes it’s just a Dust storm, and those are probably worse. The sound Hank hears one night isn’t a storm, but the sound of unfamiliar engines outside the house she lives in with her aunt and brother. It’s a traveling preacher looking to set up in one of their unused farm fields, and when she sneaks over one night to see what the revival preacher is up to, she sees that he has a Reborn in a cage.
This sets off a journey that will take Hank places she’d never imagined. A cousin affiliated with the revival takes her brother for a grim purpose that her aunt had been hiding from them all their lives. Where she’s going, she’ll be walking alone.
Dust Bath Revival is a Southern Gothic dust bowl tale of both subtle and classic horror that creeps up on you. Aside from the zombies, it doesn’t begin by feeling like a horror tale, which makes the horror elements that much better as they creep their way in.
It’s a great story of a fat queer female who is secure in who she is, and owns her body and her own little corner of her world. It sets an interesting tone for a tale that explores our feelings about food and hunger, and the fundamental anxiety of wondering what exactly you’re consuming. The zombie-handling revivalists also set up the frightening air of fanaticism, taking something one automatically assumes is a symbol of abject horror, and embracing it with an enthralled fatalism. It made this a really fresh take on zombies for me, and made it that much more fun to read. The good news is that it’s the start of a series, and it definitely leaves you wanting more. Don’t miss this one.
JL Jamieson is a strange book nerd who writes technical documents by day, and book news, reviews, and other assorted opinions for you by night. She is working on her own fiction, and spends time making jewelry to sell at local conventions, as well as stalking the social media accounts of all your favorite writers.