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Lucretia and the Kroons

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Lucretia’s best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny—a sweet pitbull of a kid, even as she struggles with a mysterious illness—has gone missing. The only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D, portal to a vast shadowland of missing kids ruled by a nightmarish family of mutants whose designs on the children are unknown. Her search for Sunny takes Lucretia through a dark fantasyland where she finds lush forests growing from concrete, pigeon-winged rodents, and haunted playgrounds. Her quest ultimately forces her to confront the most frightening specter of all: losing, forever, the thing you love the most.

Lucretia and the Kroons is a dazzlingly imaginative adventure story and a moving exploration of the power of friendship and the terror of loss. This all-new novella serves as the perfect companion piece to The Devil in Silver, a thrillingly suspenseful work of literary horror that continues the story of Lucretia.

104 pages, ebook

First published January 1, 2012

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About the author

Victor LaValle

86 books2,345 followers
Victor LaValle is the author of the short story collection Slapboxing with Jesus, four novels, The Ecstatic, Big Machine, The Devil in Silver, and The Changeling and two novellas, Lucretia and the Kroons and The Ballad of Black Tom. He is also the creator and writer of a comic book Victor LaValle's DESTROYER.

He has been the recipient of numerous awards including a Whiting Writers' Award, a United States Artists Ford Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Shirley Jackson Award, an American Book Award, and the key to Southeast Queens.

He was raised in Queens, New York. He now lives in Washington Heights with his wife and kids. He teaches at Columbia University.

He can be kind of hard to reach, but he still loves you.

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5 stars
74 (19%)
4 stars
141 (36%)
3 stars
123 (32%)
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29 (7%)
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15 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 126 reviews
Profile Image for Isa Lavinia.
596 reviews297 followers
August 2, 2012
Originally posted at Paperback Wonderland.

"Being young doesn’t protect you. Horrors come for kids, too."

Okay, why have I never heard of Victor LaValle? If the rest of his work is like this novella, it should be on prominent display in every bookshop, and library, and topping lists everywhere.

I started this book expecting a horror story with all the trappings of the genre. Instead I was taken on a vivid stroll through the life of a little girl from Queens and how she was dealing with her best friend's imminent death to cancer. So, I was ready for some mindless pop terror and got my soul crushed and repeatedly stomped upon in the first 30 pages. I was honestly crying.

LaValle, be straight with us readers, how the hell can you write a 12 year old girl this well? How do you have this level of insight? I read YA all the time, most of it written by women, and the great majority of them can't capture how it really feels to be a young girl, and you go and do it... How?! I didn't even remember how it was to be 12, but you brought it all back, right down to the older brother making stuff up to scare me.

And just as you start settling into this girl's sad, but ordinary life, LaValle yanks the reader into the worst kind of horror there can be in a book: the one that can happen to anyone because it's real.
This novella is about 100 pages long but it had me checking all the windows in my place, freaking out.
As if this wasn't enough the book keeps your emotions on a roller-coaster, I was getting into the horror bit and I get yanked back into grief, then back to horror. I wanted to get away but here's the thing - it's so masterfully written it won't let you get away, you have to keep reading.

I felt the ending was a bit abrupt, everything explained but ultimately unsatisfying. But the thing is, that's how real life is, as well.

I highly recommend it to everyone. Seriously, give it a try!
Profile Image for Miriam Cihodariu.
577 reviews116 followers
June 24, 2019
This is aimed at young adults, but it tells the sort of universally appealing story everyone should be able to be moved by. Primordial fear, loss, grief, and hope are universal human narratives and constants, so it's hard for me to see how can you not be moved by this short story. The author delivers all these masterfully.
Profile Image for Lou.
879 reviews857 followers
September 27, 2012
The opening paragraph hooks you in successfully, it starts off intriguingly and then gathers momentum the pace does not back down it becomes a see and feel adventure. The author successfully places you into an eerie sense of place with strange occurrences and creepy characters. It starts of with the main protagonist view on being a twelve year old that’s not quite blossomed as much as she wished. She expresses hows shes not fortunate like other girls who are showing more like a woman’s body. She’s displays anger with a clique group of girls who think they are are all that and more. The story does at times hit the unbelievable mark and goes a tad overboard with unrealistic happenings, I would have preferred less play with the Alice in wonderland kind of take on the story. All that she goes through would be laughable told to others in a school playground and would alert those from the psychiatric field. Would you believer her? The writing shows whats going on to the reader and makes you feel the protagonists experiences and fears.

Also @ http://more2read.com/review/lucretia-and-the-kroons-by-victor-lavalle/
Profile Image for Jason Pettus.
Author 12 books1,269 followers
January 22, 2013
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.com]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

Victor LaValle's Lucretia and the Kroons is a frustrating reading experience, because it's full of great ideas that are mostly handled poorly, or at the least with poor material added to either side of the great idea, so that what could've been a tight little alt-horror tale instead became a rambling thing that made me frown a lot while going through it and say to myself, "Oh. Really? That's the direction you're going with this? Ugh. Okay." A literal Poor Black Child In The Ghetto story, our titular hero is a precociously holier-than-thou and Dickensian-put-upon little girl in a Queens housing development, where I guess supposedly there used to be a family of crackheads in the apartment upstairs? Who, like, all died grisly deaths and then became ghosts or something? Or are, hmm, I don't know, like abducting human girls and taking them to this weird alt-history J-horror fantasyland version of New York City? Or maybe they're some alien race who were only posing as crackheads to fool people in the real world? Or, uh, something? That's a major problem with this ambitious but messy manuscript, that LaValle quickly seems to lose track of what he's trying to say in the first place, bouncing from one random horror trope to the next like a pinball (and including some pretty bad non-horror cliches as well, including The Best Friend With Cancer, the Overworked Single Mother, the Older Brother With Complicated Family Relationship and more), none of it ever quite fitting together into a consistent internal mythology. It's got some great mental images, and certainly LaValle's to be commended for the grand scope of what he tries to pull off; but this is more of a miss than a hit in my opinion, an admirable but scattershot experiment that will hopefully lead to stronger and more mature work from this promising writer.

Out of 10: 7.7
Profile Image for Patti.
99 reviews1 follower
August 19, 2012
I'm an adult who occasionally enjoys reading young adult fiction with a strong fantasy element. Mainstream fantasy for adults sometimes has too much emphasis on either warfare or romance for my taste, when I'm really just looking for escapism in a well-crafted fantasy setting. Lucretia and the Kroons looked like it would be exactly the sort of ebook I'd love but I found myself plodding through it to get to the end.

The story follows a pretty common fantasy theme. A kid who is dealing with the fear of losing a friend to cancer finds herself facing life and death issues in a parallel universe. There's little here I haven't read before, which I knew going in, but I was hoping for a fun variation on that theme. I didn't find it.

Our heroine Lucretia is not a particularly sympathetic character. She's alternately sad and angry, with no compelling internal narrative expressing those emotions. There's just a dispassionate third party narrator telling us how she feels. I generally find that angst-ridden characters work best in a first person narrative where the protagonist has a unique voice and an interesting perspective.

The only reason I finished the story is that I promise NetGalley that I will post an honest review of any galley they send to me. Otherwise I would have skimmed through to see how it finishes rather than reading every sentence.
Profile Image for Christine.
6,550 reviews473 followers
October 13, 2019
There are several books in the world that are suppose to help children come to terms with death. Usually they concern the death of a pet or sibling, sometimes a friend. When I was child, and even as a adult, they usually missed. At one part there was something that felt fake about must of them, almost forced. That isn't really that surprising.

But if I had read this when I was a child, a teen, it would have changed that image of those types of books.

Lucretia is dealing with the illness of her friend Sunny as well as her own changing body. She is caught between times, as it is. She has a good home life - her family isn't rich, but LaValle does present a loving family - mother, brother, sister.

When Sunny returns home and a play date is arranged, Lucretia finds herself on an adventure, involving the Kroons - who inhabit the top most apartment that is never rented out.

LaValle writes women and girls so, so well. The interacts between Lucretia and her mother, between the girls, the use of the wigs. It's all so wonderful. And unlike some books the ending is a such a true ending, such a magnificent ending. It's such a beautiful novella - horror, emotion, life all swirled together and working wonders.
Profile Image for Tia.
768 reviews257 followers
April 28, 2022
Thank you Random House Publishing Group for providing me an eARC to review.

I tried reading this novella once before and abandoned it due to confusion. I am happy that I decided to give this story another go, but again did get lost a bit while reading. I just don't think my mind does well with fantasy and/or anything supernatural. At the end of the story, when I discovered what that part meant, I was okay. I knew that it was a coping mechanism of some sort.

This is a book about fierce friendship. Lucretia/Loochie loved Sunny and just couldn't comprehend her not being around. She depended on her companionship because she was without other friends. At her party her Mom did invite three girls from school who could've cared less about Loochie or her feelings. I felt bad for Loochie even a little scared. What would she do without Sunny? Would she be able to endure the sadness?

Even though, this wasn't my type of read, I did find enjoyment in the story.
Profile Image for Netanella.
4,215 reviews12 followers
May 3, 2021
This little novella is made much more lovely by the fact that I recently read LaValle's The Devil in Silver, which stars an older Lucretia, or Loochie. Knowing the origins of the knit hat with the blue pompoms is touchingly sad.

This is an excellent story, with an incredible emphasis on female friendship that reminds me of the tenacity of friendship in Hendrix's My Best Friend's Exorcism. Although, this one is much sadder.

Profile Image for Laura Guilbault.
Author 4 books16 followers
June 7, 2017
A really nice story about death, pain and friendship.
Contains mild swearing/adult words (whore, bastard, crackhead) as well as smoking and really creepy villains with deteriorating bodies.
Profile Image for Erin Crane.
482 reviews6 followers
January 27, 2023
What a fun, weird story. I wasn’t going to pick this up because I don’t normally seek out novellas, but I just read The Devil in Silver. Anyone who has read that knows that this novella is about one of the characters from that book. That got me interested enough to try it.

It’s sort of an origin story for Lucretia/Loochie. You learn the origin of the pom pom hat. But it was a much more imaginative story than I expected it to be. Also a bit of a meditation on grief as a kid.

The ending is very abrupt, though. I know what happens to Loochie, and I kind of wish this story had ended without the little epilogue bit. It gives the conclusion a weird tone.
Profile Image for Jenna Scribbles.
495 reviews30 followers
June 17, 2019
I felt this novella was a bit scattered. It contained many elements that didn’t flow well together. Each piece was well done and imaginative, but together, they were clunky and disjointed.
Profile Image for Andrew Zachary.
22 reviews
June 1, 2022
delightfully off-putting in some places, but I couldn't escape the feeling that shit just happened, "because". conveniences in the plot are not hidden very well, imo.
261 reviews7 followers
September 12, 2012
This novella takes you into the world of twelve-year old Lucretia Gardner - Loochie to her friends. Content spoiler: .

The narrative begins with birthday party drama. When Loochie is distracted missing her sick friend, her Mother must drag her to the party where three self-absorbed acquaintances await uninterestedly.

Loochie's elder brother Louis tells her why the top floor apartment has been boarded up for years. A family called the Kroons lived up there but they were drug addicts. It is rumoured that children went up but never came down.

When Loochie is alone in her apartment, she sees a strange woman outside her window - is it a Kroon after all these years? She becomes convinced that her sick friend is in grave danger and climbs out of the window to investigate the top floor apartment.

There are a few small editing problems e.g. missing prepositions in this uncorrected advance review copy. Dialogue is sharp and plausible.

Making bad people into ugly zombie-like monsters is paradigmatically anathema to me. I think I would have found the story more sympathetic as a first-person narrative.

A shade of grey is added when one of the horrible "monsters", turns out to be friendly and helpful.

A key plot point raises a question about its effect on readers.

Children may be insecure and have vivid fears. Alone in a pokey apartment with no social life and not enough to do, an overactive imagination is natural.

Strange adults can be frightening to children.
I'm a confident optimistic adult. I have a high threshold for horror. I don't find incredible fantasy frightening.

In the style of horror, the ending confirms Loochie's experience.
Profile Image for Bia.
328 reviews19 followers
September 11, 2012
Well, it's more like a 2.5 stars for me...

“Being young didn’t protect anyone. Horrors came for kids, too.”
“It’s amazing what a person can do when her life depends on it”.

I don’t think this book is for me and that is sad because while I was reading the summary I thought it had a good concept and it seemed like a great read…

This is the story of Lucretia (Loochie) and her friend Sunny. They are both 12 year-old girls that are best friends forever. Sunny has been fighting a cancer and couldn’t spend Loochie’s bday with her (since she was in a hospital at the time). After two months, Sunny is finally home, but not doing much better. Loochie’s brother, Louis, told her all about the Kroons (some family that was crack addicted and lived at the apartment 6D in the 80’s) and their “disease”.

There was an ambulance (and I really thought Sunny was not ok at that moment) and suddenly there was a female Kroon at Loochie’s window and Sunny had to be rescue from the Kroons. From this point on there is a loooooot of fantasy and creative imagination.

It’s an analogy to how an adult should explain to a child things like heaven, death and bad things, as well as how a psychology disease can manifest in everyone.

My favorite quotes were:

Sunny: “If I understand her and she understands me then maybe you’re the only one who’s in the wrong place.”

Sunny: ““Right after I gave you those cigarettes I leaned out and watched you go into your apartment. You were moving so fast! Then my grandmother came and got me. I wasn’t feeling too good when I leaned back in, like I couldn’t really breathe, so gon-gon took me to my bedroom. She put me down in bed and went to call the ambulance.
"I was on the bed and my chest started hurting, a lot. I knew you were waiting for downstairs so I tried to get up anyway but I all I did was roll off the bed. It feels like I’ve been here a couple months, but I’m not sure. I knew you were going to come. I felt it. And I felt like I had to see you before I could go. It was almost like I had to wait for you, or else I couldn’t go to Shea.””

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book...
20 reviews6 followers
August 8, 2012
*I got this book from Netgalley for review*

When I saw that the genre is Horror,my first instinct was to avoid reading it.Even as a child I used to avoid reading Goosebumps (thought the reason can be attributed more to a rather insensitive beast who took great pleasures in terrifying his little sister..!).Anyway,I am going off the topic..Hey! No, I am NOT ! By now most of you think I am crazy..! Well, I am not! You see,this book fantastically reminded me of such incidents:Older brother narrating terrifying stories about monsters to his kid sister. So back to the book,I gathered courage and read it.*surprise**surprise* its not a nightmare giver at all..!

Its a story about a 12 year old girl Lucretia, who's best friend and upstairs neighbor Sunny is suffering from a terminal illness.When Sunny goes missing,the only way to get her back is for Lucretia to climb the rickety fire escape of their Queens tenement and crawl through the window of apartment 6D,where nightmarish family of mutants called 'Kroons' reside.The apartment itself appears to be a doorway to a parallel dimension which is inhabited by missing kids and ruled partly by Kroons and partly by a 'cloud of rats'. Her adventure ultimately forces her to confront the most frightening specter of all: losing her best friend.The end of the book hints at it all being an imagination of young Lucretia,her way of coming to terms with the loss of her best friend.

Its a short, nice and an engaging read. The pace of the story was good and the length just right.There was no dragging and the story kept me hooked.
I found the book surprisingly insightful of the way a 12 year old thinks and how girls that age are conscious about themselves.
The horror in the book is nothing intense, making it a very suitable read for children.
Rating: 3.5 stars
Profile Image for Aisha Oaktree.
645 reviews30 followers
April 25, 2013
"Being young doesn't protect you, horrors come for kids, too"
It took forever to get to this book, and it's one of the few novellas I have read that went as fast as it did. I've never read this author before, so his writing style was new to me. The story just jumped right into it, now pretense or build up, it just went right to it.

Now this is a very different kind of book for me, a bit of a magical realism, yet very different. Loochie is a kid who doesn't realize that the world is kind of harsh; her best friend was sick from leukaemia and dying and she still doesn't understand just how bad the disease is. When her older brother visits just before her friend comes over to celebrate her birthday, he shares with her the story of the Kroons as a way to scare her about being alone in the house for the first time by herself.

I was kind of confused reading this book, what would have happened if her brother didn't tell her about the Kroons?? How would have this worked out?? How comes she didn't hear the sirens and think anything about it?? I knew immediately what was wrong, but she was completely clueless.

I felt so bad for her knowing what was going on and she didn't know. Then the Kroons happened and I was just engrossed in the story. Holy Crap, I just...WOW. What a story. I was still confused reading it, the main thing that stuck out to me was the fact that if her brother didn't tell her this story about the Kroons would the rest of it happen??

It's an okay story, engaging while you're reading it. The ending didn't make any sense, why not say ok maybe I was dreaming; but she refused to back down even when it meant she was going to get into trouble.

Enjoy while reading, he's an interesting author.
Profile Image for Darryl.
402 reviews1 follower
August 18, 2012
This novella, which serves as a prequel to LaValle's latest novel The Devil in Silver, is about Lucretia ("Loochie") Granger, a girl who lives with her mother in an apartment in Queens, NY at the turn of the millenium. Her 12th birthday party was ruined by three mean girls from her school who were unwanted guests invited by Loochie's mother. Her best friend Sunny, a girl who lives in the same building, was undergoing treatment for cancer at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis at that time. Loochie saves a portion of her ice cream birthday cake and plans a private birthday party for herself and Sunny once she returns to Queens two months later. Unfortunately on the day of the party Sunny has apparently been kidnapped by the Kroons, the "neighbors" in a sealed off apartment just above Loochie's home, who are the survivors of a family of crackheads that terrorized the children of the neighborhood in the 1980s and 1990s. Loochie climbs the fire escape to rescue her friend, but she is forced to flee for her own life from the murderous, zombie-like Kroons. She enters a bizarre version of Flushing Meadows Park, the site of the two previous World's Fairs in NYC, through a room in the apartment, while the Kroons are in hot pursuit of her.

This was an interesting horror story, but it isn't essential to a reading of The Devil in Silver, and it wasn't nearly as good as that very enjoyable novel.
Profile Image for Maxine.
1,233 reviews40 followers
September 17, 2012
Twelve-year-old Lucretia is force to celebrate her birthday without her best friend, Sunny, who is away receiving cancer treatments. When she returns, Lucretia has saved a piece of cake for her and they plan a party just for them. However, Sunny is kidnapped by some zombie-like creatures in the apartment above Looch's. Lucretia sets out to save her friend only to find herself in a world that is like a spoiled copy of her own.

I wanted to like this novella. I liked the metaphor for illness and the need to let a loved one go. Unfortunately, I found this story a bit draggy at the beginning and hard to follow throughout. Maybe it's because I have read other YA books lately which handled this issue so much better eg Patrick Ness' Monster but Lucretia and the Kroons just didn't make much of a impact on me. I'm not saying it should have made me cry like a little girl but I should have felt at least empathy, sympathy, something other than 'huh' but I didn't.

Even still, I probably would have given the book 3 stars just for its horror aspects. Unfortunately, the end was just so weird and unrelated to anything except as a set-up for LaValle's novel The Devil in Silver that I found myself unable to give the book any more than 2 stars.
Profile Image for Nicholas Kaufmann.
Author 34 books184 followers
February 13, 2013
Children who grew up in the suburbs learn to climb trees. Kids from Queens learn to climb fire escapes.

This short companion piece to The Devil In Silver is an origin story of sorts for Loochie, one of that novel's most compelling characters. Here, we meet her at age 12, just before her years of institutionalization begin, and follow her on an urban katabasis, Dante-like, into a hallucinatory afterlife-limbo in pursuit of her terminally ill friend Sunny. On her trail are the Kroons, a family of crackhead monsters. It's either a psychotic break or an actual brush with the supernatural, but either way it changes the course of Loochie's life. This isn't LaValle's most resonant work, but it's an enjoyable novella, although not one that's necessary for your enjoyment of The Devil In Silver.
Profile Image for Angela.
938 reviews49 followers
August 12, 2016
I enjoyed this one, not the best written and a few spelling mistakes were noticed but still a very fun read.

The writing hooks you from the start and the sense of mystery and the aspects of horror are enough to keep you reading.
Some very good ideas introduced and explored but not handled in the best way as I would have imagined; I hope the editing issues have now been ironed out.

An advance reader copy was kindly supplied by the publisher via Netgalley
Profile Image for Craig Laurance.
Author 29 books146 followers
August 10, 2012
This suspenseful novella crafts turns an urban legend into a tense YA horror story. Props for the multicultural cast--the two heroines are African American and Chinese American, and the real world/altered version of Queens is very believable. This slim book is a moving thriller that will remind you of Gaiman's CORALINE--but much darker.
Profile Image for Kim.
682 reviews18 followers
March 27, 2021
I forgot I had this book in my to-be-read pile and finished it today. Not a favorite for me, I must admit. Young Lucretia has had her best friend since early grade school; her friend Sunny. But Sunny is battling cancer and cannot make it to Loochie's 12th birthday party. Three other friends come instead, and turn into 12 year old mean-girls, causing Loochie's heart to break. After Sunny come home from the hospital, Loochie talks her mother into letting the girls celebrate her late-birthday together, alone, in their apartment in Queens.

From there Loochie heads into the mysterious, dark world of the Kroons; troubled souls that inhabit the world, unseen by most people. She meets her friend Sunny, and together, along with Alice, an intimidating female Kroon who decides she wants to change for the good, they battle the viscous, evil Kroon souls. It was dark, and twisted. The intended audience is YA I believe, and I can understand the appeal of a twisted, nightmarish tale. I tried to remember the intended audience as I read the story, and I thought that maybe YA readers may appreciate the dark fantasy of it. I could understand Loochie's story; she is experiencing the trauma of her friends dying breaths, but there is a final sort of epilogue about Loochie and her future which disturbed me - spoiler alert; a year after her adventure she is diagnosed with bipolar disorder. For me, that clinched that fact that I truly did not like this story at all.
Profile Image for Sapphyria  .
1,699 reviews45 followers
March 20, 2022
Lucrecia, aka Loochie, is a 12-year-old girl living in an apartment in a New York inner city. Her best friend Sunny who lives in an apartment upstairs, is battling cancer and has been in a children’s hospital in another state. When Sunny comes home, Loochie can’t wait for Sunny to come down and spend some time with her. Only, after Loochie does a quick fire escape visit to Sunny, Loochie’s world gets turned upside down. Thinking back to an urban legend story her brother tells her, Loochie discovers the urban legend might not be a legend after all.

What transpires is an adventure through a 6th floor apartment featuring a dark and twisted nightmare through the city. She encounters disfigured versions of the residents in apartment 6D, is chased through haunted playgrounds, and comes up against flying rodents. When she finally makes it through this horrific fantasyland, her world will be forever changed.

Lucretia and the Kroons is not on my list of favorite books. One of the biggest reasons for the 3-star rating is there are too many themes for a novella. Cancer, death, mental illness, typical pre-teen/teen drama, and family dynamics are great themes, when executed properly. Lucretia and the Kroons is not awful but had so much potential yet fell a bit flat for me.

Profile Image for Bill.
394 reviews7 followers
February 24, 2018
I really enjoyed this story, even though I could never entirely decide whether or not it's a YA novella. The primary characters are youngsters but I suppose that doesn't necessarily mean it's intended for younger audiences. At any rate, it's a really great story about friendship, love, loyalty, and ultimately loss, largely set in a nightmarish landscape inhabited by a family of mutants. Looshie (Lucretia's family's pet name for her) enters this place in search of her missing best friend, Sunny. She reaches the land of the Kroons (the mutant family of crackheads) by climbing her fire escape, past Sunny's apartment just above hers, and on to the floor above, where a locked up apartment believed to be vacant hides this weird alternate version of her normal world. Looshie is scared, but determined to find and rescue Sunny in spite of being chased by the crackheads, as well as a swarm of winged rats.

As I said, this is a really bizarre but very sweet story about friendship and loyalty, and very much worth the read.
Profile Image for Jim.
2,551 reviews133 followers
February 5, 2019
i find LaValle to be an excellent spinner of tales, and i have loved his other books quite a lot... this one fell a bit short (pun intended, however you look at it)... the ending was entirely abrupt and just didn't fit the story in any way except as a post hoc "explanation" of sorts... but with the thrust of the story being about Lucretia and Sunny, and mostly about Sunny for me, i just couldn't quite grasp the point of what transpired... plenty of fantastic writing and imagery and symbolic elements, but nothing spectacular or strange enough to get overly scary or creeped out... i'd say he does the 12 year old bits well, but what do i know, i'm almost 50, and what i remember of 12 bears little resemblance to the grandiose notions and language and maturity people nowadays seem to grant tinier human beings they hardly interact with, let alone understand... so this was just OK, though i will continue to read anything LaValle writes regardless of my low-level disappointment with this one...
Profile Image for Craig C.
55 reviews2 followers
February 7, 2019

So I thought I would like this better than I did. I felt in many ways Lucretia was a better character than Pepper in The Devil in Silver. But instead of a character portrayal that shows perhaps the beginning of mental illness, it tells the story of some version of the afterlife and how it's perceived in a horror story that is far too short to really have any character arc.

Because of how grounded in reality the Devil in Silver ends up being I don't really understand how this short story fits in with that tale. We really don't learn as much about Loochie as you might expect and the "Alice in Wonderland" aspects don't really work enough for it to be a "hero's journey" story.

If you didn't find the main novel entertaining I would give this story a pass as well.
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