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Creatures of Want and Ruin

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  323 ratings  ·  88 reviews
Amityville baywoman Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine by night. It's dangerous work under Prohibition--independent operators like her are despised by federal agents and mobsters alike--but Ellie's brother was accepted to college and Ellie's desperate to see him go. So desperate that when wealthy strangers ask her to procure libations for an extravagant party, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 13th 2018 by John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
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E. It is definitely set in the same universe, but also totally stands alone!

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Creatures of Will and Temper: ★★★★★
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RELEASE DAY: Tuesday, November 13, 2018. I really liked Creatures of Will and Temper and this new release is a stand-alone set in the same world! That means more diabolists and demonic shenanigans.

Ellie was a great female lead, and there is another female character, Fin, who couldnt be more different. But the two join forces and there is a lot of girl power. You can
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unusual fantasy- paranormal book and original. The tone was creepy. There were demons and mad preachers and a secret cabal and a plan to rule the world, or at least Long Island. Mwahaha! Will a group of disparate people to stop the evil before it goes too far? Read on! This plays on the B movie vibe. I love the idea of seeing giant pulsating mushrooms wreaking havoc! Great read. Thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
CREATURES OF WANT AND RUIN is the first novel I have read by Molly Tanzer. This title felt like it would fit comfortably into several sub-genres; namely fantasy, historical fiction, occult, and even romance, to a lesser degree.

"Doing the right thing doesn't always mean doing the easy thing."

Two of the main characters are strong female leads--unusual for the Prohibition era in history. First we have Ellie West, who sells illegal moonshine in an effort to raise enough money to send her brother
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: night-worms
3.5 stars rounded up for Goodreads
This is my very first reading experience with Molly Tanzer. Ashley and I picked this book out as a read along for our curated horror book club, Night Worms. It came highly recommended to us by some authors who write urban/dark fantasy/horror: Alan Baxter, Chuck Wendig and Seanan MCGuire. New Year, New Fear!

After finishing this book last night, I would conclude that it's not horror and I don't want to create any false hope or expectations. It straddles a few
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
This wasn't perfect, but queer fiction about fighting bigots is the best kind of fiction.
Creatures of Want and Ruin follows Ellie, a moonshine smuggler in prohibition-era Long Island. She is a polyamorous woman in an open relationship with a bisexual man, and in this story she will have to fight demon-raising bigots masquerading as religious people with the help of her diverse group of friends.

I thought I wasn't going to like this book. I DNFed its companion prequel earlier this year, and I
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm bumping this one up to 5 stars because I'm still thinking about it. If a book sticks with you days after you finish reading it, then it's safe to say you found it amazing.

I honestly wasn't sure what to think about this one before I started it. The cover is lovely, but the synopsis didn't immediately grab me. I got this one in my Night Worms subscription package, and I most likely would not have bought it own my own, so I owe them a debt of gratitude. I really, really enjoyed this one.

At the
Lauren Stoolfire
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My first introduction to Molly Tanzer was with last year's Creatures of Will and Temper and I was really impressed by her Dorian Gray inspired tale. Of course as soon as I caught wind of her newest release I knew I had to try it as well and luckily for me I managed to get approved for it via NetGalley. This new companion story (you don't need to be familiar with her previous release, but it will certainly make things much more
Audra (ouija.doodle.reads)
This isnt a book I would generally choose for myself to read, but thats what is fun about subscription services like the Night Worms box. I dont know what Im going to get, but I know the books are carefully curated and I can trust that its going to be an interesting ride.

A tale set during prohibition following a badass bootlegging boatwoman and a society girl with a penchant for disturbing the peace, there is a lot to like in the set-up of this book. The main characters are women with dreams,
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ellie West is a moonshine bootlegger living in a small town in Long Island, known as Amityville. Here she finds herself working to assist her family and send her brother to college through any means necessary. Fishing by day and avoiding Prohibition regulations by night. When a wealthy stranger propositions Ellie to procure a large amount of moonshine for a party theyre throwing, she finds herself selling them everything she has, along with a few bottles of booze that she came across under ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first time I ever laid eyes on this book my initial impression was that it looked like a creepy Alice in Wonderland. The similarity stops at the cover. Reading the book actually felt like a mix of The Great Gatsby and Stranger Things.

I loved the excerpts from the fictional book, The Demon in the Deep, even though I was very confused about the books significance at first.

The two main characters are strong females and I enjoyed reading both of their back stories. It gets even better when their
Alan Baxter
Brilliant fun. A wonderfully written dark weird adventure built around prohibition era moonshine running in Long Island. Recommended. ...more
D Gillis
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ellie West runs moonshine during prohibition. She is trying to help her brother who has been accepted to college and cant afford to go. Ellie has the opportunity to provide alcohol for a large party. She sells them some booze that includes some kind of special mushrooms that cause those to drink it to see apocalyptic things. Ellie teams up with Fin (another female character, who couldnt be more different from Ellie) to try to set things right. Weve got demons, religious nuts, bootleggers and two ...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
I have waited for a sequel to Creatures of Will and Temper for a year now! I was very excited to be able to read it, and very thankful to both the publisher and Molly Tanzer herself who was so sweet to help me out to procure a review copy as an international reviewer - considering how NetGalley makes us nearly invisible. I enjoyed the book for sure, although my heart still belongs to part one - Creatures of will and Temper - both because of the lighter nature of the book, and the characters ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Looking away from something doesn't make it disappear."

Ahhhhhh words can not express how much I enjoyed this book!! I loved Creatures of Will and Temper, and while I know they aren't exactly a series, I hoped this one would also be awesome, and it did not disappoint.

We have 2 strong leading ladies (in their own ways), openness about sexual preferences, other subject matter that's highly relevant today (like prejudices of all kinds), oh and of course, your average cult of diabolists and some
Deborah Ross
Oct 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My introduction to the work of Molly Tanzer was her novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, a 19th century urban fantasy revolving around The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and demonic possession. Creatures of Want and Ruin takes place in the Roaring Twenties on Long Island, New York. The common thread between the two books is the role of demons controlling human lives. Demons take possession of people who freely agree to the arrangement, granting their hosts long life, wealth, beauty, or in this case ...more
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this so much. The storyline was intriguing, the cover was fantastic...I couldnt wait to read it.

But then I started it...and it went downhill from there. It took me ages to get through it because it felt like a chore. I ended up skimming it around 35%.

The characters are unlikable. The conversations seemed forced and often uncomfortable. Actually the entire book was uncomfortable. Which could be purposeful, but it didnt work for me. I think this may be a sequel, but this is my
Nicole Beaudry
Dec 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Molly Tanzer's Creatures of Want and Ruin is a loose follow-up to Creatures of Will and Temper, which I read at the beginning of the year and then browbeat every single person I know into reading, or close to. I was worried picking this one up - would it live up to my expectations? Would it live up to its predecessor? In some ways, it doesn't. I found I liked Ellie and Fin just a bit less than Will and Temper's sisters, and main characters can make or break a novel. But Ellie and Fin, and the ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my first experience reading through the world Molly Tanzer has created. I enjoyed this book because it is my first supernatural read. 1920's prohibition era story + a couple strong leading female characters + questionable religious leader = dark, twisted fantasy. Yes, please!
Maybe more of a 1.5 stars in Goodreads terms: it was okay, and for some parts I didn't like it (including the climax -- I voluntarily put this book down to go do something else a couple hours. During the big confrontation!).

Possibly a good part of my enjoyment only comes from the obviously fond descriptions of rural and coastal Long Island. Sigh...

Dragging my score down:
- the paaaaaaaacing. I have mixed feelings, because sure, you want to lay proper groundwork for everything and everyone... But
Apr 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, ebook
I enjoyed the first Creatures book quite a bit, I think this is a great premise for a series, and in theory, Want and Ruin is a great entry in that world. The setting is both fun and particular enough to feel embodied, and the cast of characters has Molly's trademark blend of strength, sex, humor, and idiosyncracy. The problem is that the story itself just feels way too rushed and superficial, and while the characters come through well enough, the worldbuilding is weak and contrived, and most ...more
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This may be my favorite Molly Tanzer novel. The plot is smart, the pacing is perfect, the historical setting is convincing without becoming precious, and the nods to Weird Fiction's forbearers are organic, not contrived. Tanzer's characters are vividly drawn, and she excels at writing smart capable women.

In 1920s Amityville, baywoman Ellie West is saving every penny she makes to put her brother through medical college. Her bootlegging has consequences far beyond the expected scrapes with the
I received an ARC copy of this book from Edelweiss

I really enjoyed Creatures of Will and Temper from this author, but I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. This isn't a sequel really so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy it, although I think they might have name dropped a few characters briefly. This story blends the supernatural elements of weird plants and demons with an unfortunately still all too realistic preacher who basically wants to 'make Long Island great
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sff, history
I loved this book! A diverse cast of likable characters teams up against human and otherworldly horrors to save their beloved island. (The bad guys are motivated by a pick 'n' choose xenophobia that sounds very familiar...) Betrayals and a character death complicate the plot enough to be suspenseful but not feel manipulative or unrealistic. And win or lose, actions have consequences.

I was uncomfortable with how the characters discussed disability, but so was the heroine! She knows the issues are
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Creatures of Will and Temper had just a little less imagination, a little less adventure, a little less of that dirty creativity I look for in Molly Tanzer books.
Creatures of Want and Ruin has a bit less than that.
Im not sure if its the attempt at a series that is making the Creatures books seem forced, slow, and awkward. Perhaps its an attempt to be a bit more mainstream? All I know is that this book was a slog, when I usually devour a new Tanzer book in hours.

If the next in the series, set
Mar 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, fiction, feminist
There are two Lovecraftian horrors in this novel, the cosmic horror kind and the people who think like Lovecraft. i.e. all non WASPs are decadent, wicked and should be deported as well as some run of the mill misogyny. Ellen West and friends rout the cosmic horror and poke some patriarchs and racists in the eye. Does have a fantasy trope that's not well handled, if magic and demon summoning is so easy, why aren't we seeing more of the results? A decent read.
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fun story. I enjoyed the thoughts of the two women as they experienced life and death.
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Creatures of Want and Ruin is my introduction to Molly Tanzer's writing. This was a creepy supernatural read that dives into witchcraft and the occult. I truly enjoyed this story and its cast of characters. Ellie is an Amityville baywoman in Long Island, NY and to help support her family and send her brother to college she sells moonshine. It is during one of these runs that she encounters something unusual and her whole world changes. What follows is a battle between good and evil. I truly ...more
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites, 2019
I've only just realised I never wrote a review for this book as I intended to when I finished it. And given just how much I enjoyed it, that truly is a crime. In fact, this is one of the books from 2019 that still appears in my thoughts often and fondly. I loved it. It's without question one of my favourite books of 2019, and it had some very strong competition in that regard.

Really, this book had me at 1920s queer poly fungal horror with bonus low-key found family aspects. That's a whole lot of
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of 1920’s and 30’s pulp fiction such as Weird Tales or H.P. Lovecraft
Creatures of Want and Ruin takes readers back to the era of pulp fiction with its gothic atmosphere and horror-filled storyline. The main characters are Fin and Ellie, two strong heroes who fight for their homes in the face of demonic evil in prohibition-era Long Island. These two strong female characters are well developed and likeable, but in no way are they perfect. Their faults and weaknesses motivate their actions just as much. Unusually, the secondary characters are also very thoroughly ...more
Jess Harker
Jan 16, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Molly Tanzer is the British Fantasy and Wonderland Book Award-nominated author of two collections: A Pretty Mouth (Lazy Fascist, 2012) and Rumbullion and Other Liminal Libations (Egaeus, 2013). Her debut novel, Vermilion (Word Horde) was an NPR Best Book of 2015. Her second novel, The Pleasure Merchant, is now available, and her next, Creatures of Will and Temper, will be available in late 2017. ...more

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