PositiveLibrary JournalLight topicality follows this high-concept premise, including commentary on late capitalism’s internet-aided work/life imbalance and the fiction of modern communication, but it’s Kasulke’s execution rather than his ideas that recommends this work. The author masters mood, inflecting his comedic core with bits of surreal horror, and demonstrates a keen ear for lingo, expressly humorous without ever forsaking authenticity. He likewise proves deft at depicting the particular rhythms of group chats, with all communication here existing within a haze of disruption. Admittedly, this comes at the expense of any real characterization, which plays third fiddle to the novel’s formal playfulness and puckish conceit, but if the novel never rises above a trifle, it’s at least a delicious one ... Existing in the slipstream of humanity’s and technology’s mutual march forward, this is a welcome if lightweight oddity that cuttingly observes the horror and humor of the modern condition.
PositiveLibrary Journal... in many ways Kitamura emulates the tenor of any number of best-selling thrillers—peripheral characters are suspect, motivations are occluded, etc.—but her spare prose and refusal to ever offer summary conclusions keeps things all the more mysterious. Various narrative threads are woven, but they never web into any settled understanding; the author’s tilt toward the existential peril of unknowing is fundamental to her sense of story ... Few things are more intimate (and terrifying) than the act of being in the world, and Kitamura’s evocative interrogation of our ability to know ourselves and others is reinforced by the strength of her spare, haunting prose.
MixedLibrary Journal... a heady, metaphor-rich mash-up of fairy tale–fantasy, cli-fi, and postapocalyptic fiction ... While Bell’s writing remains rich and surprising, too much feels derivative of similar works, and the twined threads are unequally successful and fail to pull together with much punch ... Loaded with ideas and often poignant in its ruminations, but also languorous and merely expository; there’s certainly no denying Bell’s ambition, but this work simply fails to take root.
RaveLibrary JournalThe book is impeccably structured ... it\'s Kelly\'s masterly balance of tone—as she shuttles her attention between such disparate traumas as sexual predation and the moment when two lovers\' bodies no longer seem to fit together—that will linger longest, resulting in moments of gentle, heartbreaking melancholy ... Kelly\'s second effort feels scraped raw, seeking to understand humanity in primal terms in the same way as her debut, but here building to even grander emotional and linguistic crescendo.