PositiveLocusThe Strange wouldn’t be half as good without Ballingrud’s extraordinary characterization ... Diversity is touched on only briefly. To its credit, it never feels crass and exploitative, yet never feels thorough ... The narrative might be uneven, but I enjoyed it immensely.
Catherynne M. Valente
Ravenerds of a feather, flock togetherIt’s novella-length but its wordsmithery is so honeyed that it breezes by quicker than any book this size I’ve read. It finishes in a wholly satisfying way, but even so, I couldn’t help but look back at the pages and hope to be immersed in it forever ... every sentence is sublime. While the story has a tall order by being conjoined with writing with colossal intimidation, it more than rises to the occasion. It’s layered, paced and escalated skillfully, and has more than enough subtext for scores of analyses ... its unique and enigmatic atmosphere/setting not only submerged me in its pages, but propelled me to find out how everything fit together. I thought a bunch of the strange happenings couldn’t possibly dovetail into a satisfying conclusion. I was wrong. The twists are of biblical proportions with the sweet and tart taste of an apple. If you take a bite, you’re more than likely to end up devouring the entire thing.
RaveFiyahNo Gods, No Monsters is something special ... Reading it was a transformative experience that changed itself up constantly, always keeping me on my toes, spotlighting ideas of prejudice, regret, grief, and what constitutes a monster in new angles that altered my perception of them ... The novel’s kaleidoscopic breadth in its plot and characters is always illuminating but never blinding. It’s able to offer a grand scope without losing direction, managing characters that might seem disconnected at first into a more-than-satisfying unifying thread ... No Gods, No Monsters may feel meandering at times, but by the end of the novel, everything fit and made sense. The story shifts with entrancing and calculated disorientation. But even when characters and worlds intersected and switched, one thing was invariably certain: No Gods, No Monsters is a masterfully executed feat and more than worthy of a read.