RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewThink City Upon a Hill ideals and The Scarlet Letter-style misogyny and you’ll have a pretty good idea of this sly debut novel, which scarily hints that, since the 19th century, perhaps not a whole lot has changed ... There’s plenty to mull over between the puzzling fowl, the classroom dynamics and our complicated protagonist’s eerie ability to better intuit how to police her young female charges than Samuel can. Best of all is Beams’s tone: ironic and arch when relaying the spirited optimism of Samuel’s precious experiments, urgent and sinister when depicting their nightmarish outcomes. Astoundingly original, this impressive debut belongs on the shelf with your Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler collections.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review... wrestles with the idea that a central struggle of humanity is to fit in while also standing out — to be normal, but not ordinary. This theme can be found on every page, though I wouldn’t say any two stories are alike ... Wurzbacher deploys her encyclopedic command of various ideas, regions, professions and lexicons with the authority of seasoned masters like Adam Johnson. This is a writer at the top of her game; but hopefully she’s only just getting started.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewLok has written the kind of understated book you catch yourself thinking about weeks after you finish it. Absorbing and deeply human, these characters...feel more like people you might’ve known than like fictitious renderings of Lok’s imagination. A pleasure to read and mull over for days.