Emma is hitchhiking across the United States, trying to outrun a violent, tragic past, when she meets Lowell, the hot-but-dumb driver she hopes will take her as far as the Badlands. But Lowell is not as harmless as he seems, and a vicious scuffle leaves Emma bloody and stranded in an abandoned town in the Black Hills with an out-of-gas van, a loaded gun, and a snowstorm on the way.
I love books that make me feel uncomfortable. I love books that crawl into an invisible space under my ribs and stay there like a twitching parasite. Rachel Eve Moulton's Tinfoil Butterfly did both ... a brutal, incredibly bizarre exploration of insanity, guilt, love, and the darkness inside all of us ... This novel is a hybrid monster that's part Lovecraftian nightmare and part literary exploration of evil, all set in a town reminiscent of the Silent Hill video games. Its atmosphere is as dark as fresh asphalt and the conversations between Emma and Earl are as weird as anything Joe Lansdale ever wrote ... The blood and violence are strong here, but the poetry is just as powerful. This is a debut novel, but Moulton writes with the strength and confidence of a seasoned writer ... eerie, atmospheric, and almost unbearably dreary. Every time you think it can't get worse, Moulton delivers another hit, another bleak revelation, another unnerving vision. She fully engages with the weirdness of the place and never shies away from gore. However, the most important thing about this horrific read is that it doesn't need monsters to scare you — just cancer, heartbreak, abuse, and cocaine, all of which are normal things in our world. Now do yourself a favor and let Moulton's darkness invade your blood.
... doesn’t follow any conventions ... This debut novel is braided together with so many invaluable tools for surviving trauma, and the end of times, through nontraditional relationships. Queerness is centered in this narrative like the prize jewel it is: hard won, and with incredible strength ... This story is a triumph, both of will and of craft. It is always vital to remember that queerness can be celebrated and fought for, and having novels that accomplish this with grace and aplomb make these stories timeless.
A creepy locale and a terrifying, larger-than-life villain give this debut novel its chills, while terrors of the human kind—abuse, drug addiction, self-harm—give it heft ... Horror fans looking for a beach read will find it in this plot-driven, page-turning novel—but they shouldn’t expect a tidy ending.