Author: Claire Legrand
Publisher: Katherine Tegan Books
Released: February 22, 2022
Warnings: Animal death, sexism, sexual harassment, abuse, suicide, cannibalism, torture
Claire Legrand is back, but this time her fantasy world is much darker than her usual tales (which is saying something). Enter Extasia, an LGBTQ+ friendly horror novel full of the paranormal and more.
Extasia is the story of a girl turning saint – but not in the way you might expect. You see, she’s the saint only in the eyes of her cult. The elders have marked her to become a saint, making her stand out from a young age.
It will be her task, alongside her sisters, to head into the black mountain and deal with great evil. This evil has killed many adults. Once completed, this will prove that she and the others are saints.
Ouch. Extasia is arguably the roughest book I’ve read this year – and no, I am not referring to the quality of writing here. There’s just…a lot to deal with within these pages. Honestly, I almost put it down on more than one occasion.
What do I mean? Well, there are lots of warnings worth discussing; animal death, sexism, sexual harassment, abuse, suicide, cannibalism, and torture. These elements play a huge role in Extasia and thus can’t easily be skipped. So please do consider yourself warned. I mean it when I say it was almost too much for me sometimes. I had to take lots of breaks while reading, especially following the animal scenes.
It’s pretty clear, even from the description, that this story is about a girl in a cult. Thus, it doesn’t take long to become concerned about her well-being and eventual fate. Especially not once they start talking about her becoming a saint.
While Extasia was a lot to deal with, I think it opened the door for some interesting conversations and ideas. Amity’s character is strong, even before she gets her hands on power. Yet that very power forces her to enter a new realm of struggle.
Having sapphic characters and plots was a nice touch, if I may say so. It was a grounding (and positive) element of the book that I really appreciated seeing.
Thanks to Katharine Tegan Books and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
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