Review: Desert Creatures by Kay Chronister

Author: Kay Chronister
Publisher: Erewhon
Released: November 8, 2022
Received: Own (Aardvark)

3 kitties

Book Summary:

Magdala was born into a cruel world. It’s dry and hot, with very little to offer. While she and her father are fleeing their home, they are exposed to a new horror within the Sonoran Desert. A horror that will linger forever.

This puts Magdala on a new journey in life. At first, it’s a quest for survival. Then it’s a proper pilgrimage. But later? It morphs into something that defies definition, even by Magdala herself. One thing is certain, Magdala – and the whole desert – will never be the same.

My Review:

Huh. I’m not going to lie; I don’t entirely know what to make of Desert Creatures. I was initially drawn due to the promise of feminist fiction meets Western horror, and I certainly got what was billed. I’m just not sure how it made me feel.

On the one hand, certain elements were compelling. The zombie-like illness, for example. On the other hand, the religious aspects were often confusing or off-putting, in equal measure. However, that might be my personal bias showing through.

Kay Chronister certainly didn’t shy away from the dystopian elements of this story. It worked in some ways but probably could have used some fine-tuning in others. Ultimately, I almost feel like this book tried to do too much. Still, it was worth reading, so I don’t regret that.


  • Dystopian Fiction
  • Western Horror
  • Zombie Vibes
  • Feminist Fiction

Trigger Warnings:

  • Graphic Details
  • Death
  • Sexism
  • Implied Sexual Assault (discussed but not shown)

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About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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