Q: What is the first/most recent book that you lost sleep reading/thinking about?
A: I have a vivid imagination and an obsessive personality so I frequently lose sleep over books, but one of my most memorable reads so far this year is Hell Bent, the second book in Leigh Bardugo’s Alex Stern series. Much like the first book, Ninth House, Hell Bent manages to be equal parts thought-provoking and positively bonkers. It’s an unflinching look at class, gender, and racial conflict. It’s an exploration of the transformative power of trauma. It shines a light at the darkness that lies within us all. It does all of that, while also having naked demons, ghosts, frat boy vampires, and other similarly attention-grabbing plot devices and twists. I laughed, I cried, I said ‘whaaaat’ and ‘nooooo’ outloud to myself several times while reading. Truly, Hell Bent is a standard-setting masterpiece of dark academia.
Elizabeth Raphael’s story “The Conch Shell”
in Metaphorosis Friday, 12 May 2023.
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