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Undead Folk: An Observation in Grief Horror


I was lucky enough to receive an early reader for Undead Folk and it quite easily became my favorite Katherine Silva book to date. Katherine has always had a knack for selling dystopian landscapes and world building; this book was no exception. 


This story takes us through a post-apocalyptic earth told through the lense of grief, revenge, and heartbreak. Ella is someone I think most readers can readily identify with. This character packs in so many realistic pieces of humanity, it is hard not to connect with her. As we learn more about her and the story she is creating, it becomes clear that Ella will stop at nothing to get back a part of what she has lost. 


The use of magic in this feels effortless and natural; not necessarily an easy thing to do in a post-apocalyptic world. As Ella navigates her path with her companion, Amos, we’re faced with a lot of mystery and even anxiety. Amos doesn’t remember who he is and Ella isn’t ready to share. The questions build and build on top of each other and you’ll find yourself unable to stop until you get those answers. Vivid descriptions of the locations we come across, make it clear that this world is no longer meant for the average. Survival now depends on your ability to be quick on your feet and understanding the world around you.


The political structures in place were well broken down and discussed, to help give you the whole picture of how things work in this new way of life.  As we learn more about this place and the things that have happened within it, we are forced to face the disturbing reality of privileged decision making. 


I think the twist of this story is emotional and upsetting. I was strolling along, with Ella, on this journey and I felt like someone kicked me in the stomach. The emotion and pain in this is as raw as I’ve seen in a horror story. And as realistic as it gets. This book will make you feel things you weren’t prepared to feel and I think cements that Katherine Silva is an important voice in the grief subgenre of horror. Human beings are horrible creatures and when times change, we’d all have to find our place among the monsters. Do we become like them? Do we try and remain our former selves? Is it even possible to balance the two? 


When the world is over, wouldn’t you do anything to find peace from the things that broke you?


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