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New Treasures: Creatures of Want and Ruin by Molly Tanzer

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

Creatures of Will and Temper-small Creatures of Want and Ruin-small

When Molly Tanzer’s novel Creatures of Will and Temper was published last year, I confidently predicted that it would be huge.

Molly Tanzer’s Creatures of Will and Temper looks like a breakout book. It’s got all the classic elements — fabulous setting, swordplay, and the supernatural — while also being totally original. And there’s no doubt in my mind that Molly is poised for a break-out. Her first novel Vermilion received rave reviews (“A splendid page-turner of a Weird West adventure… hugely entertaining” — Publishers Weekly), and her most recent book was the anthology Swords vs Cthulhu, co-edited with Jesse Bullington. How cool is that?

I’m pleased to see that the book was very warmly received — it was nominated for the Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel, and critics praised it widely. Jeff VanderMeer said it was “A delightful, dark, and entertaining romp,” and Outlander author Diana Gabaldon called it “An artful, witty, Oscar Wilde pastiche with the heart of a paranormal thriller.”

Molly’s follow up, Creatures of Want & Ruin, arrived from John Joseph Adams Books last month, and was selected as a Barnes & Noble Best Science Fiction Fantasy Book of November 2018. Tor.com‘s Liz Bourke calls it “A measured, atmospheric novel, with compelling characters and a deeply disturbing undercurrent of horror,” and the B&N Sci-Fi Blog says “Molly Tanzer does it all; from her debut novel, named best book of 2015 by i09, to the “thoughtful erotica” she edits at her magazine, Congress, she’s proven to be one of the most distinct voices in contemporary SFF.”

[Click the images for supersized versions.]

But my favorite review (so far) is from Craft Sequence author Max Gladstone, who writes:

Once again Molly Tanzer demonstrates a bootlegger’s knack for transforming glorious pulpy material into human spirit. Creatures of Want and Ruin is a riveting two-fisted weird pulp adventure with demons, smuggling, sex, archery, cults, and crime… Great fun!

Here’s the back covers of both books (click for bigger versions).

Creatures of Will and Temper-back-small Creatures of Want and Ruin-back-small

Creatures of Want and Ruin was published by John Joseph Adams Books Paper on November 13, 2018. It is 352 pages, priced at $16.99 in trade paperback and $9.99 for the digital edition.

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

3 Comments »

  1. More and more I seem to be influenced by cover art, and I find these unpleasant. In the bookstore, I probably wouldn’t pick this up to look closer. I’m afraid reading the back didn’t encourage me either.

    Comment by R.K. Robinson - December 18, 2018 1:18 pm

  2. I know exactly what you mean about trusting cover art. A talented designer can signal a great deal about a book with the cover, and anyone who’s been buying books for a few years learns to read the signs.

    Can I tell whether I’ll like a book just from the cover? No, but it turns out it’s frequently a better indicator than back cover text, and sometimes even word-of-mouth. Cover designers know their stuff, and they speak a unique language.

    Comment by John ONeill - December 18, 2018 5:38 pm

  3. To me, the covers suggest dark antique mysteries and I want to jump in and uncover them. To each their own.

    Comment by jeffreycrogers - December 19, 2018 2:00 am


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