Here at Houston Press we've followed the rise of Carmilla Voiez and her brand of dark, gothic, and sensual horror ever since her first novel Starblood debuted. Since the end of that trilogy of magical massacres she's moved on to less spectral, but no less sinister subjects. The Ballerina and the Revolutionary is by far the best Voiez has yet done.
It's the story of a young, gender-queer woman born Giselle but who now goes by the name Crow. She fled her mentally ill mother's home when she was 13, and now lives in London squatting with anarchists and taking every opportunity to clash with the police in the name of a cause. Suddenly, her brother shows up in her life and brings her home to see their mother on her deathbed, and Crow is forced to return to a house that may be haunted by more than memories.
The novel represents a bold new style of Voiez. In the Starblood trilogy her characters tended towards an obsession to the carnal and physical that often left them slaves to their own desires. By contrast Crow is a near-asexual presence that holds off physicality at arms length with an armor of razor shop emotional quills. She finds her definition in opposition, her pleasure in the pain of cutting her arm or the slam of a riot cop's shield against her head. She'd make a terrific villain if she wasn't in so tragic a set of circumstances.More »