I first heard of Lauren Beukes when Zoo City popped up on Siren’s suggested reading list a few years ago. I loved Zoo City! It had a bad-ass Black female protagonist and I felt like the book was a modern, black retelling of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass.
As much as I loved Zoo City, there was nothing special about the writing style. So I was shocked and blown away by The Shining Girls. The Shining Girls was a pleasure to listen to (I used a Playaway). The details, the settings, and the language was nothing short of beautiful. I felt like I was watching/listening to an artist paint a masterpiece. A
Beukes was not afraid to use her brush strokes to paint exquisitely horrific pictures. The scenes were so gruesome at times that I had to turn the player off because I was sick to my stomach. In that respect, she’d give George R. R. Martin a run for his money on crazy gruesomeness.
The antagonist in The Shining Girls is a serial killer with the ability to travel through time to kill his victims. Because of the the time travel angle, I thought it would be more science-fictioney. But Beukes never fully explained how time travel possible. I didn’t mind that time travel was never fully explained, but it could throw more critical readers off.
It was definitely a great book. I highly recommend it.
-I wonder if the the little mix of sci-fi and the mainstream literature counts as magical realism.