The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion is the first novella in the Danielle Cain series, which follows a queer woman who has lived on the road for years and is now investigating the death of a friend. This leads her to Freedom, Iowa, a small almost-utopian town in which anarchy apparently works. If we ignore the murderous three-antlered deer who loves to disembowel those who try to seize power, of course.
I thought this was a solid beginning for a series, but nothing more – and I wanted more from this premise. I’ve never read anything similar, and you’d think that a book about a deer-like demon and its ribcage-less cronies made from dead animals would be something more than “almost forgettable”, but if it hadn’t been for the ending, I doubt I would have anything to say about it at all. The setup and the creepy atmosphere were interesting, but there’s not much to the characters.
Don’t get me wrong, The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion was fine, it wasn’t bad, I just wanted something more than fine.
I have to say that with the ending I started to really enjoy the character’s dynamics, and these may be more developed in the sequel, The Barrow Will Send What It May (which I will consider reading). What this book said about anarchy and choices – will you become a monster to make sure your utopian future doesn’t have a place for monsters? – was really interesting to read as well.
Another thing I really liked about this was the diversity: there’s trans rep and there are also hints of a f/f romance – I didn’t care that much about the character themselves, as I don’t feel like I know them at all yet, but I liked that pairing.
My rating: ★★★¼