To Be Devoured by Sara Tantlinger

Edition:
Kindle E-book (using my Kindle Unlimited free trial because I’m stupid poor)

Synopsis (GoodReads):
What does carrion taste like? Andi has to know. The vultures circling outside her home taunt and invite her to come understand the secrets hiding in their banquet of decay. Fascination morphs into an obsessive need to know what the vultures know. Andi turns to Dr. Fawning, but even the therapist cannot help her comprehend the secrets she’s buried beneath anger-induced blackouts.

Her girlfriend, Luna, tries to help Andi battle her inner darkness and infatuation with the vultures. However, the desire to taste dead flesh, to stitch together wings of her own and become one with the flock sends Andi down a twisted, unforgivable path. Once she understands the secrets the vultures conceal, she must decide between abandoning the birds of prey or risk turning her loved ones into nothing more than meals to be devoured.

My Thoughts:
Ok, so I took this book out on Unlimited immediately after seeing the following review (name omitted for obvious reasons):

I know my reaction was not particularly mature, but…that shit is FUNNY. Also, they are totally within the realm of my bag.Nothing makes me want to see/read something more than knowing that someone, somewhere had a weirdly puritanical reaction to it. Like, of all the stuff here that could have bothered this person, they chose the…lesbian sex? That was what did you in? Mmmmkay.

“I am a body learning to consume other bodies. There are no wrong bodies here when the meat is all dead and just food. I could never explain this to Dr. Fawning, and probably never to Luna.”

But no, definitely take issue with the ‘lesbian sex’ part…

It is amazing the speed with which Andi’s obsession with the vultures takes over every single aspect of her life. Although she begins the story in a relatively okay place, after her girlfriend Luna is unhappy with a gift that Andi spent a lot of time and energy making for her, she descends quickly into total madness. I don’t want to divulge too much though since this is such a short story, so I’ll stop there.

But I will say that this is an absolutely standout short story. Sara’s got a talent as a wordsmith that I can’t even find an appropriate comparison to. This book is, to borrow some highbrow descriptions, both lyrical and evocative. It’s visceral. It’s disturbing. Disgusting. Terrifying. IFUCKINGLOVEIT.

UPDATED TO ADD:
This book is now officially a Bram Stoker Award Nominee for Long Fiction. You can see the whole list at the HWA site here.

About the Author (from her website):

Sara Tantlinger is the Bram Stoker Award-winning author of The Devil’s Dreamland: Poetry Inspired by H.H. Holmes. Her other books include Love for Slaughter and To Be Devoured. She resides outside of Pittsburgh on a hill in the woods. She graduated from Seton Hill University with a BA in English literature and creative writing, and later with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction.

Her love of horror started in middle school where she discovered the Fear Street and Goosebumps books. Some of her favorite writers include Edgar Allan Poe, William Blake, Kate Chopin, Stephen King, Sylvia Plath, Caroline Kepnes, Clive Barker, Gillian Flynn, Richard Siken, Sierra DeMulder, and Catherynne Valente.

When she’s not writing, reading, or researching, Sara enjoys coffee, music, movies, and is prone to over-attachment to fictional characters and cats.

She also possesses a collection of sea glass and shark teeth fossils, which make her want to move to the seaside as soon as possible. She is a member of the SFPA, an active member of the HWA, a poetry editor for the Oddville Press, and a college instructor.

Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m going to find absolutely everything she has ever written, and, well…I’m going to absolutely devour it (#sorrynotsorry). And I’m going to pick up a physical copy as soon as I can manage it.

To Be Devoured
By Sara Tantlinger
Unnerving
Horror
ISBN: 1989206255
Published: July 29, 2019
Price: $4.99 (USD, e-book)
E-book, Paperback
131 Pages
Author's Website: https://saratantlinger.com/

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