Lets flag this from the beginning if you love Caribbean Folklore, Steampunk, Alternate History, Sapphic Rep, Human and Gods living as one then y’all need to go ahead and get this book right now. Stop playing and head over to your favorite bookstore or online book hub and purchase this immediately.
If you have decided to continue to the review because you need some convincing I got you.
Lets Break it Down:
In this world, it is 1884 and the Civil War has split the country in half permanently. New Orleans is neutral ground because free people and the previously enslaved that ran away from the Confederate South fought against the powers that be to make it so. In this world New Orleans is a port to everyone and is covered by big iron walls called “Les Grand Murs” to protect from devastating storms. People and Gods live as one and nothing is too weird for this version of the city. We get a vivid look at what a Steampunk New Orleans would look like.
Creeper is a young orphaned girl with the ability to listen to the wind. The Yoruba Orisha of wind, Oya speaks to her and sends her visions. She is a young girl that aspires to take to the sky and become crew of an airship. In order to do so she takes top secret information to a captain that is more like her than she knows.
One of the reasons that I enjoyed her character was because how sure she was a person. She knows what she wants, understands what her place in the world, and maneuvers her world with a certainty that I find myself envious of. I am sure you can’t have an Orisha in you and go on in life without gaining some wisdom.
Supporting Character/Second Protagonist:
Captain Ann Marie is the captain of the airship Midnight Robber that ship that Creeper wants to become a member of. She is a badass captain with a mechanical leg attracted to multiple genders. She is headstrong, has a commanding presence and cannot be messed with.
My Favorite Side Characters:
The Sisters of the Sacred Family know everything that is happening in New Orleans. Nothing can happen in New Orleans without them finding out about it. They are not your run of the mill everyday nuns that is for sure.
Feral, a young orphan taken in by the sisters is a biter. That is the first thing you learn about her. She knows her way around the swamp and is not much of a talker but knows how to leave a lasting impression.
The Black Gods Drum proves that you can create an intricate world in under 115 pages. This novelette was jam packed with action, character development, and P. Djeli Clark shows you that its not the amount of pages but the quality of work.
The melding of history, African & Caribbean Folklore with futuristic elements is perfectly otherworldly. From page one you are drawn into this version of New Orleans. I personally loved this book and would read a series on these characters in a heart beat.
I would recommend this to everybody but especially to those who find Fantasy and Sci-fi intimidating and want an introduction to it first.
Let me know in the comment section if this is something you would read or if you did what did you like about it?