Some of the truest horrors are those perpetrated by people. In fact, many read horror as a way of dealing with the many terrible and evil things in this world. 

Ring Shout by P. Djeli Clark is not subtle in its characterization of evil. In this historical supernatural fiction novella, D.W. Griffith is a sorcerer who used the film “Birth of a Nation” as a spell that harnessed all of the prejudice and hate in America to create genuine monsters. Many members of the KKK transform into these Lovecraftian-like things, and to make matters worse, there’s about to be another public viewing of the film in Georgia which might just release Hell on earth.

Luckily, Maryse is an excellent warrior who fights these evils using magic swords and the help of a couple of talented good friends. 

The title itself refers to a religious singing and dance circle, clapping and chanting. There were many things I learned from Ring Shout, in truth. My favorite line comes from one of the monster hunters who explained why they didn’t just outright kill the clan members before they turned into beasts, and that was because while we’re alive, we all have a chance to “get it right.”

This little book has a lot to say, and it says it with humor. There’s a lot of heart included as well, so be ready for the pulls on the heart strings. I acquired this audiobook from my excellent library, and I thoroughly enjoyed Channie Waites’ entertaining narration of P. Djeli Clark’s Ring Shout. The book won a ‘21 Nebula Award, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s won many other awards as well.