The girl who wouldn’t die – hunting a killer who shouldn’t exist.
In Depression-era Chicago, Harper Curtis finds a key to a house that opens on to other times. But it comes at a cost. He has to kill the shining girls: bright young women, burning with potential. He stalks them through their lives across different eras, leaving anachronistic clues on their bodies, until, in 1989, one of his victims, Kirby Mazrachi, survives and turns the hunt around. Source
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.