Dehiscent by Ashley Deng | Book Review

How about a little eco horror today?

Dehiscent by Ashley Deng

Released August 2023

Source: Received for Review Consideration

Goodreads  | Amazon

As the world’s climate swings rapidly between oppressively hot and freezing cold, the remnants of civilization huddle in small communities to scrape together what they can to survive.

All except the Zhu family.

Yi has lived in her ancestral house her entire life, sheltered and safe from the scarcity that plagues her community. Her family enjoys a secret life of running water, electricity, and an abundance of food.

But as Yi seeks a way to share their fortune, she learns the terrible secret of the Zhu house.

DEHISCENT is an Eco-Horror tale of a future that has practically arrived, and the humanity that lurks in the most inhuman of places.

Cover art and illustrations by Ivy Teas.

My 2 Cents for Free!

Dehiscent is a quiet, ominous tale of climate catastrophe. It’s likely not too far off in our own future too unless the people with power grow some empathy and wake the eff up.

Yi is twelve and has lived her entire life in a world ravaged by waves of extreme heat and cold. Her family lives in a home that provides them everything they need and she’s never questioned any of it. It’s just how it is. Lately, she’s struggling to understand it and longs to share some of their bounty with her classmates even though it’s strictly forbidden. Her family refuses to tell her why or the how of it. As she starts to notice more of the devastation that surrounds them, and stumbles across something horrific, the more she begins to question why they don’t struggle for scraps the way her classmates and their families do and she starts to play at the edges of rebellion.

This is a beautiful slow burn of a horror story with some gorgeous illustrations. It’s written at a leisurely pace as Yi goes about her day-to-day life showing the reader more of her world and glimpses of how terrible things are for others and how much of an absolute ruin the world has become. The description of her home, in all its weird glory, paints a picture of cozy warmth. It’s an abyss in an otherwise cruel world. But what is the cost? Because there is always a cost.

Yi is a compassionate, sensitive soul growing up in a world filled with devastation and death. She fears death at every corner and her fear is justified. This sounds incredibly depressing but there are seeds of hope here too. The world needs more Yi’s in it and more weird little stories like this one.



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