Book Review – The Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste

This book, like others I own, had been rotting (rusting?) away on my Kindle for far too long. On a number of occasions, whilst perusing the very long list of potential next reads, my thumb has paused over it but I’ve always kept scrolling. I don’t know the reason for this, perhaps somewhere in my sub-conscience a voice told me I wouldn’t enjoy it. But I finally ignored the voices in my head and took the plunge.

Why had I waited so long? This was a cracking read. How can such a sad story be so enjoyable? Essentially this is a tale of five girls undergoing a tragic body transformation which no one has any answers to. These girls, well, rust away. OK, I should have expected this from the title, I know.

The story is told by Phoebe, who witnessed the events of this ‘illness’ firsthand, and is now returning to her childhood home where everything is just as depressing as it was years ago. The narrative jumps between the past and present with ease, with the perfect blend of cliffhangers and suspense.

Cleveland is a desolate place here, and the mood depicted really puts you there, although you’d rather be anywhere else. The body horror at play is never too gross-out described (although I would have loved that) but gives you just enough to let your imagination run wild with the horrors. Rusty bones exposed through paper-like flesh, with jagged glass fingers – you get the picture.

I won’t divulge any more plot points because I’m kind like that. But if you’re after a different kind of body horror experience then you can’t go too wrong with this one.

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