Creatures of Want and Ruin
Amityville baywoman Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine by night. It's dangerous work under Prohibition--independent operators like her are despised by federal agents and mobsters alike--but Ellie's brother was accepted to college and Ellie's desperate to see him go. So desperate that when wealthy strangers ask her to procure libations for an extravagant party Ellie sells them everything she has, including some booze she acquired under unusual circumstances. What Ellie doesn't know is that this booze is special. Distilled from foul mushrooms by a cult of diabolists, those who drink it see terrible things--like the destruction of Long Island in fire and flood. The cult is masquerading as a church promising salvation through temperance and a return to "the good old days," so it's hard for Ellie to take a stand against them, especially when her father joins, but Ellie loves Long Island, and she loves her family, and she'll do whatever it takes to ensure neither is torn apart.

Creatures of Want and Ruin Details

TitleCreatures of Want and Ruin
Author
ReleaseNov 13th, 2018
PublisherJohn Joseph Adams/Mariner Books
ISBN-139781328710253
Rating
GenreFantasy, Fiction, Historical

Creatures of Want and Ruin Review

  • Sh3llraiser
    January 1, 1970
    ERMAGHERD. So excited!Creatures of Will and Temper: ★★★★★
  • Lauren Stoolfire
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Review to come...
  • Deborah Ross
    January 1, 1970
    My introduction to the work of Molly Tanzer was her novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, a 19th century urban fantasy revolving around The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and demonic possession. Creatures of Want and Ruin takes place in the Roaring Twenties on Long Island, New York. The common thread between the two books is the role of demons controlling human lives. Demons take possession of people who freely agree to the arrangement, granting their hosts long life, wealth, beauty, or in this case th My introduction to the work of Molly Tanzer was her novel, Creatures of Will and Temper, a 19th century urban fantasy revolving around The Portrait of Dorian Gray, and demonic possession. Creatures of Want and Ruin takes place in the Roaring Twenties on Long Island, New York. The common thread between the two books is the role of demons controlling human lives. Demons take possession of people who freely agree to the arrangement, granting their hosts long life, wealth, beauty, or in this case the ability to detect falsehoods and to compel others to tell the truth. In exchange demons receive various experiences that can come about only through physical incarnation. Some demons are benign, but others are highly malevolent. Demons pass summoning instructions through generations or encoded in children’s books, as is the case here.In this story two women from very different walks of life encounter unsettling changes in the sleepy community of Amityville. (The Amityville Horror, it should be said, lies decades in the future and does not play a part in this story.) One of the women is a boat woman engaged in the moonshine smuggling trade during Prohibition. The other is the wife of a newly wealthy Gatsby type of social idler who finds herself increasingly alienated from her husband and his party loving, booze zwilling friends. Spooky things are afoot: illegal liquor that causes most people to hallucinate. a preacher who gathers bigger and bigger crowds, bent on ridding their community of immigrants and anyone who isn't a white Protestant. And creepiest of all, slimy fungus growths that appear and spread. As in the novel the characters are engaging and the story moves right along. The creepiness grows, step by Lovecraftian step. Just when you think nothing more terrible could happen, something else goes disastrously wrong. Stopping the white nationalist mob and defeating the fungus-monster necessitate finding out the truth, which is where the bargain with the demon comes in. There are moments of sweetness, of courage, and of terrible but necessary choices. I loved every page of it and I'm eagerly looking forward to Tanzer’s next. The usual disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book, but no one bribed me to say anything about it.
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  • Michelle
    January 1, 1970
    I wanted to like this so much. The storyline was intriguing, the cover was fantastic...I couldn’t wait to read it. But then I started it...and it went downhill from there. It took me ages to get through it because it felt like a chore. I ended up skimming it around 35%.The characters are unlikable. The conversations seemed forced and often uncomfortable. Actually the entire book was uncomfortable. Which could be purposeful, but it didn’t work for me. I think this may be a sequel, but this is my I wanted to like this so much. The storyline was intriguing, the cover was fantastic...I couldn’t wait to read it. But then I started it...and it went downhill from there. It took me ages to get through it because it felt like a chore. I ended up skimming it around 35%.The characters are unlikable. The conversations seemed forced and often uncomfortable. Actually the entire book was uncomfortable. Which could be purposeful, but it didn’t work for me. I think this may be a sequel, but this is my first book by this author. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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  • Devann
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissI really enjoyed Creatures of Will and Temper from this author, but I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. This isn't a sequel really so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy it, although I think they might have name dropped a few characters briefly. This story blends the supernatural elements of weird plants and demons with an unfortunately still all too realistic preacher who basically wants to 'make Long Island great again I received an ARC copy of this book from EdelweissI really enjoyed Creatures of Will and Temper from this author, but I had a bit of trouble getting into this one. This isn't a sequel really so you don't need to have read the first book to enjoy it, although I think they might have name dropped a few characters briefly. This story blends the supernatural elements of weird plants and demons with an unfortunately still all too realistic preacher who basically wants to 'make Long Island great again'. It's both an interesting piece of historical fiction and an incredibly relevant commentary on our society today. I honestly don't know why I had such trouble getting into it - it took me over two weeks to read - but I feel like if I was in a different mood it would have easily been a four star book. I would definitely recommend it to people who like historical fiction with awesome female protagonists.
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  • Erica
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ellie West navigates her skiff by moonlight distributing SJ's moonshine liquor to her local customers. Although it's not the safest or most proper job for a young woman, especially during the prohibition, Ellie needs the money to send her brother to medical school. During one of her deliveries a storm diverts her to the cove for shelter. Ellie sees a local man who appears to be injured lying on his boat. Ellie attemp I received an ARC of this novel via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Ellie West navigates her skiff by moonlight distributing SJ's moonshine liquor to her local customers. Although it's not the safest or most proper job for a young woman, especially during the prohibition, Ellie needs the money to send her brother to medical school. During one of her deliveries a storm diverts her to the cove for shelter. Ellie sees a local man who appears to be injured lying on his boat. Ellie attempts to help him but he becomes violent and tries to kill her. He doesn’t appear to be fully human with glowing eyes and black blood and Ellie accidently kills him trying to defend herself. Uncertain of what she witnessed, she steals a crate of unusual liquor from his smugglers hold and leaves, telling nobody what happened. When Ellie is asked to procure a large amount of booze for a local party, she gives them the strange brew. What Ellie doesn’t know is that it has been distilled by an evil cult using some very unusual mushrooms that cause anyone who drinks it to have horrible hallucinations like the annihilation of Long Island. Ellie must take a stand against the cult to protect her home and family before it's too late.Creatures of Want and Ruin is a fascinating fantasy/horror novel with a rebellious young protagonist who doesn’t bend to societal expectations. Ellie’s character is young, proud, and self-sufficient but she also has a vulnerability which prompts many of her local clients and friends to want to help her. When a local cult, masquerading as a religious group, converts her father and begins their attempts to eliminate anyone who is not part of the founding community, Ellie stands up to them. I really enjoyed the narrative and the setting of this novel and found it both interesting and entertaining to read. With diabolical cults, demonic accounts, and malevolent deeds, this novel was perfect for my fall reading list.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    It’s hard out there for a young woman with a bitter, disabled father who has to support her family and help pay for her polio-stricken brother’s medical college fees. Her only marketable skills are her ability to pilot a ship around Long Island and a certain disregard for being strictly legal. Fortunately, with Prohibition in place, a woman like Ellie West can make a fair amount of money running alcohol if she’s careful. And, indeed, Ellie is muddling along quite well until a storm at sea causes It’s hard out there for a young woman with a bitter, disabled father who has to support her family and help pay for her polio-stricken brother’s medical college fees. Her only marketable skills are her ability to pilot a ship around Long Island and a certain disregard for being strictly legal. Fortunately, with Prohibition in place, a woman like Ellie West can make a fair amount of money running alcohol if she’s careful. And, indeed, Ellie is muddling along quite well until a storm at sea causes her to bump into a supernatural problem way above her pay grade. Creatures of Want and Ruin, by Molly Tanzer, is the sequel to Creatures of Will and Temper. When I reviewed Creatures of Will and Temper, I called it a very slow burn of a novel. Creatures of Want and Ruin starts with a bang and never slows down. This book is a fantastic ride...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, for review consideration.
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  • Heather
    January 1, 1970
    Creatures of Want and Ruin takes readers back to the era of pulp fiction with its gothic atmosphere and horror-filled storyline. The main characters are Fin and Ellie, two strong heroes who fight for their homes in the face of demonic evil in prohibition-era Long Island. These two strong female characters are well developed and likeable, but in no way are they perfect. Their faults and weaknesses motivate their actions just as much. Unusually, the secondary characters are also very thoroughly dr Creatures of Want and Ruin takes readers back to the era of pulp fiction with its gothic atmosphere and horror-filled storyline. The main characters are Fin and Ellie, two strong heroes who fight for their homes in the face of demonic evil in prohibition-era Long Island. These two strong female characters are well developed and likeable, but in no way are they perfect. Their faults and weaknesses motivate their actions just as much. Unusually, the secondary characters are also very thoroughly drawn and play a large part in the story. Tanzer’s novel is fantastic and thrilling but doesn’t move quickly. Instead of being action-filled, the focus is on the characters and the concept and battle of the over-reaching evil. The setting and time period lend credence to the story and instigate the events at the beginning of it, but are not a major part of the plot itself. I recommend Creatures of Want and Ruin for fans of 1920’s and 30’s pulp fiction such as Weird Tales or H.P. Lovecraft.
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  • Joe Crowe
    January 1, 1970
    (Review thanks to a very early advance copy.) Author Molly Tanzer could have easily done a reprise of her first novel and that would have been awesome -- Creatures of Will and Temper is excellent. Check it out -- it's a reimagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray, but with cults and fencing. But Tanzer does the unexpected here for the second novel in a series. The first one was in Victorian London. This one is set during Prohibition, and diabolists make moonshine that causes people to have terribl (Review thanks to a very early advance copy.) Author Molly Tanzer could have easily done a reprise of her first novel and that would have been awesome -- Creatures of Will and Temper is excellent. Check it out -- it's a reimagining of The Picture of Dorian Gray, but with cults and fencing. But Tanzer does the unexpected here for the second novel in a series. The first one was in Victorian London. This one is set during Prohibition, and diabolists make moonshine that causes people to have terrible visions. (In other words, just like real moonshine! I'm from Alabama. Trust me.) Tanzer recreates the era in thrilling style, with all the Prohibition-era trappings. It's an era that few in SF or fantasy ever explore, but it's too late now, because Tanzer beat them to it. This one is cool and fun, and well worth a re-read. Enjoy it with a lovely Mason jar of moonshine. Preferably the kind not made by a diabolical cult.
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  • Veronica
    January 1, 1970
    I love that this doesn't necessarily have to be read as part of a series.
  • Angel Hench
    January 1, 1970
    Creatures of Want & Ruin stars Ellie West, a young woman who know what she wants. She supports her parents and brother by delivering illegal moonshine to customers at night. It's prohibition, you know. She's got a fiancee who likes that she also has a boyfriend, and she's working to get her whip-smart brother to college. Everything's on track until a reverend starts to preach about safeguarding the genetic purity of Long Island and Ellie's POS father seems to be willing to join up. Thing is, Creatures of Want & Ruin stars Ellie West, a young woman who know what she wants. She supports her parents and brother by delivering illegal moonshine to customers at night. It's prohibition, you know. She's got a fiancee who likes that she also has a boyfriend, and she's working to get her whip-smart brother to college. Everything's on track until a reverend starts to preach about safeguarding the genetic purity of Long Island and Ellie's POS father seems to be willing to join up. Thing is, there's demonic influence around, creepy figures are skulking about and some strange things keep growing out of the earth. Lots to love about this story (and that cover!) that is released in November, so put it on your watch list. in the meantime, go read Creatures of Will and Temper by Ms. Tanzer.(A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.)
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  • Becky Spratford
    January 1, 1970
    Review on blog and Booklist Magazine [11/1/18]: http://raforall.blogspot.com/2018/11/...
  • Annarella
    January 1, 1970
    A creepy, enthralling, and entertaining book. I loved the style of writing and the characters.The plot hooked me since the beginning and I had to read it as fast as I can.As far as I understand this is a series but I had no problems in understanding the plot or the characters and their relationship.Recommended!Many thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Netgalley for this ARC
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  • Bwandungi Mugarura
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.What is this book about?---------------------------Ellie is a bootlegger, selling liquor to people up and down the south bay in Amityville. During a heavy storm, a man (who is known to her) seems high on some rainbow stuff (it's dribbling down his chin) and tries to kill her.Fin is in a marriage that is souring and she's watching it slowly circle the drain into nothingness.Both women are drawn into an unlikely friends I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.What is this book about?---------------------------Ellie is a bootlegger, selling liquor to people up and down the south bay in Amityville. During a heavy storm, a man (who is known to her) seems high on some rainbow stuff (it's dribbling down his chin) and tries to kill her.Fin is in a marriage that is souring and she's watching it slowly circle the drain into nothingness.Both women are drawn into an unlikely friendship where together with a band of non-whites (and one person of Polish descent) they will uncover a plot to return Amityville back to the "good middle days".Overall impression---------------------The author is a skilled writer, weaving a tale with vivid descriptions that draw you all the way into these characters and their lives. The only drawback is that the story was SOOOOOOOO slow. I kept skipping ahead and then turning back because I was impatient to find out what happened.Who will love this book--------------------------1. People who enjoy seeing the good guys win.2. Those who are interested in complex characters.3. Those who've ever tried to defend their homes from "invading forces".I have more thoughts down below! ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓***** SPOILERS AHEAD ************SPOILERS BEGINNING - Watch out! ****** ↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓↓Stuff liked-----------1. This book was very well written with tons of interesting descriptions (which I'm stealing) and large as life characters who were mostly well developed.2. Bravo for trying to tackle issues we're all dealing with right now that show how sometimes things change and sometimes things just really stay the same.Stuff that made me go hmmm---------------------------------1. I couldn't figure Ellie out. Her character was quite unlike any other I've come across and on the whole quite unlikeable. I couldn't pin her down. One would imagine that a bootlegger isn't so concerned about how people consume their alcohol.2. Her relationship with Gabriel. Hmmmmm. I'd be better convinced if it weren't quite so wholesome on the surface when all this cuckhold business is boiling just underneath the surface.3. Very "white saviour-y". But then again we know that xenophobic white people listen better to their own people so... dunno. Made me a little uncomfortable.Stuff I didn't like------------------1. Jones the Cuban uses the word Polack, but other people are bigots?2. Right after Lester and Ellie fight (after she was almost killed by crazy-rainbow-drooler), there was dissolving into giggles. It seemed oddly out of place. AND it wasn't indicative of "conversation without words". Felt rushed into their familial happy feelings instead of letting the heat of their anger and disappointment take their course.3. So, the hunter sisters look alike. Why would that elicit disgust? Are twins disgusting? Triplets? Any multiples that make anyone cringe. That was weird.I think all these were just to highlight how strange and weird the shifting emotions in these characters were. Dissolving into giggles (Ellie giggled a LOT, which is hard to take from anyone who isn't 6 years old. I just realized I'm a curmudgeon).Would have been 5 stars coz the writing was truly excellent, but MC was too weird and my emotions were being rushed, and yet the action was sooooo achingly slow. I can truly say I've never felt like this reading any book. I'll be looking out for other works from this author.
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  • KatieRose
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. Tanzer's "Creatures of Want and Ruin" is a sequel to a previous work, which I haven't read, but I found it immersive and compelling. Set on Long Island during Prohibition, it encircles Ellie, a fisher and booze runner, and Fin, a socialite summering on the island. These two very different women are drawn together when a charismatic preacher comes to town--along with demons, creeping mushrooms, and revival meetings decrying immigrants to the island. Creepy and populated with a host of 3.5 stars. Tanzer's "Creatures of Want and Ruin" is a sequel to a previous work, which I haven't read, but I found it immersive and compelling. Set on Long Island during Prohibition, it encircles Ellie, a fisher and booze runner, and Fin, a socialite summering on the island. These two very different women are drawn together when a charismatic preacher comes to town--along with demons, creeping mushrooms, and revival meetings decrying immigrants to the island. Creepy and populated with a host of interesting characters and relationships, "Creatures of Want and Ruin" should appeal to fans of Kelley Armstrong, Mercedes Lackey, Naomi Novik, and historical fantasy that's firmly grounded in everyday life. Netgalley review.
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  • Lydia Timpson
    January 1, 1970
    Did not finish at 32%.I agreed to give an honest opinion in exchange for a free copy of this book from net galley.Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine at night. Her customers all over the small island. One night she finds alchol bowed under odd conditions and out of desperation sells it to a newcomer to the area.This sets off a chain of demonic activity that could ruin her island home forever.I really tried to like this book but I just couldn't get into it. I didn't find the character Did not finish at 32%.I agreed to give an honest opinion in exchange for a free copy of this book from net galley.Ellie West fishes by day and bootlegs moonshine at night. Her customers all over the small island. One night she finds alchol bowed under odd conditions and out of desperation sells it to a newcomer to the area.This sets off a chain of demonic activity that could ruin her island home forever.I really tried to like this book but I just couldn't get into it. I didn't find the characters particularly sympathetic or engaging and I didn't care what happened to them. It was slow going and I had to force myself to get as far as I did.The writing style was nice but that was about all I can say.
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  • Mathilda Robarts
    January 1, 1970
    I was super intrigued by the cover and description, and liked it at the beginning. It became a little stagnant in pace and then seemed to pick up again. There are a few little errors that can be picked up with another proofread, just some awkward phrasings and such. Otherwise it was a good story. Great concept.
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