Book Reviews

Review: Ring Shout by P. Djèlí Clark

I devoured this in a day. Listening to Ring Shout via audio book was a transformative experience. This mix of historical fiction and fantasy novella combined with action and scenes of community was an instant win. Keep reading this book review to find out what I loved about the audio book.


D. W. Griffith is a sorcerer, and The Birth of a Nation is a spell that drew upon the darkest thoughts and wishes from the heart of America. Now, rising in power and prominence, the Klan has a plot to unleash Hell on Earth.

Luckily, Maryse Boudreaux has a magic sword and a head full of tales. When she’s not running bootleg whiskey through Prohibition Georgia, she’s fighting monsters she calls “Ku Kluxes.” She’s damn good at it, too. But to confront this ongoing evil, she must journey between worlds to face nightmares made flesh–and her own demons. Together with a foul-mouthed sharpshooter and a Harlem Hellfighter, Maryse sets out to save a world from the hate that would consume it.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

TW: racism, lynching

Part of what I love about Ring Shout was how clever it is. Clark takes this historical fiction setting, infuses it with magic and shows not only their racism, but the mixture of sorcery and magic to blur the lines between them. The racism that Maryse and her community is immersed in and struggling to figure out how to fight for their future. How they’re struggling to find a way to move forwards and to survive. And all I could think about is how we’re still struggling with this same fight today.

So apart from how obsessed I was with the historical fiction touches, the audio book brought the novella to life. The action scenes read, or listened, like a movie or tv show. Channie Waites is able to bring you to the battle. With the fear coursing through your veins and the fire on your back. Waites has such a way with differentiating the characters and even bringing a musical element to the experience. Ring Shout has incredibly emotional high and lows.

It’s a novella that asks us whether we give into our hate, revenge, and vengeance. Whether we sacrifice what is in our hearts for power. It’s also about a world in which they are struggling against corruption and racism. When we become the faces we observe from across the battle lines, how can we say we have won? Find Ring Shout on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound,,, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite audio book narrator?

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