Demon hunter Danielle Cain returns in Margaret Killjoy’s The Barrow Will Send What It May, the quick-rebound sequel to The Lion Will Slaughter the Lamb. Danielle, Brynn, Vulture, Doomsday, and Thursday head north from the scene of the crime with hipster magic feds on their tails and run into a local necromancer in rural Montana. Margaret Killjoy’s first Danielle Cain novel left a tough act to follow, but The Barrow Well Send What It May provides adventure and romance for the ragtag crew of demon-hunters who call nowhere home.
Danielle learns about trusting the people she’s demon-hunting with in this new adventure. We see new sides to Brynn, besides her quiet nature, as their romance begins in earnest. Furthermore, since they need to run from the law they get a chance to sample and document more of the DIY localist culture of the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states.
However, the second novel feels rushed. The characters connect far too quickly with some anarchist librarians they meet with a large collection of spellbooks. Furthermore, they frequently come to conclusions to magical problems that their new friends in Montana already know about, but seem to have no will to resolve themselves. It seems to take our heroes half the effort to fight the undead that the rest of characters put into the fight. Danielle’s adventures show a breakneck intensity, but cannot seem to shake the confusion that comes with such a fast pace.
Danielle Cain and her friends’ most interesting aspect so far has been the road trip through middle America’s underbelly. She and her gang encounter diversity and horror monsters across all stripes in areas of the country that too often get swept up in wide generalizations. While the local flavor and the underrepresented characters take center stage, the abbreviated nature of the series limits a powerful story.
Check out Margaret Killjoy’s website or Tor.com for more info on this unfolding series.
Three stars out of five.
Page count: 144
Favorite quote: “You got to the good part, with the apocalypse, and you had what? Resurrector’s remorse?”