Even Though I Knew The End
by C.L. PolkGenres: Fantasy, Mystery
A magical detective dives into the affairs of Chicago's divine monsters to secure a future with the love of her life. This sapphic period piece will dazzle anyone looking for mystery, intrigue, romance, magic, or all of the above.
An exiled augur who sold her soul to save her brother's life is offered one last job before serving an eternity in hell. When she turns it down, her client sweetens the pot by offering up the one payment she can't resist—the chance to have a future where she grows old with the woman she loves.
To succeed, she is given three days to track down the White City Vampire, Chicago's most notorious serial killer. If she fails, only hell and heartbreak await.
I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This is a rather late review of a book I adored, because it seems I never ported over the review!
I pick up Tor.com’s novellas pretty much automatically these days, because 9.9 times out of 10, I’m in for a good (or at least an interesting) time. Even Though I Knew The End is no exception, featuring a sapphic love story, demons, deals at the crossroads, and a little detective fiction. I say a little, because although the character is a detective, that’s mostly just the framework that the rest hangs on. We don’t see a lot of serious detecting.
For those who loved Supernatural when it was on air (with all its flaws), and resonated with the sacrifices Dean made for Sam, this one’s definitely up your street. Our protagonist sold her soul for her brother’s life long ago, and her time’s almost up. In her last days, she investigates a bloody killing, tracking down the people who were possessed in order to do the murder, and discovering some secrets about her own partner into the bargain.
Because it’s a novella, everything has to get sketched in quickly, from the worldbuilding to the characters’ backstories to the love between Helen and Edith, and it works really well. I can be picky about how well novellas handle their scope, but Polk gets it right here.
My only problem is that the ending definitely left me sad. I’d been thinking at first that I might get a copy for my sister, but I try my best not to give her any tragic lesbians — the world has done enough of that already. So do be aware that this ends with a certain degree of queer tragedy; I won’t say more than that, for spoilers’ sake.