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Corrupted Vessels: Briar Ripley Page – a book review


This diminutive paperback (4 x 6 inches or 10 x 15 cm) includes two stories.


The first, "Corrupted Vessels", is a novella narrated by Ash, River and Linden. Ash is an enigmatic, twenty-something-year-old, non-binary prophet who speaks to angels. While River is a fifteen-year-old transboy who worships the ground Ash walks on.

 

The strange but symbiotic relationship changes when Linden enters their lives. Ash believes that Linden’s appearance takes them a step closer to finding all four elemental vessels; but first, Linden must be pushed to open their mind to the angels’ voices and accept that the three of them belong together.

But “Earth is the most crude and concrete of the elements […] The least spiritually attuned.”

The second, "New Eden", is a short story about a post-apocalyptic cult led by the wife-collecting and heavily tattooed Father Joshua. The arrival of a stranger represents the apple of forbidden knowledge. What will the girls and young women do when they taste freedom?

 

Having loved Briar Ripley Page’s False Sister (review here) I was excited to delve into this 2023 release. This story duet is even more queer and much stranger than False Sister. If we wish to follow Page’s advice, we should probably never trust adults again.

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