by Pup Matthias
Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.
Black Angel, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, March 2016, trade paperback $19.95 (vii + 379 pages).
Black Angel is the conclusion of Kyell Gold’s Dangerous Spirits trilogy that began with Green Fairy (March 2012) and continued with Red Devil (January 2014). The three novels are a powerful mixture of spiritualism, drugs, and adolescent angst, shifting between centuries and societies. They are also set in Gold’s larger Forester University anthropomorphic-animal alternate universe, with clear parallels to our own. Each of these three is complete, but assuming you will like Black Angel enough to want to read the others, readers are recommended to start all three from the first.
Solomon Wrightson (black wolf), Alexei Tsarev (red fox), and Meg Kinnick (otter) are three very troubled seniors at Vidalia’s Richfield High School. All three have left home. Sol, who has just realized that he is gay, is constantly nagged at home by his father to excel at sports. Alexei, who has come from Siberia on a student visa, is concerned by the silence of his sister back home; he is sure that their parents are intercepting their mail. The mannish Meg has gotten her parents to let her move into a decrepit apartment to be an artist. Her apartment has become a social center for the three. Sol’s traveling into the past in Green Fairy, and Alexei’s being haunted by a ghost in Red Devil, may be due to external causes in those novels, or – as the rational Meg scoffs – it’s all in their imagination.
“Hi. I’m Meg. I’m nineteen, and I’m fucked up.
That’s not a big secret, by the way. Pretty much anyone who knew me from about fifteen to now would tell you the same thing. Only back then I thought it was a good kind of fucked up.” (p. 1)