Title: Catch Lili Too // Author: Sophie Whittemore
Date of publication: November 16th 2020 by NineStar Press // Print length: paperback, 331 pages
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Lili is a Mesopotamian siren, and life as an immortal being is hard enough as it is. She’s asexual (which is incredibly difficult to reconcile if your entire point as a mythical being is to seduce people to death). She’s also struggling with depression from being alive for so long.
Lili is an absolutely shoddy improv-detective trying to track down a serial killer so ruthless that it makes even her murderous soul uneasy. However, there’s something larger at work than just one serial killer. A small town is hiding an even deadlier, global-scale secret. Forget Area 51 conspiracies. This one beats them all. With magic.
So, what better way to spice up her eternal life than being hired as a vigilante detective to stop a serial killer? Anything, literally anything. She’d trade her left lung to get out of this. Or, perhaps, somebody else’s.
Diversity Tags: POC representation, LGBTQAIP+ representation, mental health rep, depression, ADHD (the main character suffers depression and is a demisexual/panromantic Iranian mythological detective)
Trigger Warnings: This book contains graphic violence, the death of a secondary character, suicide, murder, cancer, references to mental illness.
Writing Quality 3/5, Character Development 3/5, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 4/5, Intellectual Depth 5/5, Originality 5/5, Overall 4/5
I had this ARC on my TBR pile since November last year, and I am so mad at myself for not starting it sooner. I loved the book so much even if sometimes I got a tad confused. I am very bad at remembering names, and there were a lot of characters involved. Despite all of this, the book did get me out of a reading slump, and it also stamped itself on my mind!
I want to tell him about how your conscience never lets you sleep, bringing up murders you committed centuries ago, as fresh as though you killed yesterday.
The first thing that caught my attention (and the main reason why I accepted the request), was the cast. I have to admit; it did not disappoint! Lili, the main character, is an asexual siren. This is especially interesting because, in Greek mythology, sirens were known for alluring sailors to their death. They were known for you know, their seductive abilities. On top of that, Lili is also depressed, and throughout the book you, find her wondering what to do with her immortality. Along with Lili, we also encounter a transgender necromancer, an Asian lesbian jiangshi (basically vampires from the Japanese folklore), a ghost poet, a gay poltergeist, an indigenous shapeshifter, and also another lesbian, but this time make them a witch.
My basic Siren cants are for initiating heartbreak, not ending it.
This cast did not disappoint, but what did, was the lack of character development. This book had a lot of action, a fast pace, not so many pages, and perhaps too many characters. I do believe that if the book were just a bit longer, we could have had a better understanding of all the characters. I did wish the romance scenes were a tad longer and I do wish we got more from Jo’s and Lili’s relationship.
I want, so badly, to prove him wrong. I want to become a monster in his eyes if only to make me feel less powerless. I hate being told what to do. I want this stupid, feeble depression to stop. I want to do something right for once instead of being weak like some human.
The murder mystery part of the book was well written, and Lili’s dark and unmatched humour just added up to the spice. The book was grabbing even if sometimes I had to go back a few pages and reread because I got lost. It kept me engaged and I never saw Catch Lili Too as a potential DNF.
I wink at him. “Reanimating someone for a date? Mr. Anatol, how scandalous.”
Overall, I loved this book (despite some minor inconveniences) and I do recommend it to avid fantasy readers and people in search for a diverse cast!
MEET THE AUTHOR
Sophie Whittemore is a Dartmouth Film/Digital Arts major with a mom from Indonesia and a dad from Minnesota. They’re known for their Legends of Rahasia series, specifically, the viral publication Priestess for the Blind God, and newest LGBT+ paranormal thriller “CATCH LILI TOO” with NineStar Press. Their writing career kicked off with the whimsical Impetus Rising collection, published at age 17. They grew up in Chicago and live a life of thoroughly unexpected adventures and a dash of mayhem: whether that’s making video games or short films, scripting for a webcomic, or writing about all the punk-rock antiheroes we should give another chance (and subsequently blogging about them).
Sophie’s been featured as a Standout in the Daily Herald and makes animated-live action films on the side. Their prior works include “A Clock’s Work” in a Handersen Publishing magazine, “Blind Man’s Bluff” in Parallel Ink, a Staff Writer for AsAm News (covering the comic book convention was a dream), and numerous articles as an HXCampus Dartmouth Correspondent. Ultimately, Sophie lives life with these ideas: 1) live your truth unapologetically and 2) don’t make bets with supernatural creatures.