Epeolatry Book Review: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations by Carina Bissett


Our reviews may contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through the links in this article we may receive a small commission or referral fee. This happens without any additional cost to you.

Title: Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations​
Author: Carina Bissett
Genre:  horror
Publisher: Trepidatio Publishing
Release Date: 9th March, 2024

Synopsis: In this powerful debut, Carina Bissett explores the liminal spaces between the magical and the mundane, horror and humor, fairy tales and fabulism. A young woman discovers apotheosis at the intersection of her cross-cultural heritage. A simulacrum rebels against her coding to create a new universe of her own making. A poison assassin tears the world apart in the relentless pursuit of her true love-the one person alive who can destroy her. Dead Girl, Driving and Other Devastations erases expectations, forging new trails on the map of contemporary fiction.

Includes an introduction by Julie C. Day, author of Uncommon Miracles and The Rampant.

Jeez, this book. Perhaps I don’t always write the most conventional of reviews, but I grew up believing that each book I read was a journey, not just through the world presented in the book, but a journey through a life stage, and both of those journeys seemed to have a synchronous kinship. 


Oftentimes, it’s characterized by a right-time-right-place moment. And this book was all of this, and more. 


I’ll skip over a lot of what made this read personally relevant so that you can experience your own journey, and jump right into the “more”. 


This story collection was more like a long-forgotten collection of memories—not because of the events in the stories, which were evocative in their own right, but because of the underlying theme that swam through them. Each story was novel in and of itself, being fancifully social-conscious and real-life gritty and fictionally historical and otherworldy eco-conscious—and, above all, magically witchy. 


It’s a deft mash-up with the world as is with the world that could be—the world you may have dreamt about in your childish imagination where fairies and mermaids could exist if you just believed hard enough, and Carina Bissett packages this all up in poignant fairy tales for world-weary adults who still believe, in some hidden corner of their being, that these magical creatures do exist.


Reading these tales made me feel like I had woken up from a hundred-year sleep and had come full circle back to my elemental, essential self, before the external world dictated who I needed to be to navigate and survive in this increasingly over-industrialized and consumerist world. 


And if that wasn’t empowering enough, Bissett provides touchstone examples of witchy-ness that serve as reminders to reconnect with the wilding world, and the wild spirit within us all.


Even if this journey is as heartbreakingly devastating as the title suggests, don’t be afraid to step through this literary portal of limitless possibilities. 


And always remember to make a wish.


Available from Amazon and Bookshop.

You may also like...