Review | Even Though I Knew the End – C.L. Polk

Recently I talked about Even Though I Knew the End in one of my Can’t Wait Wednesday posts, and really soon after I was able to get an eARC! For once I actually immediately started reading the eARC and today I want to share my thoughts with you. So let’s jump in!

Review | Even Though I Knew the End – C.L. Polk

“Stylish supernatural noir with a heart and a thrumming pulse. I devoured it.” —Laini TaylorC. L. Polk turns their considerable powers to a fantastical noir. 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.

Even Though I Knew the End by C.L. Polk
Published by Tordotcom on 08/11/2022
Pages: 144

This is a tordotcom novella and so far I think I’ve loved every single novella I’ve read from them. The synopsis immediately intrigued me and I find it fascinating what writers can create in so little pages. Even Though I Knew the End has only 144 pages and it was a very quick read.

There is a lot going on in this novella and the synopsis actually already mentions much of the story. Since there are so little pages I would’ve liked it if the synopsis was a bit more vague, but at the same time that did draw me in!

We follow our main character Helen, she’s a magical private detective with a secret. She has a wonderful relationship with Edith, who was a joy to read about. I loved these characters immediately and was definitely rooting for them. Unbeknownst to Edith, Helen only has a couple more days to live. Luckily one of Helen’s clients makes her an offer she can’t resist!

Helen has to find the White City Vampire, a serial killer. The search is super interesting and there are some twists I didn’t see coming. I thought it was a compelling mystery and definitely liked that aspect of the story! There is a little bit of world building going on, and while we don’t get a lot of information it is enough to create a sense of the world. I would love to read another novella set in this world so I hope C.L. Polk will write more of these. Also, I definitely want to read their other work, I added them right away.

Overall I liked the mystery and I really liked the characters. But what made this a 5 star book for me was the ending. I definitely smiled and cried and gasped out loud. It was shocking, it broke my heart, it was bittersweet and it made me so happy I picked this book up. I would highly recommend this to everyone and hope it gets a lot of praise! It won’t release until November but we will remind you of it with our anticipated releases post by then ;). For know I would just love to know if you plan on reading this one and if you’ve read anything by C.L. Polk before. Let me know in the comments!

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