Premee Mohamed's Beneath the Rising
(Solaris, 2020) is simultaneously a far-flung horror story and an exploration of an intimate relationship. At the heart of this novel, full of threatening monsters and ancient terrors, is the accommodation one makes with the exploitation of others, when it serves a higher goal.
Scientist and child prodigy, Joanna (Johnnie) Chambers, embarks on a quest to save the world with her loyal best friend Nick. The story is told through Nick’s perspective—he is at totally devoted to Johnnie and yet, resentful of her. Nick yearns for Johnnie, not just romantically, but also because she is a symbol of privilege. He is angry that he, as an economically struggling Indo-Caribbean, is not granted the same respect that wealthy, white Johnnie gets. Her life of privilege, like her love, seem unattainable for someone like Nick.
However, when all hell breaks loose after one of Johnnie’s experiments unleashes horror on this world, Nick finds himself on a long strange journey with Johnnie to save the world. That’s when he finds out that Johnnie, the golden child he’s always envied, has her burdens too.
Gabrielle Mathieu is the author of the YA fantasy,
Girl of Fire, the first in the Berona’s Quest series, and the historical fantasy Falcon series. You can follow her on Twitter to get updates about new podcasts and more @GabrielleAuthor, or visit her website at gabriellemathieu.com.