Summary Darcy Little Badger

What we enjoyed about the book:

  • Crime Mystery enjoyable
  • Magical urban fantasy United States, setting in Texas cool
  • Lipan Apache community cool
  • Dynamic between protagonist and dog was super enjoyable to read
  • Ace main protagonist so rare, really cool
  • Aro/ace not a plot point, not a coming out story, normal!!!
  • Representation well done
  • Teenager was listened to, she was loved, very good family dynamic
  • Setting: contemporary, Texas, reminded us of “Trail of Lightning”
  • Characters really cool
  • Family worked together so well, goes against the trope of the absent or useless parents (they are not obstacles here)
  • Merging mythologies cool
  • Ancestral land: get rid of vampire, nice
  • Elatsoe so cool, we would like to read more urban, realistic magic stories
  • Illustrations beautiful in the hardcopy version
  • Wonderful cover
  • Families can function and it is great to see that this can also be found in YA now
  • Coming of age and the parents are there to support them
  • Feels very contemporary
  • Queer characters cool
  • We love the doggo sidekick! Dream: you are able to bring your dead pet back to life! A new trope we love! Save the pets! ❤
  • Funny book too
  • No romantic relationship, but great depiction of a close relationship that is intimate but not sexual (hard to do, but “done very well”)
  • Villain really cool, “genuinely suprised and upset that he should’ve died” –> genuine surprise felt extremely real, think about worth
  • Villain deems himself more important than other people’s lives, worth = money; problematic
  • Villain: evil white person, colonial dimension
  • Like that we know the villain right away and then trying to find out WHY
  • Writing style: easy to read
  • Lipan Apache representation so cool! We want more of this!
  • humour was good

What we discussed:

  • Slow start, hard to get into
  • We know the villain very early on, sad, flat ending
  • Writing style could be smoother
  • Unrealistic bits: how can your best friend not know about your school incident? Author tried to give the characters some background and it didn’t fit in (especially in the beginning)
  • Pacing a bit off
  • Sometimes really rushed, more “tell than show”
  • One can see that it’s the first book by DLB but writing style worked!
  • World building did not make sense for a long time, we wanted more information, too normalised???
  • Too much info-dump, felt a bit forced
  • Balance!!!
  • Magic totally normal, but police etc. are unprepared? Weak world building? Could’ve been explained more?
  • We love the doggo, our hearts go out to the doggo!
  • Pacing sometimes rushed, ending
  • “soaked in zeitgeist” too much?
  • Ellie felt really really young, not 17, “child-like wonder” (which was in itself really nice), rather 12-ish to 15, bothered us, supportive home makes her not as bitter and mature as other 17 yo YA protagonists (maybe we read too much YA dystopia?) –> other extreme: “Six of Crows” everyone is way too mature
  • Felt more like middle grade than YA
  • Ellie really good kid, no teenager vibes, but she is still a strong character and cool!


  • 8.5/10 non creepy leeches
  • 4/5 ghost dogs, “read the book within a book and I really enjoyed it”, was not bored
  • 5/5 grandmas on ghost mammoths ❤
  • 4.5/5 “excited to see what else this author can write”
  • 3.5/5 fairy mushrooms, “not done yet, really hard to get into the story”
  • 4/5 vampires on ancestral land, “had the potential for a perfect read”, “some parts left me wondering / dissatisfied”
  • “Also not completely done yet, therefore for me also ca. 3,5 out of 5 ghost dogs, because it took me very long to get into it.. but with the possibility that I’ll change my mind to 4 out of 5 after I’ve finished it :D”

Other books we talked about:

  • DLB: “A Snake Falls to Earth”: Lipan-Apache, Indigenous Futurism, sci-fi, climate change very very strong
  • “The Cybernetic Teashop” by Meredith Katz: hummingbird companion, travells with her tea shop, robot friendship, great representation, wonderfully queer (95 pages), “very very cozy read”, ace rep
  • “The Craft of Love” by E.E. Ottoman: 18th century New York, silversmith (trans man) and quilt maker (bisexual woman), bit idealised / romanticised, “felt very comforting to me”, “escapist read”, “affirming”
  • “I finally started “The Way of Kings” by Sanderson and really love it so far! Can’t believe it took me so long to finally pick up one of Sanderson’s series 🙂 I think the emperor’s soul gave me the final nudge :D” GOOD GOOD, ANOTHER PERSON CONVERTED TO BRANDON SANDERON
  • Last Wayfarer novel by Becky Chambers (we read #1 together): “reminded me how much I love the series and the characters”, “cultural differences and understanding”, wholesome
  • “Murderbot” series: “so delightful”, “very relatable”, murderbot with social anxiety, we love
  • “Handmaid’s Tale” (Atwood): “now I want to burn a lot of bibles in front of some Christians”
  • “Grey Bees” by Andrey Kurov: roadtrip novel, beekeeper from the grey zone travels to Ukraine but also Crimea, great insight into country, politics, beekeeping. Pick it up if you want to learn more about Ukraine, no speculative fiction of course. Sometimes hilarious but also tragic. 5/5

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