by Terese Svoboda
West Virginia University Press, 2024
Paper: 978-1-959000-06-8 | eISBN: 978-1-959000-07-5
Library of Congress Classification PS3569.V6R69 2024
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

Roxy and Coco, sisters and glamorous harpies (mythical bird women), work to save the world by stopping child abuse, while also trying to evade capture. For readers of Neil Gaiman and Karen Russell.

“[A] wry and rambunctious fable….The book offers brief and staggered visions of family, in all its complex permutations. Here, flocks settle into wonderfully unlikely formations. It’s possible that the most dangerous thing for anyone, harpy or human, is the decision to fly alone.” — Hilary Leichter, New York Times Book Review

Sisters Roxy and Coco are two glamorous harpies—mythical bird women—attempting to outrun extinction and fix the planet by preventing child abuse, one child at a time.
When Roxy is suddenly attracted to her human supervisor at a social work agency a hundred years too early, Coco is very suspicious. Luring Roxy with his scent, Tim is also on the payroll of a fake conservationist intent on her less-than-legal collection. Coco swoops in to vet Tim, but Interpol is hot on her trail for a series of curious homicides. (Surveillance has a very hard time convincing his boss of what he’s monitoring.) When the sisters find themselves trapped, Chris, a bipolar skateboarding truant, tries his best to rescue them but it’s Stewie, Coco’s colleague, who turns the story inside out. Roxy and Coco climaxes at a gala of egg fanciers who scramble to escape the harpies’ talons.
Action figure–worthy, for readers of Neil Gaiman and Karen Russell, this modern take on these fabled women touches on mental illness, racism, animal rights, and the rights of children.

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