Premee Mohamed is one of those writers I had often heard about, but I foolishly never made the time to explore her work. However, after reading her contribution to the upcoming dark Peter Pan anthology (The Other Side of Never, Titan Books), I could no longer ignore this force. 

No One Will Come Back for us collects Mohamed’s stories from the past few years, as well as some new work. These stories occur in a world where the old gods must be satisfied; a nightly offering is essential, and if they summon you to make the ultimate sacrifice, your attendance is not optional. The stories Below the Kirk, Below the Hill, Us and Ours, and Willing explore this realm beautifully.

But Mohamed is far from a one-trick-pony, and the reader hugely benefits from this incredible imagination. At the Hand of Every Beast, a story of a giant cathedral walking through France (yes, you read that right) creates some beautiful visuals. We meet a widow in The Adventurer’s Wife, speaking about her late husband’s strange death; the last paragraph of this story blew my mind. 

There are some interesting science fiction stories here too. Soldiers are subject to weird sleep-deprivation experiments in Quietus, and a lost colony is discovered in Fortunato (which Mohamed mentions in her story notes is partially inspired by Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). 

But my favorite story of the collection is The Redoubtables, where a journalist goes to interview one of the few survivors of a strange experiment gone horribly wrong. It raises some interesting questions about war, science, and guilt. In fact, the other two stories in the collection where the protagonists set out to investigate the unknown (The Adventurer’s Wife, and No One Will Come Back for Us) were very strong too. There’s something appealing about the reader following the story in real-time with the narrator. 

This is such a strong collection, and I am now a full-blown Premee Mohamed fan. Her writing is entrancing; I fell into the world of each story quickly and completely. These stories are smart, scary, interesting, and funny. 

No One Will Come Back for Us is released on May 15th, 2023. You can pre-order it right now directly from the wonderful Undertow Publications.

Huge thanks to Undertow for the ARC, via Edelweiss.

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