All Smoke Rises: Milk-Blood Redux is the awesome sequel to Mark Matthews' Milk-Blood, which was one of my favorite reads of 2015. I was lucky enough to be able to beta read this in its infancy and see it turn into the beautiful, haunting, gem of urban horror that fittingly compliments its predecessor.
"Real truth might burn your eyes right out."
When we last saw Lilly her story seemed to be over. A sad life followed by an even sadder ending. But can that much pain ever really die? Where does the smoke go when it rises? Lilly's story is one that cannot be contained and won't be ignored. A story that drove one man insane now lies in the hands of a psychiatrist whose patient just killed himself on her kitchen floor, demanding that she read it.
"And you read. Because you must."
Lilly's story is one of addiction, of desperation, and of heartbreak. It's Crystal's story, Oscar's mom who lives with the guilt of accidentally killing her only son and the sad reality of what her life has become, living with an angry drug dealer for a boyfriend and the constant threat of parole violation. It's the story of Oscar, dead but still inhabiting the house that ended his life -- the house that Lily now also resides. It's the story of Jervis, Lilly's schizophrenic, heroin-addicted Papa who feeds her milk-blood to bring her back and whose devotion to his less-than-normal daughter both stokes and feeds his madness. It's a story of Lilly's mother who calls out to her from her burial plot in the back yard, calling her to come home.
All smoke rises...
The story is told, as it had to be. The truth contained within these pages, that ruined so many lives, is now up to you to face or forget. Will the blood on your floor be for naught? When the smoke rises, will Lilly's story rise with it? Ashes as fleeting as her short broken life... Or will you write another chapter? It's your story now.
The bonus to this already incredible read is the introduction by Kealan Patrick Burke, who has, in a few pages, summed up the genre that I love in words that make me love him even more.
© 2016 by Andi Rawson of Andreya's Asylum