Ring Shout continually slid along the scale between like and love. The premise is great! Evil hateful monsters in the guise of humans called, Ku Kluxes, enrapture other humans with their hateful machinations. African-American resistant fighters hunt them down and kill them.
It’s fictionalized history and revisionist Lovecraft put together. Taking place in 1922, the characters as whole have seen World War I, The U.S. Civil War, slavery and its downfall, as well as the Tulsa massacre a year prior. There is so much history crammed into the book. There’s also a lot of folktale roots and influence, both in the story and how the story is presented.
After wondering about the length, wanting more depth in the characters and just more space for the story to breath I realized something. Ring Shout is not only inspired for folktales, but it is also a pulpy fantasy book that should could have been written sixty years ago. That realization pushed Ring Shout into love territory. It explained the brevity and the elegant simplicity. There’s plenty of things glossed over, but all the reader needs to know is that there are bad things that need killing and heroes to kill them.