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Published by Nightmare (10/15). A slight departure from the usual on the Nebula nominee list, this is a horror/dark fantasy piece.

Jen is on a date with a psychopathic killer. They make conversations while she enjoys his dreams about raping and killing her. She leaves with him, but when they get to his apartment, she consumes him, feeding on the evil psychic energy he generates. She leaves the husk of his body and takes on his form, drives his car away. Later she vomits his essence into a glass storage jar and resumes her own appearance. When she gets home, her friend Aiko is making dinner. Jen continues this pattern, but becomes concerned when she develops a hunger for Aiko. Jen takes up with a woman like herself named Seo-yun, moves in with her, associates with her older, dangerous friends. She doesn’t realize that Seo-yun shares her hunger for Aiko.

This is a great set up and a complex story. It investigates the darkness Jen has inherited from her mother, the urge to consume that obsesses her. It looks at how this colors her relationship with Aiko and drives her to dark companions. She is in need of salvation, offered in this case by the pure Aiko. Is there any way she can find it?

This has a slight Asian flavor, and is solidly Millennial. Four stars.

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