Hot Best Seller

And What Can We Offer You Tonight

Availability: Ready to download

In a far future city, where you can fall to a government cull for a single mistake, And What Can We Offer You Tonight tells the story of Jewel, established courtesan in a luxurious House. Jewel’s world is shaken when her friend is murdered by a client, but somehow comes back to life. To get revenge, they will both have to confront the limits of loyalty, guilt, and justice.


Compare

In a far future city, where you can fall to a government cull for a single mistake, And What Can We Offer You Tonight tells the story of Jewel, established courtesan in a luxurious House. Jewel’s world is shaken when her friend is murdered by a client, but somehow comes back to life. To get revenge, they will both have to confront the limits of loyalty, guilt, and justice.

30 review for And What Can We Offer You Tonight

  1. 5 out of 5

    K.J. Charles

    Disturbing short tale of a future world without law or justice or anything but money, where people are bought and sold. Jewel is an exclusive, expensive courtesan mostly resigned to her lot and clinging on to the little solidarity she can have with her co-workers, until one of them is murdered, but refuses to stay dead. Very much a story about exploitation: greed and cruelty and injustice, and how those things warp people, and the fragile connections we try to build to shore up defences against Disturbing short tale of a future world without law or justice or anything but money, where people are bought and sold. Jewel is an exclusive, expensive courtesan mostly resigned to her lot and clinging on to the little solidarity she can have with her co-workers, until one of them is murdered, but refuses to stay dead. Very much a story about exploitation: greed and cruelty and injustice, and how those things warp people, and the fragile connections we try to build to shore up defences against them. Bleak, vivid, and elegantly conveyed in a short space.

  2. 4 out of 5

    aly ☆彡

    And What Can We Offer You Tonight commenced in a dystopian society about the inner struggle against the unseen chains of psychic enslavement as well as resistance against the oppression. It happened when the narrator, Jewel started to question about the House of Bicchieri that she grew in when one of her friends were killed. The book started with too much foreshadowing, it’s either I’m too dumb for this or the writing is confusing. I think it has an interesting plot but the writing of this book And What Can We Offer You Tonight commenced in a dystopian society about the inner struggle against the unseen chains of psychic enslavement as well as resistance against the oppression. It happened when the narrator, Jewel started to question about the House of Bicchieri that she grew in when one of her friends were killed. The book started with too much foreshadowing, it’s either I’m too dumb for this or the writing is confusing. I think it has an interesting plot but the writing of this book kind of dry that I took quite a time to finish an 80 pages of a novella. I love the character though! Not bad of a book to be honest, I would rate this a solid three stars if not for the overwriting style that is rather off putting. [2.5/5]

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexis Hall

    **Somehow received from NG** Well this was bleak, but powerful nonetheless. Set in a far-future Dystopia without law, where the world appears to have dissolved into some kind of toxic floodscape, and the government culls its citizens for the slightest infraction, this is a story about power, greed and privilege. It’s heroine, Jewel—a courtesan in a House that exists to profit its owners, and indulge the perversities of the wealthy—is mainly preoccupied with safety and survival, and the moments of **Somehow received from NG** Well this was bleak, but powerful nonetheless. Set in a far-future Dystopia without law, where the world appears to have dissolved into some kind of toxic floodscape, and the government culls its citizens for the slightest infraction, this is a story about power, greed and privilege. It’s heroine, Jewel—a courtesan in a House that exists to profit its owners, and indulge the perversities of the wealthy—is mainly preoccupied with safety and survival, and the moments of connection she shares with her fellow courtesans. At least until one of them gets murdered, and then refuses to stay murdered. The book (well, novella really) is narrated in a kind of stream of consciousness that gives it a dreamlike quality. I can see why, as a stylistic choice, this might not work for all readers, but to me it felt very much like the right choice. Jewel’s world is regulated and controlled—her sense of safety has come at the cost of her freedom and her selfhood, even her humanity—and the narrative reflects that: her psychological need to detach herself from the realities of her position, coupled with her ultimate inability to do so. It is a conflicted voice, at once beautiful and bitter, self-deceiving and perceptive, hopeful and despairing, for a conflicted heroine. As ever with short stories and novellas, I found myself wishing nebulously for “more”. But this is a wonderfully dark fable of power, corruption, vengeance and the limitations of freedom. Also, just to be shallow for a moment: the cover is exquisite.

  4. 5 out of 5

    RoshReviews

    Ever read a book where you loved the concept & the plot but the writing didn’t connect with you? That’s me with this little novella. Story: Somewhere in the far future, where life is as dystopian as you can imagine, there lives a “courtesan” named Jewel. Her world is shattered when a close friend and fellow worker named Winfield is murdered by a client, but she is left even more bewildered when Winfield returns from the dead. To get vengeance, each of them has to decide how far they can go agains Ever read a book where you loved the concept & the plot but the writing didn’t connect with you? That’s me with this little novella. Story: Somewhere in the far future, where life is as dystopian as you can imagine, there lives a “courtesan” named Jewel. Her world is shattered when a close friend and fellow worker named Winfield is murdered by a client, but she is left even more bewildered when Winfield returns from the dead. To get vengeance, each of them has to decide how far they can go against the status quo and the establishment. Within its meagre 80 pages, this story packs a powerful punch. The main characters are interestingly crafted. Jewel, as a prostitute who is beyond her shelf life at 30 and struggling between her loyalty towards her friends and her dependence of the House where she works. Winfield, who is the most intriguing undead character I’ve ever come across; she’s neither a zombie nor a spirit but just someone who is “dead but not dead.” Nero, a fellow worked who aims at the oddest of accessories to further his uniqueness. Each of these trio make a mark. The plot is also attractive. Working from within a dystopian establishment and trying to take it down with the help of an ‘undead’ is a different take on the typical gloomy futuristic tales. I was almost hooked onto the narrative from start to end. But what created the biggest hurdle for me was the writing style. Quintessentially stream of consciousness, the writing is flowery and lyrical, both of which aren’t attributes I enjoy while reading any kind of thriller as they take away from the pace of the narrative. I did enjoy the story but I am sure I would have loved it were it written in a more ‘regular” style. 3 stars for the writing, 4 for the characters, 5 for the plot. And hence, the book gets 4 stars. Thank you, NetGalley and Neon Hemlock Press, for the ARC of the book in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Janelle

    A very readable novella set in a far future city, told from the point of view of Jewel, a courtesan in a House where only the richest can afford what’s on the menu. It’s fairly bleak as the opening of the story is at the funeral of Winfield, murdered by a client with no consequences for him. A tale of revenge and justice in a society where there is no real justice. I would’ve liked to know more about the society in this short, interesting read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nikita Afsar

    One of the most unique and unusual book I've read, I'm not really sure what to rate this and how to review it just yet One of the most unique and unusual book I've read, I'm not really sure what to rate this and how to review it just yet

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    This was a quick, interesting read. I never connected with the characters and really wanted to see more of Winfield. I’m just not a fan of weak characters so I didn’t care for the MC, hence my desire to learn more about Win’s powers/story. The world building in novellas is always hard and this story did a fine job of that, especially the mix of tech and squalor and wealth. That was very clear and well done. Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing this ARC.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Emmett

    2.5. The cover and synopsis had me hooked for this one, but it wasn’t quite a match. While I was intrigued for the first 1/3 or so, my interest dropped off after that. I didn’t feel myself connecting with the characters or the story and the element of mystery remained… an element of mystery. It is a unique, quick read- just one that I ended up not caring much about. I wanted more from the story and the writing style didn’t grip me as I wished it would. Not for me, but others might love it! It is sh 2.5. The cover and synopsis had me hooked for this one, but it wasn’t quite a match. While I was intrigued for the first 1/3 or so, my interest dropped off after that. I didn’t feel myself connecting with the characters or the story and the element of mystery remained… an element of mystery. It is a unique, quick read- just one that I ended up not caring much about. I wanted more from the story and the writing style didn’t grip me as I wished it would. Not for me, but others might love it! It is short enough to be worth a try for anyone thinking of picking it up. *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sydney S

    Unexpected awesomeness! Thank you, Neon Hemlock Press, for this ARC! I read And What Can We Offer You Tonight in one sitting, which I guess isn’t too difficult considering it’s only 80 pages, but still. The writing style threw me at first, with its stream of consciousness lack of commas/periods in some places. I got over that pretty quickly. I loved this so much. I felt like I was in Jewel’s head. I hate purple prose, and on the surface, it might seem like that to some people, but this is someth Unexpected awesomeness! Thank you, Neon Hemlock Press, for this ARC! I read And What Can We Offer You Tonight in one sitting, which I guess isn’t too difficult considering it’s only 80 pages, but still. The writing style threw me at first, with its stream of consciousness lack of commas/periods in some places. I got over that pretty quickly. I loved this so much. I felt like I was in Jewel’s head. I hate purple prose, and on the surface, it might seem like that to some people, but this is something else entirely. It didn’t feel like the author was trying to be edgy or trying too hard to write poetically. It’s genuinely good shit. Dreamy (or nightmarey) goodness. I loved languishing in this dreadful world with characters I came to love very quickly for such a short book. I love the friendships and the loyalty/unity among them. I just wanted them to win one. My girl Winfield is wild. I love the visuals and the body mods. I love a good kill your masters/eat the rich story, and this one has a nice little revenge plot. I love the up-close, deep-inside, and dream-like writing style. I love it all. I’m still surprised by how much I enjoyed my experience reading this. I do wish the ending was a little more of a BANG, but I’m satisfied all the same. I’ll be buying a physical copy when this comes out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jasmine

    Thanks so much to NetGalley, Neon Hemlock Press, and Preemee Mohamed for this eARC in exchange for an honest review! What a darkly poetic book And What Can We Offer You Tonight turned out to be! This story follows Jewel, a well-established courtesan in a dystopian society. Jewel comes to question everything she's grown to know after one of her friends was murdered by a client. That is enough to mess someone up, but what happens when that friend comes back from the dead with a mind for vengeance? Thanks so much to NetGalley, Neon Hemlock Press, and Preemee Mohamed for this eARC in exchange for an honest review! What a darkly poetic book And What Can We Offer You Tonight turned out to be! This story follows Jewel, a well-established courtesan in a dystopian society. Jewel comes to question everything she's grown to know after one of her friends was murdered by a client. That is enough to mess someone up, but what happens when that friend comes back from the dead with a mind for vengeance? This book came off as magical to me. The characters were way more interesting than you’d think possible for an 80-90 page novella. As I mentioned above, Mohamed’s writing is incredibly poetic, which adds quite a bit to a story that tends to lean towards the bleak pretty heavily. It’s also great fun to read about a zombie courtesan out for revenge. This is going to be four stars from me. I’m already looking forward to reading more from this author!

  11. 4 out of 5

    kaz auditore

    I was pleasantly surprised by the novella, I never read something close to it, it is fantasy, science fiction and crime with a touch of paranormal all at the same time, it was a good concept to get to see the search of revenge of a sex worker looking for the man who killed her. Jewel unfortunately the MC was the less interesting to me, she was just assisting what everyone else was doing, I wished more of Winfield. As for the plot I was intrigued and I liked how it really showed as striking the di I was pleasantly surprised by the novella, I never read something close to it, it is fantasy, science fiction and crime with a touch of paranormal all at the same time, it was a good concept to get to see the search of revenge of a sex worker looking for the man who killed her. Jewel unfortunately the MC was the less interesting to me, she was just assisting what everyone else was doing, I wished more of Winfield. As for the plot I was intrigued and I liked how it really showed as striking the differences between poor and rich people, and the slight comments on a revolutionary change but the fear of having to be a risk and potentially loosing their safety.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Starling

    Exquisitely grotesque, with a voice to die for. A quick but gut-punching read, not quite horror but not quite not horror. It takes a setting that feels familiar (a future dystopia with dramatic wealth differences, a glittering brothel) and adds: a corpse that is somehow alive again, a narrator who really wishes this didn't involve her, and a world that can stand a small revolution in one tiny corner. Exquisitely grotesque, with a voice to die for. A quick but gut-punching read, not quite horror but not quite not horror. It takes a setting that feels familiar (a future dystopia with dramatic wealth differences, a glittering brothel) and adds: a corpse that is somehow alive again, a narrator who really wishes this didn't involve her, and a world that can stand a small revolution in one tiny corner.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Bandit

    This is my third read by the author. The first two were a strangely meandering introduction, where I’d find myself liking some of it, but almost reluctantly. Which is to say, this author and this reader are not an organic match. In fact, with her last novella I pretty much decided to maybe just stay away, but the thing is…I love novellas. And this one (unlike that last one) was actually a proper novella size at only 80 pages (as oppose to 170), so I figured one more try. Ok, it stands to mention This is my third read by the author. The first two were a strangely meandering introduction, where I’d find myself liking some of it, but almost reluctantly. Which is to say, this author and this reader are not an organic match. In fact, with her last novella I pretty much decided to maybe just stay away, but the thing is…I love novellas. And this one (unlike that last one) was actually a proper novella size at only 80 pages (as oppose to 170), so I figured one more try. Ok, it stands to mention that the main thing with this author for me is how young her novels read. They are not YA and are not marketed as such, but that’s how they often read, which really, really, really isn’t for me. This novella, refreshingly, was somewhat more mature. Instead of the age disparity, it just had a strange poetic quality to it that didn’t quite work for me. Mind you, it’s a perfectly fine novella and the author isn’t without talent, it just doesn’t quite sing for me the way it might for some readers. In fact, given the poetic quality of the language, the way it was meant to sing. The basics are this…a dreamily overwritten account of a fancy futuristic high end pleasure palace and a revenge plot hatched by the fancy high end (and occasionally modified) courtesans of it against their masters and abusers, after one of their own ends up...well, not quite dead. So it has a positive empowering message, it has some elegantly froufrou descriptions, it has a certain luxurious lavishness of style. And a strikingly lush cover. It’ll certainly find its audience, even if I’m not exactly it. Plus it reads quickly enough, so you’re not overcommitting one way or another. Thanks Netgalley. This and more at https://advancetheplot.weebly.com/

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mariana Ferreira

    Thank you Netgalley and Neon Hemlock Press for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review! And What Can We Offer You Tonight is a hell of a ride. It tells the story of courtesans living in a dystopian world and surviving with barely any rights, only to have one of them come back from the dead and seek revenge from those who wronged her. For such a tiny book, it's packed with complex worldbuilding and fascinating characters; you can almost touch and smell the city and the House, Thank you Netgalley and Neon Hemlock Press for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for my honest review! And What Can We Offer You Tonight is a hell of a ride. It tells the story of courtesans living in a dystopian world and surviving with barely any rights, only to have one of them come back from the dead and seek revenge from those who wronged her. For such a tiny book, it's packed with complex worldbuilding and fascinating characters; you can almost touch and smell the city and the House, almost see all the textures and scenery described. The story itself is perfectly balanced to give context into this world and still keep things moving, wheels turning as the plot advances. The one thing that keeps this from being a 5-star read for me is that it was at times so overwritten that the language got distracting, keeping the focus on form and not content. If this had been toned down a bit, I'm sure I would be recommending this to every person I know who enjoys fantasy and dystopian worlds. Still, it's a tiny detail to overlook in order to get to such a wonderful story. An overall great book, it is stuck in my head like only the best movies would.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audra (ouija.reads)

    This is a fabulous dystopian novella about a dead girl and her revenge mixing futuristic fantasy with horror--I loved it. Mohamed's ability to build a whole world in just 80 pages is mind-blowing. It is also the type of world-building that doesn't hold your hand; you're just along for the ride, and I love that. In addition, I really loved the stylistic writing style that is very unlike anything I've read from this author before; her work is so versatile, and I can't wait to read more. The story is This is a fabulous dystopian novella about a dead girl and her revenge mixing futuristic fantasy with horror--I loved it. Mohamed's ability to build a whole world in just 80 pages is mind-blowing. It is also the type of world-building that doesn't hold your hand; you're just along for the ride, and I love that. In addition, I really loved the stylistic writing style that is very unlike anything I've read from this author before; her work is so versatile, and I can't wait to read more. The story is set at a high-end sex work establishment that shelters its courtesans (as they are called) from the deadly outside world while also holding them hostage. When Pearl's friend's murder at the hands of a client is covered up, she starts waking up to their imprisonment, how they all have sacrificed themselves and their humanity for a form of security that is only there to keep them captive. Add in a vengeful ghost and this story is quite the read. Keep an eye on this writer, and on Neon Hemlock Press as well. More good things are coming.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    4/5 Surreal, dreamlike prose that read is a stream-of-consciousness manner. We follow the thoughts of Jewel, an experienced courtesan forced to finally confront her city's extreme imbalance of power as she grapples with taking revenge for the death of a fellow courtesan and protecting herself from the dangers outside her House. 4/5 Surreal, dreamlike prose that read is a stream-of-consciousness manner. We follow the thoughts of Jewel, an experienced courtesan forced to finally confront her city's extreme imbalance of power as she grapples with taking revenge for the death of a fellow courtesan and protecting herself from the dangers outside her House.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Starr Waddell

    sexworker turned vigilante zombie? Sign me up. I enjoyed this short story. More please! Thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for a copy of the ARC.

  18. 4 out of 5

    East Greenbush Community Library

    A gorgeously written speculative novella with many mysteries at its heart.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Merit

    A stream of consciousness novella set in a dystopian future. Jewel, a courtesan, has her life shaken when a friend returns from the dead.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Clarity

    "The dead girl woke and asked for her perfume and we gave it to her and she slept again." This is how the book begins, with the courtesan Jewel standing in her room, wondering what she is supposed to do about this living dead girl sleeping on her bed. It is a novella of 80 pages, quite short, however the length matched the scope of the story and what the author set out to do. It takes place in a futuristic setting but the world is not described overly much, so if you are the type who wants all asp "The dead girl woke and asked for her perfume and we gave it to her and she slept again." This is how the book begins, with the courtesan Jewel standing in her room, wondering what she is supposed to do about this living dead girl sleeping on her bed. It is a novella of 80 pages, quite short, however the length matched the scope of the story and what the author set out to do. It takes place in a futuristic setting but the world is not described overly much, so if you are the type who wants all aspects of a fantastical setting explained this is not it. We get glimpses of technology and body modifications available in this world/reality. The main character Jewel is a very practical person, dealing with her place in life with as best she can, all the while contemptuously observing the cruel reality the world has become. Where the state no longer provides for the population but all that matters is how much money you have, and if you don't have it, you die. How the owners of her "House" (because this establishment is not like those lowly whorehouses down in the slums, this "House" is a sophisticated establishment catering to wealthy and influential customers) use them, the courtesans, to become even richer while playing like they are kindly taking care of them. Then one of the girls dies, Winfield, or rather, is murdered by a client. But when you have money and influence, but mostly money, money enough that nothing else matters, then it doesn't matter if the merchandise is broken. As long as you keep coming back to utilise the House's services, then indiscretions can be swept under the rug. It is not the first time a courtesan dies, but it is the first time one comes back from the dead. Because she is dead, she is freed from the shackles of the House and society. There is no longer any need to control herself and act appropriate and submissive. She demands vengeance. The freedom, of not only going wherever you please, but most of all BEING whoever you please, when she is no longer constricted by any rules. Meanwhile, Jewel would have preferred if Winfield had just stayed dead, it would have been simpler. The atmosphere created by the contrast of Jewels practical ways and the devastation of life in this city becomes hauntingly beautiful. The language is simple, shorter sentences, punctuation to provide force, and this works well together with Jewel's detached practicality. "And the priest said, This, your friend Winfield, and at hearing her name she stirred and sat up and pushed open the coffin and the flowers spilled off her like water, roses, jasmine, lilies, honeysuckle, and the ugly rip they had made to fake an 'autopsy' tore open its lazy stitches and filled with blossoms." The structure of the story is well planned and the pacing flows naturally, it makes you want to continue reading not to find out what event is going to happen, but how the characters will act, what decisions will they make when faced with a dilemma. Will they fight the injustice, or will they try to keep their small and relative safety and comfort for the worse alternatives they know exist? Thanks to NetGalley and Neon Hemlock Press for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ana

    I received a free eARC from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While it has an interesting premise, and fascinating hints of worldbuilding, I felt a little underwhelmed by And What Can We Offer You Tonight's plot. The themes it explored were dynamite though. We follow a character called Jewel (who is a courtesan at the House of Bicchieri) in the aftermath of a murder. Her friend Winfield was killed by a client, and then rises from the dead at her own funeral wit I received a free eARC from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. While it has an interesting premise, and fascinating hints of worldbuilding, I felt a little underwhelmed by And What Can We Offer You Tonight's plot. The themes it explored were dynamite though. We follow a character called Jewel (who is a courtesan at the House of Bicchieri) in the aftermath of a murder. Her friend Winfield was killed by a client, and then rises from the dead at her own funeral with revenge in her heart. Jewel is torn between wanting to help avenge Winfield and all the other poor folk who have been abused, and wanting to keep the little pocket of safety she has managed to earn for herself in a dangerous world. So I'll start with what I liked most. Jewel lives in a future dystopian world that has been destroyed by late stage capitalism. Society as we know it has collapsed. Law doesn't exist, so the poor have no protections. If you are rich, you have power, and you can get away with anything you like, even murder. Whereas the poor are considered less than human and are culled en masse. Sea levels have clearly risen, because there are canals instead of streets. Courtesans and the rich alike engage in extensive body modification. For example, Jewel has hydraulic breasts that always stay perky, while her friend Nero has paid to give himself wings. The courtesans also have monitors to prevent them getting drunk etc. crimes for which the owners can dock their pay. I found Jewel to be quite passive in her own life (which is surprising, because she is obsessed with pointing out when she uses passive voice). She is the kind of person that follows the rules, and worries about consequences. I think Winfield's character was more interesting, but we didn't actually see that much of her. I also wasn't the biggest fan of the stream of consciousness style of narration. There was some beautiful imagery, but there was also ridiculously long sentences that were very difficult to read. They didn't correspond to emotions like panic, which would have been the perfect time to use them for greatest impact. Overall, the story was strangely compelling, though quite simple. If anything, I think it was a vehicle to explore the themes. It is a scathing look at the destructive force that is late stage capitalism. It takes aim at systems where power and privilege are used as weapons, rendering the poor as less than human. It explores the various ways people survive in such systems. It also challenges the notion that victims should be expected to rise above the behaviour of those who have harmed them. What's the point in moral superiority, and being the bigger person, when those with wealth and power can murder you without consequences? And What Can We Offer You Tonight is an interesting novella that tackles some big themes. I haven't read anything quite like it before, so I would recommend it to sci-fi/fantasy fans who enjoy thematic explorations, and are interested in critiques of capitalism and power.

  22. 5 out of 5

    John Folk-Williams

    Premee Mohamed’s And What Can We Offer You Tonight is a tightly written novella about a story of rebellion from oppression focused on the inner struggle from the invisible chains of psychic servitude. And What Can We Offer You Tonight, narrated by Jewel, a courtesan at the high-end House of Bicchieri, begins with one of the House’s workers coming back from the dead. Winfield (Win) revives and recovers her memory slowly but soon resolves to carry out revenge on the monster who killed her. The House Premee Mohamed’s And What Can We Offer You Tonight is a tightly written novella about a story of rebellion from oppression focused on the inner struggle from the invisible chains of psychic servitude. And What Can We Offer You Tonight, narrated by Jewel, a courtesan at the high-end House of Bicchieri, begins with one of the House’s workers coming back from the dead. Winfield (Win) revives and recovers her memory slowly but soon resolves to carry out revenge on the monster who killed her. The House of Bicchieri is a strange and false outpost of comfort and luxury in the midst of a ruined, flooded city where the poor scrape by and the rich retreat to their well-guarded suburban estates. From the age of 10, children of the poor are subject to a “cull” and many are forced into prostitution, with the “lucky” few picked up by the owners of the House, a couple who go by mineral names (Ms. Serpentine and Mr. Jade). In this future city, if you lack a wristband identifying you as a worker of some value, your life is literally worthless, and you can disappear without a trace. The owners enforce a regime of strict compliance with House rules which always put the clients first (and only) even when their tastes run to beating, mutilation and murder. Yet they also insist on a tone of benign helpfulness. Cheerfulness and beautiful clothes accompany their constant drumbeat of praise and reminders of how lucky the workers are to be saved from poverty and death in the hopeless city. Since Winfield is now dead and beyond the brutal punishments the House can inflict, she decides to revenge herself and friends by using her new powers to come and go as she pleases. The story of her revenge is one element of the plot of this story, but the other is even more interesting. It is the story of Jewel’s inner liberation. ... Mohamed is a brilliant writer who packs a complex story into sixteen short chapters. There is not a word wasted, yet the details of the strange world of this nameless city, even when they fly by in the midst of action, are unforgettable. ... The story builds to an exciting conclusion, and even though I was left wanting to know more about these intriguing characters, that’s a good feeling to have. There’s a lot of richness in a small space in this remarkable novella. Read the full review at SciFi Mind

  23. 4 out of 5

    M. K. French

    Jewel is a courtesan in a world where even a single mistake could lead to a government cull. When her friend is murdered by a client and somehow comes back to life, the two decide to take revenge. As a novella, language is sparse and the ideas have to be compact. Still, Jewel takes her time telling us about her world, where people are chipped and sold, those without a use to society are erased, and even funeral rites aren’t always observed anymore. The dead are simply weighted and dumped in canal Jewel is a courtesan in a world where even a single mistake could lead to a government cull. When her friend is murdered by a client and somehow comes back to life, the two decide to take revenge. As a novella, language is sparse and the ideas have to be compact. Still, Jewel takes her time telling us about her world, where people are chipped and sold, those without a use to society are erased, and even funeral rites aren’t always observed anymore. The dead are simply weighted and dumped in canals, their former spaces sanitized for someone else to take over. In this place, Winfield coming back from the dead is a nuisance at first, as there is no place to keep her. Jewel outright says it at one point: “They say that we are doing meaningful work: that we are generating profit, not everybody can do that you know, that we are employable, not everybody is that you know.” In this atmosphere, the wealthy can do whatever they like, including kill if they want to, and the poor have no recourse. In this world, Winfield is the only recourse that any of the courtesans have for exacting justice when they’re abused. Jewel is afraid of losing what little comforts she has, but Winfield obviously has nothing to fear since she doesn’t officially exist. As the novella progresses, we see more of the casual cruelty in the world around Jewel and understand why Winfield’s actions upset the elite so much. She’s a victim as much as Winfield is, caught in the trap and unable to escape. It makes for an interesting conclusion; while some crimes are resolved, the structure of society as a whole can’t be erased. Jewel is caught up in the change, and hopefully with winter something positive will arise.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    In this whirlwind of a novella, readers are welcomed into a House of courtesans in a dystopian future where the once sparkling Winfield has ruined her funeral by coming back from the dead. Murdered by a client, Win will use her second chance to become an antihero vigilante seeking vengeance. But actually, our protagonist is the practical, routine Jewel rather than the fiery Win. Jewel is both worried about and drawn to her friend Win's chaos, wanting justice for the many tragedies inflicted on t In this whirlwind of a novella, readers are welcomed into a House of courtesans in a dystopian future where the once sparkling Winfield has ruined her funeral by coming back from the dead. Murdered by a client, Win will use her second chance to become an antihero vigilante seeking vengeance. But actually, our protagonist is the practical, routine Jewel rather than the fiery Win. Jewel is both worried about and drawn to her friend Win's chaos, wanting justice for the many tragedies inflicted on the courtesans as a matter of course, while also fearing the loss of her livelihood. I found the story to be a biting commentary on capitalism in this future world where society has collapsed but the increasingly stark differentiation between the rich and poor persists. I think Jewel's turmoil shows the internal struggle with revolutionary change-- a yearning for something better mixed in with a fear of lost safety and the dangers of a fight for survival. She's a sympathetic character and a worthy guide. My only complaint with this one is the world-building. It's a quick read, and I think the author relies on the overwhelming similarities between our world and this possible future to skip explaining things about how it functions. While I was more than happy to skip an info-dump, I had to choose not to fixate on unfamiliar terms that came up as unnecessary distractions from the meat of the story. Once I started dismissing them rather than poking and prodding at them, I had a much better time of it. I recommend this to readers seeking a fast, gritty dystopian story peopled by complex characters facing down the capitalist system that keeps them downtrodden. Thanks to Neon Hemlock Press and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this gripping novella, out 7/20.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Graculus

    This is one of those books which is hard to categorise, given its subject material and plot-line - it involves someone coming back to life after being murdered, which makes it lean more into fantasy, while taking place in a dystopian future where work=life, literally. The story is set in a House, which is basically a high status brothel, with our point of view character being Jewel, who is one of the courtesans both living and working there. One of her fellow sex workers has been murdered by a c This is one of those books which is hard to categorise, given its subject material and plot-line - it involves someone coming back to life after being murdered, which makes it lean more into fantasy, while taking place in a dystopian future where work=life, literally. The story is set in a House, which is basically a high status brothel, with our point of view character being Jewel, who is one of the courtesans both living and working there. One of her fellow sex workers has been murdered by a client and has then come back to life, which poses all sorts of issues both in terms of their status - after all, people have to work to live but if you're not alive, then what? - and their apparent plans for revenge. This is one of those books which, while being well-written and giving a real sense of place in particular with the writing, suffers from being novella length. Like a lot of novellas, it also just kind of stops. There's some resolution of the plot for Jewel and another main character but not for Win, the woman who came back to life. We're left with no answers about how or why, or any idea about what she's doing in the aftermath of her working out her plans. I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher via Netgalley. I am reviewing this book with my honest opinion on a voluntary basis.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tarni :)

    *I recieved an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. CAWPILE: 4.43 Star Rating: 2.25 Stars Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Murder This is one of those situations where I loved the writing style in theory, but thought that it ended up taking away from the plot. The prose and descriptions of the scenery were beautiful, creating a sense of magical realism amidst the text, but at times, it was that beautiful writing that made this difficult to read. I found myself rereading sentences and *I recieved an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. CAWPILE: 4.43 Star Rating: 2.25 Stars Trigger Warnings: Sexual Assault, Murder This is one of those situations where I loved the writing style in theory, but thought that it ended up taking away from the plot. The prose and descriptions of the scenery were beautiful, creating a sense of magical realism amidst the text, but at times, it was that beautiful writing that made this difficult to read. I found myself rereading sentences and paragraphs to try and see if I missed something, a minor detail essential to what was going on. As for the characters themselves, while I loved the relationship between Nero and Jewel, a friendship brought out of shared circumstance, Jewel did not feel like the protagonist to the novel. Winifred did. I wanted her perspective, to know what went through her head as she took revenge on the people that wronged her. Did she hesitate? Did she even actually care for Jewel or Nero? What did it feel like to come back from the dead? Jewel felt like a bystander to the Winifred's revenge. I think that this book would be good for anyone that appreciates purple prose or stream of consciousness. It wasn't for me, but I can see it being really popular among poets and those that gravitate towards magical realism and literary fantasy.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Chaela

    * Thanks to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review! * I have never read a story like And What Can We Offer You Tonight. It was shorter than most books I read and it didn't dive very deep into character development or world building but it was still enjoyable. The story opens with the main character Jewel, a courtesan, grieving the loss of her friend Winfield after she was murdered by a client. However, at the funeral Winfield comes back from the dead with the intent to g * Thanks to NetGalley for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review! * I have never read a story like And What Can We Offer You Tonight. It was shorter than most books I read and it didn't dive very deep into character development or world building but it was still enjoyable. The story opens with the main character Jewel, a courtesan, grieving the loss of her friend Winfield after she was murdered by a client. However, at the funeral Winfield comes back from the dead with the intent to get revenge for her own murder. Then Jewel has to decide whether or not to keep herself safe in a high-stakes world or help Winfield. The setting is a world in the far future mostly destroyed by late stage capitalism. People are heavily modified with horns, wings, bionic breasts, and the like. If you're lucky enough to have a purpose and a job then you're safe but if not then you're at risk of being culled. Law no longer exists and those with money get away with whatever they want. The cast of characters was very interesting. Jewel is a very passive main character and for most of the story is unable to make up her mind on anything she wants to do. The other two main characters were more interesting to me and yet we barely learn anything about either of them. The stream of consciousness narration in the story is very dreamlike and poetic. There is some beautiful imagery, however at times it is hard to discern exactly what is happening. When Jewel's thoughts become confused or upset it becomes confusing to read. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this novella and will likely end up purchasing a physical copy when it comes out. I do wish it were longer, if only to to understand the world and surrounding characters better. I think that this story will appeal to fans of the dystopian and science fiction genres. 3.5 Stars

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Jewel lives and works as a courtesan in what is supposedly the best House in the city. But all is not so fabulous. Her friend Winfield is murdered by a client, mysteriously comes back to life, and sets out on a mission for revenge. Winfield clearly has nothing to lose, so she goes all out in her quest for vengeance, but Jewel still has everything to lose and has a much more of a don’t rock the boat mentality. A lot happens in this little novella. It reads like Jewel’s thoughts, sometimes fast and Jewel lives and works as a courtesan in what is supposedly the best House in the city. But all is not so fabulous. Her friend Winfield is murdered by a client, mysteriously comes back to life, and sets out on a mission for revenge. Winfield clearly has nothing to lose, so she goes all out in her quest for vengeance, but Jewel still has everything to lose and has a much more of a don’t rock the boat mentality. A lot happens in this little novella. It reads like Jewel’s thoughts, sometimes fast and chaotic, and at other times slow, calm, and thought out. You get a real sense of the world that Jewel lives in. Where the smallest infraction can lead to government culls, and you mean absolutely nothing at all unless you are rich. Jewel spends a lot of time explaining her world, all of the inconsistencies and the inequalities between the courtesans, clients, owners, and the people left behind in the town. You get a real sense of how trapped Jewel is. I loved Winfield’s sense of not caring, though I do wish I had gotten to see a bit more of her. And I enjoyed the writing style, very flowy and frilly. Netgalley provided me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. These are my thoughts.

  29. 5 out of 5

    J. Z. Kelley

    In a science-fiction world where only the very wealthy have funerals and everyone else is dumped into the ubiquitous filthy canals when they die, a high end courtesan comes back to life to take vengeance on her wealthy client/murderer. Jewel, the protagonist of And What Can We Offer You Tonight, is the dead girl’s friend. Having not been reanimated with a terrible purpose, Jewel’s concerns are more quotidian: meeting clients, looking after her fellow courtesans, and trying to keep from losing he In a science-fiction world where only the very wealthy have funerals and everyone else is dumped into the ubiquitous filthy canals when they die, a high end courtesan comes back to life to take vengeance on her wealthy client/murderer. Jewel, the protagonist of And What Can We Offer You Tonight, is the dead girl’s friend. Having not been reanimated with a terrible purpose, Jewel’s concerns are more quotidian: meeting clients, looking after her fellow courtesans, and trying to keep from losing her job as a known associate of the vigilante dead girl haunting the city’s rich. This is a tough novella to summarize and an even tougher one to review. It’s beautifully written. Despite being 75% run-on sentences, it never feels dense, just poetic. Jewel’s helpless, often directionless ruminating turns her world into an anxious kaleidoscope. The imagery of the courtesans’ elegant House contrasts with the crumbling city outside in a way that makes both of them seem equally alien and lovely, and Mohamed has a way of describing familiar objects like perfume that seems stranger than her futuristic technology. I wanted to highlight entire chapters. Read my full And What Can We Offer You Tonight review on my blog.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Goran

    This is my second Mohamed novella, and while I liked the other one much more, this was a quick and fun read! A bit stream-of-consciousness, a bit female empowerment, power imbalance, and above all, really great prose! The prose is the highlight of this book, almost to its detriment. It reminded me of some of Patricia McKillip’s more flowery books: you fall in love with the way the sentences flow and can’t help but feel impressed by the way things are worded, but sometimes you just get lost in the This is my second Mohamed novella, and while I liked the other one much more, this was a quick and fun read! A bit stream-of-consciousness, a bit female empowerment, power imbalance, and above all, really great prose! The prose is the highlight of this book, almost to its detriment. It reminded me of some of Patricia McKillip’s more flowery books: you fall in love with the way the sentences flow and can’t help but feel impressed by the way things are worded, but sometimes you just get lost in the language and forget about the story. Is that a valid complaint? The prose is *too* good? It does its job in so few pages, managing to tell a proper story. Feels like the author has more stories to tell in this world, however. For a novella (more of a novelette, really), there was a fairly big focus on worldbuilding. Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley (many thanks), but these are my honest thoughts.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...