Someone You Can Build a Nest in

A cosy fantasy as sweet as love and as dark as night

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Pub Date 11 Apr 2024 | Archive Date 15 Apr 2024

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"Do love stories often end this way?" "Why do you think it's over?"

Shesheshen has made a fatal mistake for a monster: she's fallen in love.

Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who usually resides as an amorphous lump in the swamp of a ruined manor, unless impolite monster hunters invade intent on murdering her. Through a chance encounter, she meets a different kind of human, warm-hearted Homily, who mistakes Shesheshen for a human in turn.

Shesheshen is loath to deceive, but just as she's about to confess her true identity, Homily reveals she's hunting the shapeshifting monster that supposedly cursed her family. Shesheshen didn't curse anyone, but to give them both a chance at happiness, she must figure out why Homily's twisted family thinks she did. And the bigger challenge remains: surviving her toxic in-laws long enough to learn to build a life with the woman she loves.

A glorious, funny, occasionally slightly violent love story which asks us to examine - and re-examine - the meaning of legacy, family and love.

Readers love John Wiswell:

'Like a warm hug' - Goodreads reviewer on "Open House on Haunted Hill"

'So very sweet . . . a perfect little story' - Goodreads reviewer on 'Open House on Haunted Hill'

'Heart-aching . . . you shouldn't miss this one' - Goodreads reviewer on 'Open House on Haunted Hill'

'Cozy and charming and made my heart grow three sizes which cannot be healthy' - Goodreads reviewer on "Open House on Haunted Hill"

'Has such a unique view and voice in his writing that his work is literally incomparable. And I can't wait for what comes next' - Goodreads reviewer on 'Open House on Haunted Hill'

"Do love stories often end this way?" "Why do you think it's over?"

Shesheshen has made a fatal mistake for a monster: she's fallen in love.

Shesheshen is a shapeshifter, who usually resides as an...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529431339
PRICE £20.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 51 members

Featured Reviews

What a fun fantasy book!
From the title you know you are hopping into a fun ride of a novel with a good pinch of gruesome humour. This is a very unusual love story with lots of heart. It shows that the monster isn't who we always think they are, and people are the worst predator of people.
Through the narrative, we follow Shesheshen, a completely in-human monster in her biology and psychology. It is very well done, well written, immediately engrossing, and extremely refreshing. I think that the challenge was making us like a real terrifying monster, and doing that in record time. It made the whole story compelling, and I didn't want to let go of the book.
There are some very well defined trauma moments and deep psychological analysis of the characters. I very much liked how love is not portrayed in traditional lights, but is what you want it be, and the one with the healthiest outlook on family and love wasn't the one that should have had that insight.
This was a great surprise of a book, to anyone who likes very character driven stories, monsters that revers stereotypes, cute romances and are ok with a side of gore.

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This deliciously insane book is easily one of my favourite books of the year already. The book follows Shesheshen, a shapeshifter, she eats her family, she encounters hunters who enter her lair and she eats and uses their body parts to transform, and then one day she is saved, while in human form and injured, by Homily – a woman who shows her kindness and takes care of her – something Shesheshen is not used to. Unfortunately it also turns out that Homily is hunting the dreaded shapeshifting monster, oh and she’s the sister of someone Shesheshen recently just ate!! Shesheshen vows to help Homily in her quest and in doing so, starts to love for the first time.

This book is just delightful – from the opening chapter you just know you’re in for a wild ride and it doesn’t hold back. Yes it’s violent and somewhat b!oody (although not gratuitously so) but it’s also so much more. There’s such humour, Shesheshen is not used to human ways and constantly misunderstands what is said to her, especially by Homily, leading to many confused, blunt and odd responses. The title is a clever one because it has 2 meanings – in the literal sense, to mate Shesheshen must place her egg in a living nest that will consume it’s carrier, could Homily be her nest? But this is ultimately a love story though – and could Homily be the nest that Shesheshen could call home? From the opening chapter you wouldn’t think that this book could be so endearing and yet it is, Shesheshen and Homily are such a charming couple and their interactions just make you smile. Homily is a lovely creation, she is made to feel inferior and berated by her family but with Shesheshen she sees someone who believes in her and in turn starts to believe in herself. You could say the same for Shesheshen, she is ‘seen’, she is loved and starts to see a future for herself as more than she allowed herself to be. This is an incredibly sweet book, bizarre and in the best way and also incredibly body positive – so I loved it in every way you can love a book.

Thank you NetGalley for the copy in exchange for an honest review – I adored this read and would recommend it to anyone

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This is hands down one of the weirdest books I have read in the last couple of years! That being said, it is absolutely amazing!!

It follows Shesheshen, a shapeshifting slime monster, as she falls in love with Homily and struggles to keep her identity as the Wyrm of Underlook a secret. I absolutely adored the depiction of Shesheshen, I find with a lot of sci-fi/fantasy books that the main alien characters are always too human like, that is absolutely not the case here. I really enjoyed watching Shesheshen struggle with human interactions, emotions and body language, as well as her interesting attempts to come off as normal.

My favourite part had to be watching Shesheshen try to figure out how she could covertly eat her girlfriend's abusive family members without alerting anyone that she is in fact the monster they have all been hunting. I really loved how she slowly adopted certain human characteristics and emotions the longer she spent with Homily.

This book is very gory, with lots of descriptions of death and the consumption and reuse of deceased bodies and bodily parts, so not great for anyone who is very squeamish.

I will absolutely be recommending this to people once it is released!

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Recently I’ve been looking for books that are a little bit more ‘out there’ and I don’t think they come more ‘out there’ than this. It’s a monster hunting romance book except we’re following the monster, and she’s the one falling in love.

Shesheshen, our monster, is basically a gelatinous blob of a creature - but one that can absorb and build up a skeletal structure out of anything. Which?! Hello, what a cool concept.

It’s so different from what I’ve read in the past, and I was constantly wondering just what on earth would happen next - all bets are off when the main character is a monster such as Shesheshen. Watching her trying to avoid not getting murdered by townspeople, falling in love, having to navigate social settings, and trying very hard to not implant eggs in her lovers lungs - it’s a ride, but you can’t help but find yourself rooting for her, even more so in the latter half of the book.

It’s queer, funny, endearing, and straight up gross. A monstrous ode to unconventional relationships, surviving family abuse, and finding who you belong with. It won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (especially if you’re a bit squeamish), but there are many people who will absolutely adore this - and rightly so, in my opinion.

Thank you the publishers, and Netgalley, for the copy to review!

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Reviewed in exchange for a free ARC

Ok, so I loved this book. It was delightful monster romance of my heart, ok?

Shesheshen is a shapeshifting monster who believes that the greatest gift a person could give is to be a nest for her eggs and her offsprings' first meal. She's basically an amorphous blob who can take human form, When she's attacked and forced to flee for her life, she is rescued and nursed back to life by Homily and begins to realise that there might be more to love than laying your eggs in someone.

The problem? Homily is part of a monster hunting family, and they're out to kill the monster that cursed them. Sheshesen, apparently. Though she has no memory of this.

It's a fabulous book. One part sapphic romance, one part fantasy, and one part a discussion on what it means to be monstrous. It was fabulously weird and I loved every word. Homily was a very easy character to love, but Shesheshen herself, in all her inhuman glory was particularly spectacular.

Words are not enough for this one. I loved it. Please read it.

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