Kermes Vermilio

The Decay of the Tactless

Fiction - Fantasy - General
146 Pages
Reviewed on 08/26/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Get ready for a wild, fantastical ride full of magic, mystery, and mayhem with Kermes Vermilio by Yellow Streamers. Two millennia ago, a young girl born out of darkness stumbled upon a book and gained the ability to bend reality to her own will. Named Medusa, she was eventually decried as a witch and persecuted. In the 20th century, the Prior family suffered from an unexplainable curse as their descendants always inadvertently ran into misfortune. When a series of murders around the Vermilion River in the early 90s created waves, Detectives Savannah Handorf and Fred Bass investigated the case, leading them to the Prior family. Now in the present, seventeen-year-old Cassie and her lover Hayden Prior are the only ones capable of standing up against a resurgent Medusa and stopping her from annihilating everything in her path.

Thematically rich and narratively poignant, Kermes Vermilio is a unique piece of work that is well worth a read. Author Yellow Streamers crafts an epic fantastical tale spanning two millennia and featuring multiple POV narratives with characters from different eras to deliver a vivid and visceral world you will immerse yourself in completely. The experimental narrative style with timeline jumps and a plethora of characters may make the story somewhat challenging, but the end result is something beautiful to behold. All the characters serve a purpose, whether to drive the plot forward or support the themes the author delves into. At times, the narrative feels cinematic. If you're looking for something uniquely authentic, I recommend Kermes Vermilio.

Manik Chaturmutha

Kermes Vermilio by Yellow Streamers is a fantasy crime thriller predominantly set in the US. The Strain, Mother Nature's organized order, protects the Earth's soul. It dictates that its people cannot have families. When Cassius the leader breaks this rule and has a daughter, Aida, through unauthorized spells, Mother Nature begins wreaking havoc worldwide. Aida grows up to become Medusa, a murderous witch exiled underground to curb her activities. Medusa's sinister tendencies manage to possess humans born generations later, making them heinous criminals. Simultaneously, Mother Nature punishes humans by creating pandemics and wars. Crime and destruction are rising, engulfing the Earth in chaos. Will Medusa be defeated, and can Earth's habitants save themselves?

The book has a pulse-quickening pace that maintains the intrigue through surprising revelations. Medusa has a unique origin story, and her actions are vividly described. The serial murders in the plot are explored in detail but enough is concealed for the outcomes to surprise readers. The witchcraft and magic are credible due to the authentic interactions between the characters, which are given poignant backstories. They are connected in astonishing ways and their flaws and disabilities are realistically etched. The story also provides commentary on disturbed parental relations, mental health issues, and the inclusion of the LGBT community, making it emotionally resonant. The story is multidimensional because each event has some significance concerning the climax. Kermes Vermilio by Yellow Streamers is an enjoyable read. Those who enjoy fantasy and thrillers mixed with a bit of magical realism should give this book a try.

Rabia Tanveer

Kermes Vermilio: The Decay of The Tactless by Yellow Streamers is a fantasy novel that follows the life of Cassie Finch as she struggles to find a place for herself amidst the chaos around her. Filled with mystery, magic, and suspense, the story follows a multitude of characters, each of whom has a tale to tell. In the center of it all is 17-year-old Cassie, who moved to Needmore, Florida, with her father in the hopes of finding a situation without having to interact with the rest of the world too much. However, a boy named Hayden Prior pays her attention, and the two soon form a bond. The situation changes when Detectives Savannah Handorf and Fred Bass start to investigate murders that took place in the 90s and the Prior family’s possible involvement in those unfortunate events. Now it is up to Cassie and Hayden to reveal the truth, but they have no idea what danger awaits them.

Unique and entertaining, Kermes Vermilio had my attention from the very first chapter. The mystery behind the deaths in the Vermillion River and the involvement of the Prior family was interesting. The author crafted some unusual characters and was inspired by mythology to create this perfect little novella that will bewitch readers. I enjoy Cassie’s reactions, but it is Hayden and the antagonist of the story that appealed to me the most. Both of them are original, crafted to perfection, and well-rounded. Each of the characters has a story to relate, and the author does a great job of sharing those with readers. Even though the narrative is fragmented, it is still absorbing. The pace is fast, the chapters are distinctive, and the story is fantastic. You can tell that Yellow Streamers spent a lot of time crafting the story and making everything cohesive!