Book Review: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

I have had this book for years, waiting to be read. The idea of a hiking journey through a Lovecraftian world accompanied by a cat sounds just lovely. To add on, the protagonist is middle-aged. Something more books should have, instead of teens running around and saving the world. Unfortunately, there ends my love for the work. The plot wasn’t for me. I couldn’t get invested in a lovesick runaway college student being chased after and brought back so that her father wouldn’t shut the college down.

Another thing that made it hard for me to get into the work was the prose. It was clumsy, removed, and too sweet at times. I found it hard to take the ghouls and threats seriously or get invested in what the protagonist saw and experienced because of it. Not a style that fits me. I’m sure it and the plot will draw someone else into the world and Vellitt Boe’s experience. There is this dream and child-like fairy tale quality to it in a semi-dark world where nothing bad really can happen while exploring the monsters, monstrous humans, and places Lovecraft created. The book is full of references and it cleverly reverses the usual premise of Lovecraft’s terror, making it the norm and our world weird and scary.

And about the ending. It annoyed me. It saved the initial anger towards the book’s premise, yet it felt forced with the runaway student. But, with the protagonist Professor Vellitt Boe, I think the ending was just what the story called for. So there is that. Now, as I look back at the experience, I should have let go of the expectation of a story and let Vellitt Boe’s witness-like quality take me on a journey. I enjoyed the sentences describing Vellitt Boe backing her things and stepping on the road, experiencing a sense of familiarity and belonging. Rare treats where my mindset and the book’s united.

Thank you for reading. Have an adventurous day! If you find any ghouls on your way, say hi.

2 comments on “Book Review: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe by Kij Johnson

  1. That is a proper review. Pointing out what you did and did not enjoy, but clearly stating it can be a matter of taste.
    I’m a fan of Lovecraft’s ‘Kadath’, and have long waited to read this homage.
    I still will; but perhaps with less expectation.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

What truly matters in life

What happened to you, matters - how to feel better again


The Life & Ramblings Of A Zillennial


My Life And Everything Within It

Beyond the cliff

So, where to?



Avisha Rasminda

Hi, I'm Avisha Rasminda Twenty-Two years old, Introduce Myself As A Author , Painter , A Poet.

The Cabinet of Curiosity

Literature, Science, Art and Culture in the long Nineteenth-Century.

Biveros Bulletin

To Travel is to Live

Sapient Publishers


Lebana's Journey |Prose and Poetry|

I Dare You to Figure Me Out


Highs and lows of life.

deepak sharma writes

Short and Inspiring Stories, Articles, and Travel Memoirs

Victoria Dutu Author Books and Paintings

Buy just now these Books and Paintings created by me, VICTORIA DUTU. My paintings and books are about a world of soul, mind, heart, love, suffer, faith, God, man and women, powerful of heart and mind, victory, success, to be strong and winner in our time.

%d bloggers like this: