“In Queens of Noise, Mixi fronts the Mangy Rats, a motley found family of queers, crust punks and werecoyotes. Mixi and their band know they’re gonna win the Battle of the Bands final showdown, no matter what it takes. But to make that happen, they’ll also have to contend with poser goths, murderous chickens, and a bullshit corporate takeover ruining the best bar in town.”
The plot sounds simple enough – supernatural musicians investigate a corporate takeover of their favorite bar – but Leigh Harlen piles on the intrigue. Mixi, leader of a punk band made up of werecoyotes, teams up with R, the leader of a goth band of werewolves. The more they dig, the more secrets are revealed. It’s not just werechickens they have to contend with, but angry witches as well. And, of course, each other. Werewolves and werecoyotes don’t get along, but why then are Mixi and R unable to keep their shifty paws off each other?
This little fantasy novella is punchy and pithy and hella queer. Yet even with all the wildness and kick-assitude, it’s full of heart and charm. You can’t help but root for the characters, celebrate their victories, and mourn their losses. The worldbuilding is creative and the writing as punk as the characters.
Queens of Noise is about as much fun as you can have in 85 pages. I can’t wait to see what Leigh Harlen does next.