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Shanti by Alessandro Manzetti (Hardcover)

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China Miéville’s epic world-building meets Charlee Jacob’s beautifully brutal prose. Shanti is a horrifying look into a post-apocalyptic Earth and just what humans will do to each other just to survive. 

The orphan sisters, Justine and Juliette, are entrusted to the care of the Sainte Marie College headed by Madame Desroches, a transgender matron of the infamous and dystopian neighborhood Paris South 5, the Hyper-Bronx f the French capital. The two sisters will become prey and predators of a brutal and hopeless world, where everybody wants to become a citizen of the mythical Shanti, the Holy City. Shanti is an artificial paradise, the last chance of a decent living following the apocalypse due to the radioactive meteor Uxor77. Now the Earth is characterized only by the annihilation of animal protein, the spread of cannibalism and brutal sexual deviances. 

The destinies of the two girls take shape in an apocalyptic Paris, with its red-light districts and the fashionable restaurants of human flesh, and then in the desert, among the subhuman menageries of the barren, desperate Mesoamerican Republic. 

Flamingo is a wicked creature that has survived the time to become the queen of Shanti, the Eldorado of Sex, whose heretic and sadist court, pulls the strings of everybody’s fate. But the New France’s criminal underworld as well as a powerful and cruel organization that control technology, the world markets of new synthetic drugs and the clandestine trade in human flesh, want to get their hands on the Holy City. 

Justine and Juliette become involved in different games of power; one will become predator, the other prey, always looking for faith, in spite of everything. What fate awaits them? Shanti is written as an homage to the famed sisters of the Marquis de Sade’s infamous novel Justine, as a futurization of that famous, heretic masterpiece