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Will make readers lock their doors, turn on the lights, and cover every mirror in the house.

Sixteen authors conduct a haunted tour of a house that forces us to look at the ghosts we don’t want to see.

In this collection, readers take a journey through stories that are divided into sections: “Attic,” “Down the Stairs,” “Second Floor,” “First Floor,” and Grounds.” The stories, which are rooted in various folkloric and mythological traditions, are by a diverse range of authors, including newer voices and well-established fan favorites, such as Traci Chee and Nova Ren Suma. Some of the standout entries include Courtney Gould’s “Good Morning, Georgia,” which plays with perception as two teenage girls communicate through a vanity mirror; Kay Costales’ “Cradle and All,” in which the Tiyanak, a blood-sucking creature from Filipino mythology, appears to a girl who’s haunted by a loss; and Nora Elghazzawi’s “Mirror, Mirror,” which introduces readers to a djinn who will prompt them to question what they’d be willing to give up to get what they want. Equally strong are Gina Chen’s “Like Mother,” which describes a deal with a demon and a commentary on the traumas, losses, and legacies of the immigration experience, and “In Deep” by C.L. McCollum, focused around a murky pond at a B&B where heartbreak and revenge thrive. Loss and grief of various kinds are at the core of each story in this engaging volume.

Will make readers lock their doors, turn on the lights, and cover every mirror in the house. (Horror anthology. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 6, 2024

ISBN: 9798890030122

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Page Street

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2024

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A descriptive and atmospheric paranormal social thriller that could be a bit tighter.

After a Nigerian British girl goes off to an exclusive boarding school that seems to prey on less-privileged students, she discovers there might be some truth behind an urban legend.

Ife Adebola joins the Urban Achievers scholarship program at pricey, high-pressure Nithercott School, arriving shortly after a student called Leon mysteriously disappeared. Gossip says he’s a victim of the glowing-eyed Changing Man who targets the lonely, leaving them changed. Ife doesn’t believe in the myth, but amid the stresses of Nithercott’s competitive, privileged, majority-white environment, where she is constantly reminded of her state school background, she does miss her friends and family. When Malika, a fellow Black scholarship student, disappears and then returns, acting strangely devoid of personality, Ife worries the Changing Man is real—and that she’s next. Ife joins forces with classmate Bijal and Benny, Leon’s younger brother, to uncover the truth about who the Changing Man is and what he wants. Culminating in a detailed, gory, and extended climactic battle, this verbose thriller tempts readers with a nefarious mystery involving racial and class-based violence but never quite lives up to its potential and peters out thematically by its explosive finale. However, this debut offers highly visually evocative and eerie descriptions of characters and events and will appeal to fans of creature horror, social commentary, and dark academia.

A descriptive and atmospheric paranormal social thriller that could be a bit tighter. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9781250868138

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2023

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An affecting supernatural mystery with a pair of brave protagonists.

The disappearance of a child unveils what lies hiding in the woods at the edge of a small town.

There are all sorts of stories about Picnic, Illinois, but it’s not until her toddler cousin, Madison, goes missing from her crib one night that 15-year-old Luce starts to believe them—and especially when she notices a pair of glowing, wolflike eyes through the windows of her house. To everybody’s relief, Madison is returned to her crib, seemingly safe and sound, soon after she vanished, but Luce and the child’s mother notice discomfiting differences in the 2-year-old. And yet, no one else seems to give credence to their concerns. Luce, prompted by a teacher, starts to research Picnic’s history and the many disappearances—and sudden reappearances—of baby girls, going back decades. Meanwhile, deep in the woods, Fanya, who narrates alternating chapters, tends to the baby girl and prepares for the ritual to welcome her as part of her pack when the full moon comes. As Luce’s and Fanya’s stories converge, so do past and present in Lund’s atmospheric novel. The story borrows elements from South Slavic lore about women who turn into animals to tell an affecting tale about small-town secrets, wronged people, and the bravery of two girls bent on getting to the truth in order to save lives. All characters are assumed White.

An affecting supernatural mystery with a pair of brave protagonists. (Paranormal thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-35109-3

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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