A group of queer fledgling witches search for their friend in a small town among the redwoods of Northern California.
The Grays—four tightknit high school friends—cast a spell to draw someone to their town who can help find Imogen, their fifth group member, whose body is present but whose mind is elsewhere. They attract Danny, a Michigan native. The Grays introduce her to magic, and together, they use their personalized abilities to solve the mystery of Imogen’s disappearance. Along the way, Danny starts to feel at home with the group and nurses a crush on one member, Rush—problematic because she has history with Imogen. The Grays’ frank conversations about identity are utterly refreshing and ring true to life. “What word fits in a way that makes you happy at this very moment?” one Gray asks. Danny is queer and white; Rush is fat, queer, and white; Hawthorn is black and bisexual; June is gay and Filipina; Lelia is nonbinary, gray asexual, and white; Imogen is white and dates girls. Short chapters weave a tapestry of past and present of narration from Danny, the Grays, and others. Though arguably fitting with the narrative’s murky, otherworldly atmosphere, Imogen’s disappearance initially lacks context, and the book-spanning hunt to find her deserves more momentum. The positive, gentle depiction of Danny and Rush’s physical relationship offers much-needed representation.
Ideal for readers searching for queer- and female-driven contemporary fantasy. (Fantasy. 14-18)