For the love of Lovecraft.
When teenage Lovecraft aficionado Sean stumbles across a guide to the classic author’s magic in an old Rhode Island bookshop, he finds an email contact for a 17th-century wizard inside. Sean eventually makes the connection, resulting in a series of magical misfires in which he conjures the dark lord himself, creating a murderous, demonic Servitor that could drive him into madness. Pillsworth’s first novel takes a while to hit its stride: The first 70-plus pages are steeped in heaps of Lovecraft-ian lore, which will test even the most patient teen readers. Characterizations and plot all take second place to page upon page of exhaustive Lovecraft history, tales and characters (readers don’t get a sense of what Sean looks like until they’re well into the story, for instance). She also builds an odd supporting cast: Sean’s teen friend disappears from the text only to be replaced by his dad and a 25-year-old student, who take on more than adults usually do in the genre. All this said, the plot does take off once the spells have been cast and the damage is done, and readers—if they can weather the exposition—will find themselves plunged in a race against time as Sean works to uncover how to put an end to the demon he created.
A stop-and-go tribute to a classic horror author. (Horror. 12-18)