An inventive, thoughtfully constructed, chilling fantasy.

THE WILD DARK

A former cop becomes haunted by more than just her past in this dark fantasy series opener.

Liz Raleigh is staying alone in a cabin in the middle of the New Hampshire woods, 30 miles from the nearest town, so when she hears footsteps on the porch late one winter night, she can’t help but go into cop mode. She’s not on the force anymore—she left her job at a coastal Maine police department after her actions unintentionally led to the death of her partner, Brody Aritza. Then her relationship with her photographer fiance fell apart, and now she’s hiding out in this remote cabin, trying to clear her head. But that’s easier said than done. Local New Hampshire forest ranger Hank Feld is sniffing around for a missing person—a man who happens to look a lot like Liz’s dead father—and she has been imagining that she sees and hears Brody everywhere. Or at least she thinks she’s imagining him. Then things start to escalate. Liz and Hank get in a car accident when a shadowy figure steps into the road. She staggers to the nearby ranger station, where she finds broken furniture and a lot of blood. The people in the nearby town erupt in panic. It turns out that the ghosts of the dead have come back to walk the Earth—and they’ve brought some very bad things with them. Silva’s prose writhes with angst and urgency, as here where Liz witnesses the chaos in town: “Cardend was a throbbing heart of anarchy. Mothers and fathers sprinted down the road toward us, cradling their children. Others yanked them behind like rag dolls. A man in an oily jumpsuit smashed a car window with a crowbar on our left. I slowed the Jeep, trying to make my way through the human thicket.” The author mixes horror and crime elements with some imaginative worldbuilding and a satisfying psychological element. Though they at times adhere to type, her characters are well defined, and the audience will have no trouble getting caught up in Liz’s emotional plunge through the dark. Readers will look forward to seeing what lurks in the next volume.

An inventive, thoughtfully constructed, chilling fantasy.

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-578-95370-0

Page Count: 364

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences.

MIDNIGHT SUN

From the Twilight series , Vol. 5

A long-awaited Twilight (2005) companion novel told from vampire Edward’s point of view.

Edward Cullen, a 104-year-old vampire (and eternal 17-year-old), finds his world turned upside down when new girl Bella Swan’s addictive scent drives a primal hunger, launching the classic story of vampire-meets-girl, vampire-wants-to-eat-girl, vampire-falls-in-love-with-girl. Edward’s broody inner monologue allows readers to follow every beat of his falling in love. The glacial pace and already familiar plot points mean that instead of surprise twists, characterization reigns. Meyer doesn’t shy away from making Edward far less sympathetic than Bella’s view of him (and his mind reading confirms that Bella’s view of him isn’t universal). Bella benefits from being seen without the curtain of self-deprecation from the original book, as Edward analyzes her every action for clues to her personality. The deeper, richer characterization of the leads comes at the expense of the secondary cast, who (with a few exceptions) alternate primarily along gender lines, between dimwitted buffoons and jealous mean girls. Once the vampiric threat from James’ storyline kicks off, vampire maneuvering and strategizing show off the interplay of the Cullens’ powers in a fresh way. After the action of the climax starts in earnest, though, it leans more into summary and monologue to get to the well-known ending. Aside from the Quileutes and the occasional background character, the cast defaults to White.

A love letter to fans who will forgive (and even revel in) its excesses and indulgences. (Paranormal romance. 12-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-70704-6

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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Real events like the Vietnam draft and Stonewall uprising enter the characters' family history as well as a stunning plot...

THE RULES OF MAGIC

The Owens sisters are back—not in their previous guise as elderly aunties casting spells in Hoffman’s occult romance Practical Magic (1995), but as fledgling witches in the New York City captured in Patti Smith's memoir Just Kids.

In that magical, mystical milieu, Franny and Bridget are joined by a new character: their foxy younger brother, Vincent, whose “unearthly” charm sends grown women in search of love potions. Heading into the summer of 1960, the three Owens siblings are ever more conscious of their family's quirkiness—and not just the incidents of levitation and gift for reading each other's thoughts while traipsing home to their parents' funky Manhattan town house. The instant Franny turns 17, they are all shipped off to spend the summer with their mother's aunt in Massachusetts. Isabelle Owens might enlist them for esoteric projects like making black soap or picking herbs to cure a neighbor's jealousy, but she at least offers respite from their fretful mother's strict rules against going shoeless, bringing home stray birds, wandering into Greenwich Village, or falling in love. In short order, the siblings meet a know-it-all Boston cousin, April, who brings them up to speed on the curse set in motion by their Salem-witch ancestor, Maria Owens. It spells certain death for males who attempt to woo an Owens woman. Naturally this knowledge does not deter the current generation from circumventing the rule—Bridget most passionately, Franny most rationally, and Vincent most recklessly (believing his gender may protect him). In time, the sisters ignore their mother's plea and move to Greenwich Village, setting up an apothecary, while their rock-star brother, who glimpsed his future in Isabelle’s nifty three-way mirror, breaks hearts like there's no tomorrow. No one's more confident or entertaining than Hoffman at putting across characters willing to tempt fate for true love.

Real events like the Vietnam draft and Stonewall uprising enter the characters' family history as well as a stunning plot twist—delivering everything fans of a much-loved book could hope for in a prequel.

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-5011-3747-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Aug. 6, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

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