When a supernatural war reaches her farm, Hallie fights to defend her land while struggling with familial estrangement.
The elder sibling always inherits Roadstead Farm, so despite a surprising will left by her late father stating that Hallie and her older sister, Marthe, each own half, Hallie lives with the constant fear that she’ll be kicked out. Recent times are especially upsetting. Although the local men marched to war against the Wicked God Southward and returned victorious, they came home wounded and damaged. It turns out the peculiar war isn’t finished after all: Twisted Things—the Wicked God’s hybrid animal-monsters that scorch and smoke against anything they touch, even air—fall out of the sky to land on Roadstead Farm. Bobet tenderly braids together an enigmatic hired man, a neighbor family sharing the warmth that Hallie and Marthe have lost with each other, and an agricultural setting that at first appears fictional but emerges as a post-apocalyptic North America in which cities fell and machines “went dark.” The story’s deep and sobering core is about family, blame, misunderstanding, and the nature of home. Despite the clear possibility of utter destruction, the pace of Hallie’s narration is unhurried and reflective rather than speedy or suspenseful. A marriage between two men is organic and unremarked-upon. Only an overabundance of poetic but lofty metaphors and similes hampers the flow and the believability of Hallie’s voice.
War, community, long-festering anger, and forgiveness—all thoughtfully and deliberately conveyed. (Fantasy. 14 & up)