Two troubled foster siblings are drawn into a dark and twisted world where they’ll never have to be apart, but getting what they want comes at a terrible price.
The self-contained Ksenia Adderley, who is genderqueer, and 16-year-old free-spirited Josh Korensky, who is pansexual, are on their own while their foster parents, Mitch and Emma, are on vacation. Ksenia is almost 18, and their foster parents want to separate them and put a stop to a relationship they consider unhealthy. One night, the two come across a group of strange, feral teens who lead Josh into the shadows, where he disappears. Ksenia takes her own life soon after. But nothing is what is seems, and Josh and Ksenia now exist, together, in a place built on their emotions and the whims of otherworldly beings that seek to twist Ksenia’s and Josh’s pain to their will. Josh and Ksenia’s friend Lexi Holden is eventually drawn into their world and vows to help them escape. There is some clunky dialogue and the novel at times seems overlong, but Porter (Tentacle and Wing, 2017, etc.) weaves a tale that’s a bloody and imaginative horror/dark fantasy hybrid that explores obsessive love, self-determination, and loss. Unfortunately, that imagination only slightly makes up for a messy third act. Most characters are white except for Lexi, who is African American.
A strange and exceedingly creepy fever dream that doesn’t quite reach its potential. (Horror. 14-18)