Vesper

Jeff Sampson, Author
Jeff Sampson, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-199276-6
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-06-199277-3
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-0-06-206298-7
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Middle-grade author Sampson's (Monster Slayer) quick-paced YA debut, first in the Deviants series, gives werewolves an SF twist. Emily Webb is 16 when her subdued good-girl geek life takes an unexpected turn. On the night a classmate is murdered, Emily gets a strange urge to crawl out her bedroom window and get wild. That impulse is just the beginning: following nightly seizures, Emily's timid personality turns aggressive: she steals her stepsister's clubbing clothes for her late-night romps, and her physical abilities are way above the norm. In the space of a few days, Emily's out-of-control nocturnal behavior and her drive to track the source of a musky, masculine scent lead to her ostracization and alienation. Worse, another schoolmate is attacked, and Emily may be next. Sampson lets Emily's story unfold with small reveals, and intriguing details build this into a cohesive page-turner. Although very little of the mystery is resolved, enticing hints of a deeper backstory, combined with a cliffhanger ending, should leave readers eager for the next book. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
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