This coming-of-age tale from Saintcrow (the Bannon and Clare series) mixes daring magic with teenage romance. Sixteen-year-old Desiree Thompson and her family have moved to the deserts of Wyoming, eager to build a new life after the death of Desiree’s father. She befriends a lonely old woman who teaches her the art of seeing visions, and falls into a complicated romance with the local school’s heartthrob. This Midwestern idyll is thwarted when an otherworldly man, whose presence makes Desiree ill, courts Desiree’s mother. Desiree must learn to believe in herself and overcome the horrors of her family’s past in order to stop her family from becoming prey. Saintcrow’s writing is sharp and poignant, if hampered by the occasional awkward metaphor. Desiree has enough flaws to be appealing; she struggles with her newfound powers, and her crush on Southern transplant Alex is cute and genuine. The magic provides a satisfying backdrop for the family drama that unfolds. Longtime fantasy readers will enjoy Saintcrow’s take on the magic-tinged bildungsroman. (Dec.)
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