cover image Burn the Dark: Malus Domestica #1

Burn the Dark: Malus Domestica #1

S. A. Hunt. Tor, $17.99 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-30643-2

Immaculate worldbuilding drives this atmospheric series opener from Hunt (Law of the Wolf). Youtuber Robin Martine amasses millions of followers for her action-packed witch-hunting videos, but her audience has no idea that the violence in her videos is real; Robin’s on a quest to avenge her mother’s murder at the hands of supernatural forces. One of her earliest kills leaves Robin with an ominous threat: “The Red Lord will find you.” Now she sometimes spots a crimson figure lurking at the edge of her vision, but is unsure if the vision is real or magic intended to sow self-doubt. Joined by a cast of diverse, thoughtfully written characters, Robin returns to her hometown of Blackfield, Ga., to kill the coven responsible for her mother’s death, but the Red Lord intervenes, and Robin discovers that the circumstances surrounding the crime are far more complex than she knew. With a detailed setting and an ear for dialogue, Hunt captures a distinct feeling of Southern Americana. The cliff-hanger ending is sure to leave readers eager for the next installment. (Jan.)

Correction: An earlier version of this review listed the wrong last name for the character Robin Martine.