cover image Wake the Bones

Wake the Bones

Elizabeth Kilcoyne. Wednesday, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-2507-9082-8

Nineteen-year-old white-cued Laurel Early battles supernatural forces on her family’s tobacco farm in Kilcoyne’s visceral horror debut. Laurel’s late mother Anna, who was a pariah in their rural Kentucky town, used her magic to grow healthy crops. The magic Laurel inherited, she believes, is less practical: when she touches a deceased animal’s body, she sees its death. After dropping out of college in Ohio, she returns home to help her uncle Jay run the farm alongside best friends Isaac, Ricky, and Garrett, all coded white. Increasingly strange and terrifying events—animals found brutally killed but uneaten, a giant monster made of bone, and Anna’s ghost issuing warnings—prompt Laurel to consult local outcast Christine, who reluctantly helps Laurel harness her magic. Laurel and Ricky’s combative romance and Isaac and Garrett’s tentative courtship are expertly developed, and their complex relationships with the “mean-mouthed and close-minded” townsfolk, the land itself, and each other are realistically thorny. Using an ominous third-person perspective, grisly horror elements, and distinct setting, Kilcoyne delivers an exceptional examination of life, death, and grief teeming with beauty and menace. Ages 13–up. Agent: Erin Clyburn, Jennifer De Chiara Literary. (July)