cover image Shadow Hills

Shadow Hills

Anastasia Hopcus, Egmont USA, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-60684-083-2

A familiar combination of romance, destiny, and the paranormal, Hopcus's first novel is unexceptional in terms of plot and technique, but carries a strong narrative momentum that should appeal to readers. The narrator is Persephone "Phe" Archer, a wealthy 15-year-old from Los Angeles, who has convinced her parents to send her to Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Mass., after the death of her older sister, Athena. Phe is plagued with nightmares that seem to direct her to Shadow Hills, and she knows from her sister's diary that Athena had the same nightmares. From the moment she arrives on campus, Phe is enmeshed in mysteries (why is she developing a strange, symmetrical mark on her hip? why do some of the locals seem to have superpowers?), revelations, and the attentions of a handsome townie named Zach, who has no shortage of mysteries of his own. Epidemics, genetics, and witchcraft intertwine as the stakes ratchet implausibly but thrillingly higher; loose ends at the conclusion may prime the way for sequels. Ages 12–up. (July)