cover image Daughter from the Dark

Daughter from the Dark

Sergey and Marina Dyachenko, trans. from the Russian by Julia Meitov Hersey. Harper Voyager, $25.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-291621-1

An unlikely duo is at the heart of this alluring fantasy about the power of music from the Dyachenkos (Vita Nostra). Walking home from the club one night, DJ Aspirin encounters 10-year-old Alyona wandering alone in the dark with nothing but a teddy bear. Aspirin ushers the girl to the safety of his apartment only for Alyona to reveal that she is a visitor from another world searching for her brother, who will only be revealed to her if she masters a grueling composition on his violin. Aspirin doesn’t know what to believe, but he knows he wants Alyona gone so that he can return to his womanizing life as a minor celebrity. Alyona refuses to leave until she’s found her brother. Aspirin begrudgingly pretends to be Alyona’s father, but the longer she stays with him, the more Aspirin’s sense of responsibility for the otherworldly girl grows as dangerous pursuers from her homeland attempt to hunt her down. The change Alyona enacts in her reluctant caregiver is wholly satisfying. Fans of found family tropes will be pleased with this strange, ethereal tale. (Feb.)