cover image The Wolves Are Watching

The Wolves Are Watching

Natalie Lund. Viking, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-35109-3

Fifteen-year-old Luce Green uncovers terrifying secrets about her small Illinois hometown in this eerie, Slavic-folklore-inspired supernatural mystery from Lund (The Sky Above Us). Luce considers herself a typical teen, contending with quotidian adolescent growing pains and friendship woes, until her two-year-old cousin, Madison, goes missing from her crib one night only to suddenly reappear in her room the following day. Luce immediately notices Madison’s strange new behavior—she rarely speaks, stares off into the distance, and moves stiffly “like those animatronics they had at Chuck E. Cheese”—and believes it’s connected to the glowing golden eyes she’s seen peering out from the forest behind her house at night. Unbeknownst to Luce, Fanya, a wolflike young woman who lives in the forest, is preparing to welcome Madison into her pack. While the pacing is lackadaisical, alternating perspectives featuring Luce’s astute narration and Fanya’s peregrine point of view, written in Lund’s titillating prose, keep readers engaged. Serving up dark, small-town history and ancient folkloric creatures, Lund capably blends past, present, and future in this ethereal tale. Characters read as white. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Ostby, Greenhouse Literary. (Oct.)