cover image Bent Heavens

Bent Heavens

Daniel Kraus. Holt, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-15167-4

Almost three years before this novel’s start, high school senior Liv Fleming’s father, Lee, a beloved high school English teacher, disappeared for four days. Eight months after he reappeared, naked and staggering in the town square of Bloughton, Iowa, he vanished again, for good. In the feverish days following his initial reappearance, Lee obsessively crafted a shed full of weapons and built a series of traps in the woods designed to catch the aliens that he claimed had abducted and experimented on him. When one of the traps ensnares a humanoid being, Liv and her childhood friend, outcast Doug Monk, restrain it in the shed for interrogation. But Doug, who loved Lee like a father, spirals out of control, convinced that cruelty is the only route to finding out what happened. Struggling to conceal this explosive secret amid her senior year and a burgeoning romance, Liv must decide whether she’s willing to sacrifice her humanity in the same way, and the road to the truth is pitted with one uncomfortable twist after another. Kraus’s blend of sci-fi and heart-stopping horror isn’t for the squeamish, but it offers a viscerally terrifying examination of grief, othering, and the price of vengeance. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Richard Abate, 3 Arts Entertainment. (Feb.) [/em]