cover image Eight Will Fall

Eight Will Fall

Sarah Harian. Holt, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-19664-4

Larkin, 17, and her brother, Garran, toil in mines beneath the isle of Demura to unearth luminite, which is used to suppress outlawed magic. Treated as outcasts, the siblings are both Empaths, able to create powerful magic by siphoning the feelings and emotions of those around them. One day, Queen Melay wrenches Larkin and Garran from their home. She believes that a series of recent disappearances can be attributed to Otheil Kyran, a god of the underworld. Garran will be hurt, or worse, unless Larkin and seven others venture underground into the treacherous Reach to kill Kyran. It’s not long before the team is attacked by vicious clawed creatures and the gruesome deaths begin; as the group closes in on its target, they learn more about each other and why they were chosen. The menacing, claustrophobic setting is chock full of horror elements, and author Harian (the Chaos Theory trilogy for adults) offers interesting insights into power’s tendency to corrupt. However, muddled worldbuilding, thinly fleshed-out characters, and an underdeveloped romance significantly lessen the impact of an otherwise emotional journey of sacrifice and discovery. Ages 14–up. [em](Nov.) [/em]