cover image Godly Heathens (The Ouroboros #1)

Godly Heathens (The Ouroboros #1)

H.E. Edgmon. Wednesday, $20 (400p) ISBN 978-1-250-85361-5

Transgender teen Gem Echols, who is of Seminole descent, learns that they’re the reincarnation of an ancient god in this electrifying duology opener from Edgmon (the Witch King duology). Gracie, Ga., high school junior Gem is just killing time until they can graduate and start their “real life” alongside Enzo Truly—an Indigenous trans boy in Brooklyn who is Gem’s best friend and secret love. Then Native, Alaska-born trans girl Willa Mae Hardy arrives in town, claiming she and Gem are soulmates and part of a pantheon of gods that ruled a realm called the Ether before a murderous coup forced their exodus to Earth. Every few generations, the remaining exiled gods are reborn as humans, gradually remembering their past selves. Gem fears that they’re losing their grip on reality—until Willa Mae uses magic to save them from another reincarnated god intent on revenge for a transgression Gem doesn’t yet recall. And per Willa Mae, things will only get worse. Edgmon thoughtfully explores issues of agency, identity, and mental illness via an inventive mythology; a high-stakes, action-packed plot; and a vibrantly drawn, intersectionally diverse cast embroiled in realistically thorny relationships. Ages 14–up. Agent: Lee O’Brien, Irene Goodman Literary. (Nov.)