cover image Here There Are Monsters

Here There Are Monsters

Amelinda Bérubé. Sourcebooks Fire, $10.99 paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-4926-7101-5

In this sharp-edged, dark fantasy, a young woman’s attempt at normalcy crumbles after her younger sister disappears into the sprawling woods near their new home. Skye, 16, used to play the Queen of Swords in her sister’s elaborate fantasy scenarios and protect her from bullies. But since their family’s move, Skye has pulled away from 13-year-old Deirdre, choosing to reinvent herself and find new friends. Then Deirdre mysteriously vanishes. To rescue her sister, Skye must undergo several grueling tasks on behalf of Deirdre’s gruesome, inhuman creations, which have inexplicably come to life. The challenges require Skye to reveal her deepest secrets and hurt those she cares for the most. Bérubé (The Dark Beneath the Ice) adeptly chronicles Skye’s self-destructive quest, infusing her story with a sense of claustrophobia, foreboding, and hopelessness. She succeeds a little too well, however: Skye is abrasive, self-absorbed, and keen to alienate others, and her descent into desperation proves painful as she sacrifices everything for a sister she seems to resent. Paired with the atmospheric setting, the dual exploration of liminal spaces and questionable family makes for a truly weird, creepy tale—one that may prove bleak for most readers. Ages 14–up. [em]Agent: Lana Popovic, Chalberg & Sussman. (Aug.) [/em]