cover image Unbreakable


Mira Grant. Subterranean, $45 (152p) ISBN 978-1-64524-103-4

Grant (Square³) moves away from her typical horror fare, but never shies from brutality, in this gleeful and nuanced take on the magical girl trope commonly found in manga and anime. In an alternate present, magical protectors are often chosen as children by otherworldly animal companions to defend the world against powerful alien forces—but taking on this responsibility as a suddenly superpowered child soldier promises trauma and often death. Following a massive alien invasion that sees the death of every magical warrior in the world but two, Earth’s governments capture all animal companions and so prevent the creation of any more magical warriors. Though the two remaining protectors, alcoholic Piper Jackson and government puppet Yuina Nakano, lead vastly different lives under constant state surveillance, they’re united in their conviction that the alien threat still looms. Now the duo must uncover the truth of how the first war went sideways before the alien enemies notice that Earth is magically defenseless and return in force. Grant ages up a favorite childhood trope with an alien mystery and a Lovecraftian twist, making the pages of this haunting, character-focused novella fly. Readers’ only complaint will be to wish that it was longer. Agent: Diana Fox, Fox Literary. (Dec.)