cover image The Sevenfold Hunters

The Sevenfold Hunters

Rose Egal. Page Street Kids, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-64567-616-4

In this bustling debut from Egal, teenage students at an elite London-based academy secretly train to hunt and kill vampiric aliens plaguing a dystopian future-Earth. Somali hijabi Abyan Farax Guled, leader of The Sevenfold, Carlisle Academy’s top-ranked hunting squad, wants nothing more than to destroy the Nosaru, parasitic aliens that infect and usurp human bodies. After her squad mate Jared dies in action, Abyan, who’s clinically depressed, has trouble letting go. When Jared’s former girlfriend, “golden-brown” skinned Artemis Garrett-Coleman, is assigned to the Sevenfold as his replacement, she and Abyan butt heads. But, despite Artemis’s poor exam scores and subpar combat skills, Carlisle’s administration refuses to decommission her. Upon realizing that there’s something ominous going on within the academy, the pair, joined by the rest of the Sevenfold, must put aside their differences and defy orders to uncover the truth. Rapid pacing provides little time for emotional beats to land and leaves romantic subplots to falter. Nevertheless, Egal capably combines familiar tropes—academic intrigue, mysterious shadow organizations, and good old-fashioned vampire hunting—with innovative sci-fi elements to deliver an adrenaline-fueled galactic war adventure. Ages 14–up. Agent: Garrett Alwert, Emerald City Literary. (Oct.)