cover image This Ravenous Fate

This Ravenous Fate

Hayley Dennings. Sourcebooks Fire, $18.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-7282-9786-6

Two Black girls’ destinies are intertwined in this bewitching novel in which once-human vampires called reapers are taking over 1926 Harlem. After spending five years studying music in Paris, Elise Saint, the 18-year-old daughter of a reaper hunter who specializes in manufacturing enchanted steel, has returned to Harlem. Though she’s set to inherit her father’s steel manufacturing empire, Elise can’t help but want to escape the ominous atmosphere that permeates her neighborhood, exacerbated by the conflict between gangsters and reapers. As she reacclimates, she’s forced to confront the reason she left in the first place: her former best friend Layla Quinn, who is now a reaper. Layla’s plans for revenge go awry, however, when someone starts hunting down Saint family members and their associates, jeopardizing Layla and her reaper clan. Teaming up with Elise, Layla attempts to clear her name, but the longer the girls work together, the more their feelings—a mixture of fear, hate, and all-consuming love—interfere. The importance and power of music, particularly jazz and R&B, features heavily throughout this well-researched Jazz Age mystery. High stakes and bitter romantic tension culminate in a delicious historical fiction fantasy that uses the Harlem Renaissance as a rhythmic soundtrack. Ages 14–up. Agent: Emily Forney, BookEnds Literary. (Aug.)