cover image Black Wings

Black Wings

Megan Hart. Flame Tree, $24.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-78758-117-3

Hart (Little Secrets) turns some familiar tropes on edge in this emotionally fraught and unsettling psychological horror outing. When Briella was young, her mother, Marian Blake, saw only the best in her. But now, age 10, Briella has grown frighteningly intelligent, isolated from her peers, and fascinated by a raven she names Onyx. Marian and her second husband deem it a blessing when Briella is awarded a full scholarship to Parkhaven, a school for exceptionally gifted children—until the school provides Briella the time and resources to work on her ultimate project: to find a way to copy human souls. Trapped in her house by a complicated pregnancy, Marian realizes that Briella is willing and capable of killing to further her research, with help from the increasingly loyal Onyx. Briella’s inner thoughts remain inaccessible, limiting the impression she makes on the reader, but Marian’s struggles with her daughter’s lack of conscience provides a chilling and deeply empathetic journey. This intriguing twist on the chosen child in an elite school trope confronts the reader with a number of unsettling questions that will linger long after the final page has turned. [em]Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary. (Feb.) [/em]