Walton follows The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender with a lyrical and robust multigenerational story set on the fictional Anathema Island in the Pacific Northwest…In succinct, evocative sentences, Walton paints vivid scenes while maintaining a gripping plot. Addressing abandonment, self-harm, first love, and other topics, Walton weaves a rewardingly complex tale that brims with suspense and romance.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Walton conjures a rich sense of place in her sophomore novel, and the backstory of the Blackburn women is undeniably fascinating. Additionally, she does an excellent job handling the topic of Nor’s self-harm: Nor’s already sought treatment by the time her story begins, and though her compulsive thoughts and anxiety are still there, she’s learned how to manage those thoughts in a healthy way…the eerie atmosphere, lyrical language, and romance subplot will still entrance many.
As in her 2014 debut, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Walton’s writing is atmospheric and ethereal. Anathema Island, with its foggy shores, rich diversity of flora and fauna, and quirky tourist shops, comes to vivid life…Nor’s wicked and violent sociopath mother is memorable and her scenes are truly chilling…Walton’s sophomore effort is haunting and, especially in the last act, thrilling.
—School Library Journal
An atmospheric, blood-drenched dark fantasy for a cold and stormy night.
Walton’s (The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender) horror tale features a vivid setting, lyrical prose, and engaging characters; Nor’s formidable pipe-smoking grandmother Judd, her best friend Savvy (a “punk rock Pollyanna…with big brown eyes, ocher-brown skin, and wildly colored hair”), and her love interest Reed Oliveira provide comfort and care to a protagonist whose mother is hell-bent on murdering her.
—The Horn Book
Like in The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, Leslye Walton’s story is lyrical and atmospheric, and you’ll find yourself getting lost on Anathema Island.
Gripping and dark, this bewitching family drama will have you reading to midnight!
—The Kids’ Next List newsletter
The Price Guide to the Occult is a classic page-turner…Dark fantasy fans take note, Leslye Walton has a story here that you will not want to miss.