From darkness A novel

Kate Hazel Hall

Book - 2020

Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. When her own life is cut short, a familiar young woman appears and summons Ari's soul to the underworld. Ari refuses to go and the mysterious guide decides to save her. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic. Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift -- but it is up to Ari to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.

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Subjects
Genres
Paranormal fiction
Fantasy fiction
Published
New York : Interlude Press [2020]
Language
English
Physical Description
260 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9781945053986
1945053984
Main Author
Kate Hazel Hall (author)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Loss and desire shine through Hall's tender YA debut, in which Greek myth infuses a small Australian town. Arielle Wyndham is haunted by survivor's guilt following the disappearance of her best friend, Alex, in the sea off rural Stonehaven seven years earlier. During a family crisis, a snake bites Ari, and Alex—now an unwilling psychopomp—breaks the underworld's laws to save her friend's life. But their joyous reunion—and growing attraction—are cut short. Alex's meddling has opened a portal to the underworld, unleashing strange beasts and eerie occurrences into the Stonehaven community. In order to save Alex and her town, Ari must defy a great lord of the underworld. Hall's unadorned, graceful prose suffuses first love, otherworldly threats, and mundane chores with the same irresistible sincerity, and may appeal in tone to fans of Megan Shepherd's The Secret Horses of Briar Hill and Lois Metzger's Change Places with Me. The plot includes a few uneven scene changes, and seasoned YA readers may find the trajectory predictable. Still, Ari's journey is clear, heartrending, and shot through with sweetness and eerie beauty. Ages 12–up. (Nov.) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—It has been seven years since Ari Wyndham's best friend, Alex, went missing at sea. Filled with remorse over the disappearance, Ari tries to move on, but she knows a piece of her is missing. After being bitten by a venomous tiger snake, Ari slips into an unknown realm and encounters the river Styx. A figure by the name of the Summoner approaches to take Ari to the afterlife, and Ari eventually realizes that the Summoner is actually Alex. Going against the laws of the underworld, Alex escapes with Ari back to Earth. What should be a wonderful reunion for the two friends soon turns ominous. Ari is filled with terror when evil, unexplainable occurrences plague her town of Stonehaven and Alex starts behaving strangely. Afraid of losing Alex again, Ari will do whatever she can to protect the love of her life, all while saving her town from underworld demons. Hall's debut will interest fans of magical realism and sapphic romances alike. Hall creates a marvelous LGBTQ love story in an eerie fantasy setting. The author intertwines nods to folklore and Greek mythology with relatable real-life issues, such as divorce, depression, and anxiety. Ari is described as white, and Alex has darker skin and black hair. VERDICT This coming-of-age story will leave readers empathizing with Ari as she transitions into adulthood and learns to be brave in the face of danger.—Beronica Puhr, Oak Park P.L., IL Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can't forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari's soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go. Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari's remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can't forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari's soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go. Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari's remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing. Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift. Though their bond seems unbreakable, it may not be enough. It is up to Ari to find the courage to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Sixteen-year-old Ari Wyndham lost her best friend in the sea. Everybody told her it was an accident, but Ari can’t forgive herself. Her own life is cut short when a tiger-snake delivers a deathly bite, and a beautiful, ghostly and strangely familiar young woman appears, summoning Ari's soul to the underworld. Ari, however, refuses to go. Though she knows there will be a terrible price to pay for her transgression, the mysterious guide chooses to save Ari. Their rebellion upsets the balance of life and death in Ari’s remote coastal village. A rift opens from the underworld, unleashing dark magic: savage dog packs emerge at night, fishermen catch ghostly bodies in their nets, and children go missing. Together, Ari and her guide battle the dark powers of the underworld and heal the rift. Though their bond seems unbreakable, it may not be enough. It is up to Ari to find the courage to do the one thing that will save the world from darkness.