The Luminaries by Susan Dennard
The Luminaries #1
Published November 1, 2022 by Tor Teen
Goodreads Summary: Hemlock Falls isn’t like other towns. You won’t find it on a map, your phone won’t work here, and the forest outside town might just kill you.
Winnie Wednesday wants nothing more than to join the Luminaries, the ancient order that protects Winnie’s town—and the rest of humanity—from the monsters and nightmares that rise in the forest of Hemlock Falls every night.
Ever since her father was exposed as a witch and a traitor, Winnie and her family have been shunned. But on her sixteenth birthday, she can take the deadly Luminary hunter trials and prove herself true and loyal—and restore her family’s good name. Or die trying.
But in order to survive, Winnie enlists the help of the one person who can help her train: Jay Friday, resident bad boy and Winnie’s ex-best friend. While Jay might be the most promising new hunter in Hemlock Falls, he also seems to know more about the nightmares of the forest than he should. Together, he and Winnie will discover a danger lurking in the forest no one in Hemlock Falls is prepared for.
Not all monsters can be slain, and not all nightmares are confined to the dark.
Review: I’ve been reading less and less YA as the years go by but I cannot resist Susan Dennard. I adore her series, The Witchlands, so I knew I had to read this new book. Upon starting the first chapter, I was immediately intrigued by the setting and what Winnie was going to be up against. I’ve been getting more into horror lately so I loved that this seemed like it was going to be fantasy mixed with horror. The Luminaries are located not just in Hemlock Falls but in chapters all over the globe protecting areas against nightmares that are manifested by spirits of certain areas in the world. Almost like a Sam and Dean Winchester meeting the Men of Letters but just in one area of the country. Winnie and her family are currently outcasts of their society because of her father being revealed to be a Diana aka a witch traitor. Winnie desperately wants to be a hunter for the Luminaries so she does what she can to insert herself into the trials that every sixteen year old Luminary does… after all, there is no rule that says outcasts can’t attempt the trials. I absolutely loved Winnie and definitely felt a bond with her over all of the other characters. Everything that she went through in this book was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating. I am also extremely intrigued by Jay…. I feel like there is way more than meets the eye when it comes to Jay and I’m very much looking forward to book two to find out more about him. And I desperately need him and Winnie to just get over their hangups and get together! If you’re a fan of Supernatural, Charmed, or anything else along those lines I highly recommend checking out this book.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.