Clementine DeVore spent ten years trapped in a cellar, pinned down by willow roots, silenced and forgotten.
Now she’s out and determined to uncover who put her in that cellar and why.
When Clementine was a child, dangerous and inexplicable things started happening in New South Bend. The townsfolk blamed the fiendish people out in the Willows and burned their homes to the ground. But magic kept Clementine alive, walled up in the cellar for ten years, until a boy named Fisher sets her free. Back in the world, Clementine sets out to discover what happened all those years ago. But the truth gets muddled in her dangerous attraction to Fisher, the politics of New South Bend, and the Hollow, a fickle and terrifying place that seems increasingly temperamental ever since Clementine reemerged.
One moment eight-year-old Clementine was happily playing in her mother's garden; the next, she was buried alive in a basement closet, the house burning down above her. There she lay, tree roots intertwining with her limbs and hair, before being discovered 10 years later grown to late-adolescence, her eyes sewn shut, and a bag of powerful magic around her neck, which kept her alive. Ten years ago, the "Reckoning" left Hoax County's generally benign "craft" magic users either dead, in hiding, or living in fear on the edge of town near the Hollow, where truly dangerous supernatural creatures called fiends supposedly live in the shadows. Now, Clementine tries to discover who put her in that closet (and why) before the Reckoning returns and more innocent blood flows. Yovanoff (Paper Valentine) has a masterful touch with dialogue, and her supernatural world deftly combines Southern tradition with horrors of her own creation. There are a few minor pacing and continuity quirks, but this unnerving story will entice her fans or anyone who loves dark fantasy. Ages 12 up.