From Susan Dennard, the New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series, comes a haunting and high-octane contemporary fantasy about the magic it takes to face your fears in a nightmare-filled forest and the mettle required to face the secrets hiding in the dark corners of your own family.
An Instant New York Times Bestseller
A Barnes & Noble YA Book Club Pick
An Indigo Best Teen Book of 2022
A Junior Library Guild Pick
An Indie Next Pick
A Goodreads Most Anticipated YA Book
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.
"You'll want to get lost in the world of The Luminaries again and again.”—Leigh Bardugo, #1 New York Times bestselling author
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
A secret international organization called the Luminaries trains hunters to protect an unsuspecting world from nightmarish creatures in this adrenaline-fueled fantasy adventure series opener by Dennard (the Witchlands series). The group's American branch, headquartered in Hemlock Falls, comprises seven clans, each named for a day of the week and championing a different attribute. The Wednesday clan values loyalty, so when 16-year-old Winnie's father is exposed as an enemy spy, Winnie and her family become outcasts. Despite her lack of training, Winnie enrolls in the Luminaries' hunter trials, hoping that success could redeem her family. Upon failing her first trial—a mission to slay one of the terrifying beasts inhabiting Hemlock Falls' surrounding forest—she's saved by an entity whose frightening aura rivals that of the forest creatures. But when she tries to warn the examiners about this unknown variable, she mistakenly gets credit for the kill and advances to the next round. Opting to remain mum, Winnie must now find a way to survive the final trials, further risking her family's reputation and her life. Dennard offsets a slight plot, murky mythology, and underdeveloped supporting cast with plentiful action, terrifying monsters, and a kind, courageous heroine. Winnie has olive skin; the cast is intersectionally diverse. Ages 13–up.)
Enjoyable read, introduces 16 year old Winnie & Luminaries
The Luminaries is an enjoyable read. 16 year Winnie lives in a world not too different from our own… except for a forest full of monsters to hunt.