"YA horror has found a new standard-bearer." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Dark, gripping, and gorgeous, Wake the Bones will lead you into the woods and keep you up late. As lush and sweltering as a Kentucky summer... Elizabeth Kilcoyne is a force.” - Gwenda Bond, New York Times bestselling author
The sleepy little farm that Laurel Early grew up on has awakened. The woods are shifting, the soil is dead under her hands, and her bone pile just stood up and walked away.
After dropping out of college, all she wanted was to resume her life as a tobacco hand and taxidermist and try not to think about the boy she can’t help but love. Instead, a devil from her past has returned to court her, as he did her late mother years earlier. Now, Laurel must unravel her mother’s terrifying legacy and tap into her own innate magic before her future and the fate of everyone she loves is doomed.
Elizabeth Kilcoyne’s Wake the Bones is a dark, atmospheric debut about the complicated feelings that arise when the place you call home becomes hostile.
"Seething with shadows, summer, and uniquely southern magic, Wake the Bones is a powerful debut that captures the ache of home being a place you simultaneously love and loathe." - Hannah Whitten, New York Times bestselling author of For the Wolf
Nineteen-year-old white-cued Laurel Early battles supernatural forces on her family's tobacco farm in Kilcoyne's visceral horror debut. Laurel's late mother Anna, who was a pariah in their rural Kentucky town, used her magic to grow healthy crops. The magic Laurel inherited, she believes, is less practical: when she touches a deceased animal's body, she sees its death. After dropping out of college in Ohio, she returns home to help her uncle Jay run the farm alongside best friends Isaac, Ricky, and Garrett, all coded white. Increasingly strange and terrifying events animals found brutally killed but uneaten, a giant monster made of bone, and Anna's ghost issuing warnings prompt Laurel to consult local outcast Christine, who reluctantly helps Laurel harness her magic. Laurel and Ricky's combative romance and Isaac and Garrett's tentative courtship are expertly developed, and their complex relationships with the "mean-mouthed and close-minded" townsfolk, the land itself, and each other are realistically thorny. Using an ominous third-person perspective, grisly horror elements, and distinct setting, Kilcoyne delivers an exceptional examination of life, death, and grief teeming with beauty and menace. Ages 13 up. Agent: Erin Clyburn, Jennifer De Chiara Literary.