Mystery abounds in this fresh and exciting YA novel, which is the first book in the series to come. Young Josh Taylor has been sent to live in the town of Blackbirch with his mother’s best friend, after the car accident that took his parents’ lives. Part of the mystery is that Josh suffers from a sort of amnesia which keeps much of his memories hazy. Though he doesn’t know why.
Blackbirch is a touristy town that heralds a reputation of being a location for witchcraft and magick. His mother’s friend, Grace, owns a store dealing in spell books, candles, herbs and other magical items. Eve, who believes in magick, and Sarah, who doesn’t, are Josh’s friends. Josh doesn’t pay attention to any of it until he touches a magical item and then power he doesn’t understand shoots through him.
To add to these circumstances, a girl named Kallie, who only comes to him in his dreams, warns him of impending danger and a sinister presence. Josh is driven to find the answers to his questions. And some mysterious force keeps drawing him deep into the woods toward a house that he’s told doesn’t exist. The mysteries keep mounting. What really happened to his parents? What caused the car accident. Why can’t he remember so many things. Who can he trust?
The world building is terrific. Blackbirch is a town we’d all be fascinated by, a place we’d all want visit. The books ends with us needing to read the next in the series to get our own questions answered. This is a clean, and a true young adult book, though all ages will enjoy the premise. KM Allan has crafted an intriguing and mysterious story with more to come.