Tor. Apr. 2016. 384p. tr. from Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier. ISBN 9780765378804. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466864580. HORROR
The Hudson Valley town of Black Spring, NY, has been cursed for hundreds of years. Katherine, burned as a witch in the 17th century, wanders the village with eyes and mouth sewn shut to keep her power controlled. The townspeople have found modern ways to deal with Katherine, using high-tech surveillance and smartphone apps to track her appearances. And if you move to Black Spring, you can't leave, nor can you talk to outsiders. The teenagers are growing restless with the limits placed on them by the spell, and that frustration leads to actions that could doom the entire community.
VERDICT This Dutch horror novel was a huge hit in Europe and does clever things with the intersection of ancient evil and technology. The prose is rough in places, especially as the story gets up to speed, which could be owing to the translation. Yet once the teens start their experiments, the tension levels spike and remain high until the terrifying finish. [Previewed in "Editors' Spring Picks," LJ 2/15/16.—Ed.]
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