The Dark In-Between

Feiwel & Friends/Swoon Reads. May 2020. 304p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781250242747.
Gr 8 Up–Casey Everett escapes a near-death drowning accident that claims the life of her best friend Liddy. Casey is haunted by guilt, memories, and blame; she let go of Liddy’s hand in the water. Left grieving in the following weeks, Casey thinks the strange memories of that awful night are hallucinations. Then an extraordinary thing happens; an angel named Red crashes to earth with the news that he is on a mission to save her soul and earn his wings back. During Casey’s resuscitation she’d actually died briefly, and has since existed in a limbo state between life and death. Red informs her that Liddy’s soul is in limbo, too, and that if Casey cannot help her get where she belongs, the demons there will torture her friend forever. When Casey’s childhood friend Evan discovers Red and learns their secret, the trio bands together, following Liddy’s ghostly essence, but always one step behind. Guided by Red, whose loose feathers become lethal weapons, they encounter other lost souls who need protection and eventually battle the powerful fallen angel, Azrael. Readers who enjoyed Cassandra Clare’s “Mortal Instruments” series will appreciate the fighting, angel lore, and spooky elements of this entertaining, fast-paced novel. There’s plenty of chemistry between friends-to-lovers Casey and Evan, while Casey’s grief is handled in a sensitive and appropriate manner all the way to the satisfying conclusion.
VERDICT With a seamless narrative and engaging characters, this is a great addition to most YA collections.

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