Mislaid in Parts Half-Known by Seanan McGuire (January 2024)
Antsy is the latest student to pass through the doors at Eleanor West’s School for Wayward Children.
When the school’s (literally irresistible) mean girl realizes that Antsy’s talent for finding absolutely anything may extend to doors, Antsy is forced to flee in the company of a small group of friends, looking for a way back to the Shop Where the Lost Things Go to be sure that Vineta and Hudson are keeping their promise.
Along the way, they will travel from a world which hides painful memories that cut as sharply as its beauty, to a land that time wasn’t yet old enough to forget — and more than one student’s life will change forever.
Mislaid in Parts Half-Known is a story that reminds us that getting what you want doesn’t always mean finding what you need.
River Mumma by Zalika Reid-Benta (August 2023)
Issa Rae’s Insecure with a magical realist spin: River Mumma is an exhilarating contemporary fantasy novel about a young Black woman who navigates her quarter-life-crisis while embarking on a mythical quest through the streets of Toronto. Alicia has been out of grad school for six months. She has no career prospects and lives with her mom, who won’t stop texting her macabre news stories and reminders to pick up items from the grocery store. Then, one evening, the Jamaican water deity, River Mumma, appears to Alicia, telling her that she has twenty-four hours to scour the city for her missing comb. Alicia doesn’t understand why River Mumma would choose her. She can’t remember all the legends her relatives told her, unlike her retail co-worker Heaven, who can reel off Jamaican folklore by heart. She doesn’t know if her childhood visions have returned, or why she feels a strange connection to her other co-worker Mars. But when the trio are chased down by malevolent spirits called duppies, they realize their tenuous bonds to each other may be their only lifelines. With the clock ticking, Alicia’s quest through the city broadens into a journey through time – to find herself and what the river carries. River Mumma is a powerful portrayal of diasporic identities and a vital examination into ancestral ties. It is a homage to Jamaican storytelling by one of the most invigorating voices in today’s literature.