Eight Will Fall

Holt. Nov. 2019. 368p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781250196644.
Gr 9 Up–In this gruesome, dark fantasy, empaths are slaves and magic is forbidden. According to legend, a powerful empath used too much dark magic a thousand years ago, destroying much of the isle. He and all his followers were locked in a deep cave system to die. Now, 17-year-old Larkin struggles to survive alongside her starving family, working in the luminite mines, all the while hiding her powerful magic ability. Arrested and tossed in prison for no known crime, she believes she faces execution by the queen. Instead, she and seven others are forced to hunt down the ancient evil empath and destroy him before he destroys the isle. Ultimately, Larkin uncovers dangerous secrets, loses friends, finds her strength, and triumphs over the true darkness in the land. The story is at best a mediocre mystery. Inconsistent writing and events bordering on a ridiculous suspension of disbelief do nothing to improve the plot. Although main characters are well developed, all secondary characters and villains seem like tired Hollywood clichés. Hundreds of shocking, grisly deaths put this book firmly into the horror genre. Readers must have strong stomachs for the intensely macabre graphic content.
VERDICT Only purchase if additional horror books are needed.

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