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Along the Saltwise Sea by A. Deborah Baker
The Biograph Girl by William J. Mann Break the Chains by Megan E. O'Keefe
Cheddar Off Dead by Korina Moss and Erin Moon (Narrator)
The Children on the Hill by Jennifer McMahon
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Curtain Call by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm (Illustrator)
Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney and Stephanie Racine (Narrator)
Due or Die by Jenn McKinlay and Allyson Ryan (Narrator) Empty Smiles by Katherine Arden
Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon and Susan Boyce (Narrator)
The House with a Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs
A Killing in Costumes by Zac Bissonnette and Melanie Carey and Paul Bellatoni (Narrators)
The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin
Leviathan by Jason Shiga
The Liminal Zone by Junji Ito
Love (and Other Uses for Duct Tape) by Carrie Jones
Manor of Dying by Kathleen Bridge and Vanessa Daniels (Narrator)
Murder by the Book by Lauren Elliott and Karen White (Narrator)
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie and Hugh Fraser (Narrator)
On This Airplane by Lourdes Heuer and Sara Palacios (Illustrations)
The Orphan and the Mouse by Martha Freeman and David McPhail (Illustrations)
Primordial by Jeff Lemire, Andrea Sorrentino (Artist) and Dave Stewart (Artist)
Smile Beach Murder by Alicia Bessette and Karissa Vacker
Sophie Go's Lonely Hearts Club by Roselle Lim and Annie Q (Narrator)
The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner and Jeremy Holmes (Illustrator)
Tumble by Celia C. PĂ©rez
Unseen Magic by Emily Lloyd-Jones
What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher

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Unseen Magic: 12/10/22

Unseen Magic

Unseen Magic by Emily Lloyd-Jones (2022) is set in Aldermere, a small, fictional town nestled among the redwoods of Humboldt county in Northern California. It's one of those rare places with magic and with that magic comes a series of rules its residents must live by.

Fin is the town's newest resident but she's never lived in a place for long. This town is the exception and maybe it really is her home. Her mother was from here originally. She's just afraid of messing things up, a feeling that's compounded by her anxiety.

Fin unleashes a magical being on the town when she tries to perform the magic she's been relying on since arriving. Unfortunately the woman who normally does it for her is in the hospital, recovering from a fall. Fin doesn't know all the steps and spends much of the book trying to fix things.

With Aldermere being rather insular and protected by its location in the redwoods as well as its magic, I couldn't help but compare the town to Frank Herbert's Santaroga Barrier (1968). The difference here, is Aldermere's magic doesn't seem malevolent in the way that Santaroga's jaspers is.

Another thing this book has in common with Herbert's, is both novels are on the Road Narrative Spectrum. As Fin wants to protect her new home but feels she might have done it irreparable damage, she as a traveler, is in a scarecrow/minotaur dichotomy (99). Her destination is a rural one (33), in that Aldermere is very remote and Fin hasn't become comfortable enough to consider it home. Her route is through the cornfield, or more precisely, the tkaronto, as represented by the river which crosses through the forest and is something Fin crosses and confronts numerous times as she tries to fix things (FF).

The second book, Unspoken Magic releases on February 21, 2023.

Five stars

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