If the monsters are real, so are the women who defeat them. Ava Reid’s YA thriller is Possession meets The Hazel Wood.
A STUDY IN DROWNING
by Ava Reid
HarperTeen, Winter 2023
(via Sterling Lord Literistic)
Architect student Effy Sayre has been called many things—a liar, a tease, a troubled young woman—but Effy is above all a survivor. When Effy sees a flier announcing a competition to design her favorite author Emyrs Myrddin’s family estate, she feels certain this is her destiny. Effy’s tattered, dog-eared copy of his most famous work, Angharad, about a girl who falls in love with the Fairy King, lays permanently on her nightstand. While others read his stories as fiction, she knows something they don’t—the Fairy King is real.
When Effy arrives at Hiraeth Manor in the Bay of Bells, a sinking house at the edge of a hungry sea, she meets a stodgy, young academic, Preston Heloury, who is determined to prove that her favorite author was a fraud. Preston has devoted his life to his studies, and doesn’t believe in destiny or fate… or magic. They immediately commence a rivalry over the reclusive and mysterious dead author’s legacy, piecing together clues through his letters, books, and diary entries, but there are dark forces, both mortal and magical, conspiring against them, and the truth may bring them both to ruin.
Ava Reid was born in Manhattan and raised right across the Hudson River in Hoboken, but currently lives in Palo Alto, where the weather is too sunny and the people are too friendly. She has a degree in political science from Barnard College. Her debut adult fantasy, The Wolf and the Woodsman, published in 2021 with Harper Voyager.