There she learns that the murderous Lucifer has escaped—and, still spurned by her long-ago rejection, is targeting her. With Atlas Grimm she sets out to Boston—and then other far-flung locales—to track down the riddling Devil, who’s on a murderous rampage crafted to get under Primrose’s skin. He and Atlas both know that Primrose harbors a shocking secret, one she can’t quite explain herself: lately, she’s started to—ick—care about humans. Just why she does so is one of many puzzles that Narita deftly develops amid the novel’s many introductions, as Primrose faces Hellhounds, shapeshifters, FBI spooks, and other surprising dangers. Dark Magic is structured as a realms-crossing adventure, a dark mystery—why does Primrose have visions of loving and mourning a human?—and a tour of Narita’s universe, familiar in some ways but alive with fresh possibilities.
The marvel of it all is that, despite the novel’s length and its density of invention, the story surges ahead, building to a potent emotional eruption as Primrose surprises everyone—including the Devil himself—with her depth of feeling. This is very much a first chapter, though, with much left unresolved.
Takeaway: The goddess of death faces the devil and her feelings for humanity in this inspired debut.
Great for fans of: Seanan McGuire’s October Day series, V.E. Schwab.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A