Hardcover, 362 pages

English language

Published Oct. 29, 2020 by Levine Querido.

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5 stars (2 reviews)

Imagine an America very similar to our own. It's got homework, best friends, and pistachio ice cream.

There are some differences. This America has been shaped dramatically by the magic, monsters, knowledge, and legends of its peoples, those Indigenous and those not. Some of these forces are charmingly everyday, like the ability to make an orb of light appear or travel across the world through rings of fungi. But other forces are less charming and should never see the light of day.

Elatsoe lives in this slightly stranger America. She can raise the ghosts of dead animals, a skill passed down through generations of her Lipan Apache family. Her beloved cousin has just been murdered in a town that wants no prying eyes. But she is going to do more than pry. The picture-perfect facade of Willowbee masks gruesome secrets, and she will rely on her wits, skills, and friends …

2 editions

plot twist: a loving family and positive indigenous role models

5 stars

This is at one level a YA supernatural mystery novel, and successful as such. Unlike many YA novels where the bulk of dramatic tension is provided by stupid and uncaring adults, here the love and support Elatsoe receives from her family and elders is a constant happy surprise. Unlike the relentlessly negative (and probably accurate!) media stories I usually read, this made being an indigenous child/teen seem like a wonderful experience I was missing out on.

Review of 'Elatsoe' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Easily one of the best books of 2020. Darcie manages to tell a compelling mystery story that avoids the cliched pitfalls novels of this genre often indulge in and does it with style.

Honestly, one of the greatest twist of this novel is that it is Darcie's first and not the result of a 20 year career. Do not sleep on this and preorder her next novel!


  • Middle Grade
  • Fantasy
  • Mystery