THE DARK WE KNOW

Gillian Flynn Books
August 13, 2024


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A lyrical, propulsive YA horror that’s perfect for fans of She Is a Haunting, Stephen King’s It, and The Haunting of Hill House, about a teen who must return home to confront the monster that took the lives of her best friends—before it devours her, too.  

Wen-yi Lee has crafted a dark and compelling supernatural mystery buoyed by earnestly written, queer-centric characters. I am enthralled!” —Gillian Flynn

Isadora Chang swore never to return to the hometown that haunts her. Growing up in Slater, she never felt at ease in the repressive small town, even before she realized she was bisexual—but after the deaths of two childhood friends, Slater went from feeling claustrophobic to suffocating. Isa took off before the town could swallow her, too. Even though it meant leaving everything she knew behind, including her last surviving friend, Mason. 

When Isa’s abusive father dies, however, she agrees to come back just long enough to collect the inheritance. But then Mason turns up at the cemetery with a revelation and a plea: their friends were murdered by an evil that haunts the town, and he needs Isa to help stop it—before it takes anyone else. 

When Isa begins to hear strange songs on the wind, and eerie artwork fills her sketchbook that she can’t recall drawing, she’s forced to stop running and confront her past. Because something is waiting in the shadows of Slater’s valleys, something that feeds on the pain and heartbreak of its children. Whatever it is, it knows Isa’s back . . . and it won’t let her escape twice. 

Wen-yi Lee’s young adult debut is an intimate and gripping exploration of trauma, healing, and the lasting power of friendship, as a runaway teen must finally face the sinister forces that defined her childhood, and in doing so, demand her right to survive.


PRAISE FOR THE DARK WE KNOW

“This debut transcends the supernatural mystery genre with its emotional depth and engaging setting. As a contemplative alternative to action-focused horror, its striking explorations of grief, shame, love, and queerness will haunt readers with how true they ring… A powerful, introspective gothic tale filled to the brim with horror.”Kirkus, starred review

“Balanced prose with the pace of an unrelenting thriller… In this enthralling horror debut, Lee carefully threads together Isa’s reconnecting with her past, unearthing the secrets that Slater is built on, and navigating the way that shame distorts one’s sense of self.”Publishers Weekly, starred review

“It focuses… on all feelings of inadequacy and shame that are part of teen experiences, forcing the characters to reckon with both personal and intergenerational trauma inflicted by the heart of their small town. The narrative hits traditional horror beats, but the characters have more depth than many genre installments provide, which both slows the pacing and increases the stakes during Isa’s brushes with the supernatural. Readers will find thrills, chills, and emotional validation from this unexpectedly almost-heartwarming horror novel.” —Booklist, starred review

“A dark and compelling supernatural mystery buoyed by earnestly-written, queer-centric characters. I am enthralled!” Gillian Flynn, Gillian Flynn Books

“A haunting, unforgettable debut. With gorgeous prose, palpable atmosphere, and intricate character work, Lee examines what it means to belong to a place and fight for a better world. Like the song of Slater’s mountains, The Dark We Know will settle into your bones and call you back again and again.”Allison Saft, New York Times bestselling author of Down Comes the Night and A Far Wilder Magic

“A knife-sharp excavation into the horrors of societal judgment… an ultimately hopeful story about grief and pain among friends all a little in love with each other. The Dark We Know left me breathless.”Trang Thanh Tran, New York Times bestselling author of She is a Haunting

“A lyrical mediation on loss and survival, on holding on and letting go, and on growing up in a community that only ever wanted you to be small. Filled with moments of striking beauty, Wen-yi Lee’s debut establishes her as a force to be reckoned with.”Kerstin Hall, author of Asunder

“The true hallmark of an exceptional horror novel is in its hold, and in her debut outing, Wen-yi Lee has crafted a gorgeously dark and unforgettable story that will linger long after the book is closed. The Dark We Know heralds the arrival of a rare and exciting literary talent—do not miss it.”Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie and I’m The Girl

“A book made of shattered rock, claustrophobic family pressure, and the desperation of children trying to survive the weight of their grief. An eerie, introspective, and beautifully atmospheric addition to the best of YA horror lit.Andrew Joseph White, New York Times bestselling author of The Spirit Bares its Teeth and Hell Followed With Us

“Will haunt you all day and keep you awake at night. Lee’s emotional, inventively written debut had me peeling back layer after layer in a desperate search for the truth. Absolutely enthralling.”Courtney Gould, award-winning author of The Dead and the Dark


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