Book Title: Blind the Eyes: A Dystopian-Gothic YA Urban Fantasy by K.A. Wiggins
Category: YA Fiction (Ages 13-17), 300 pages
Genre: Urban fantasy, crossover to dystopian, paranormal, contemporary fantasy, gothic and post-apocalyptic.
Publisher: K.A. Wiggins (Imprint: Snowmelt & Stumps)
Release Date: June, 2018
Tour dates: November 26 to December 17
Content Rating: PG-13 + M. No on-page sex, low romance, minimal bad language, underage drinking, significant fantasy violence, scenes containing emotional manipulation, depression, and (light/brief) physical abuse.
A haunted teen outcast and her snarky ghostly best-frenemy outwit enforcers, monsters, and the scars of the past in a race to take expose a deadly conspiracy and escape a bloody end. A lush, award-winning debut to a captivatingly eerie YA Urban Fantasy trilogy. Discover a labyrinthine, post-climate-collapse dystopian Vancouver overrun by monsters and magic in this intricate and startlingly original journey of discovery, restoration, and revenge.
It's hard not to be a little obsessed with survival when your only "friend" is an unruly ghost and the wrong thought could get your soul devoured by eldritch horrors. Haunted 17-year-old outcast Cole wants nothing more than to hide her forbidden fascination with the monster-taken and blend in with the (dreary) scenery. Her plans for a peaceful life take a turn for the deadly when a mesmerizing stranger and his dangerously tempting offer drive her into the middle of a grisly conspiracy.
But Cole hasn't yet uncovered the biggest secret of all, and it might just have something to do with the mysterious threads tugging her into horrifying visions—not to mention the shimmering boy at their dark heart. Uncovering the truth will cost her dearly as she fends off scheming enforcers, dreamjacking ghosts & soul-sucking nightmares in a desperate quest for survival and retribution. Can she escape the scars of her past and expose the lies before she's the next to die?
Blind the Eyes is the first book in a lush and labyrinthine trilogy of paranormal-meets-gothic-dystopian YA Urban Fantasy filled with glittering underworlds, delicious-and-deceptive strangers, and facing down the voices in your head. This slow-burn fantasy with an edge leads readers on a captivatingly unexpected journey of self-discovery, reclaimed identity, and conflicted sisterhood for those who like a little sparkle with their monsters (it glistens so nicely on all the blood.) Fans of post-climate-collapse dystopias, monsters-and-magic, and genre-bending dark fantasy will love this award-winning series starter in a complete and 100% binge-ready trilogy.
Meet the Author:
K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) writes award-winning speculative fiction for young people and adults that explores the tangled webs of society, environment, and identity through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic.
Her debut novel was a Page Turner Awards 2020 Book Spotlight Prize winner and a Barnes & Noble Press "20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018," kicking off a celebrated and recently completed YA Urban Fantasy trilogy set in a gothic-dystopian post-climate-collapse Vancouver. Her short fiction has appeared in small press anthologies, genre magazines, and in translation for international audiences.
She's also the President of the Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia society, co-founder of marketing and business services consultancy The Creative Collective, and a creative writing coach with the Creative Writing for Children society, and was recognized in the 2021 Arty Awards, taking first place in Literary Arts category.
connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram ~ goodreads
Reclaiming Monsters and Magic
I loved Irish-Canadian author O.R. Melling’s Celtic fae/otherworld YA fantasies as a teen. Most featured awkward or unhappy Canadian teens (like me!) finding magic, adventure, (and love) in Ireland.
But there was one book of hers I was terribly disappointed by: The Book of Dreams. Instead of an escapist Irish-Celtic adventure, the main character travels around Canada, encountering magic and mythical creatures of a very different sort.
It wasn’t until I travelled around the UK and Ireland for myself on a tour of locations from all my favourite books and, tragically, was not kidnapped by fae or swept into any ancient quests (although I did write an A/U fanfic of my trip that ended quite differently...) that I realized my mistake. And it doesn’t hurt that there’s now a whole generation or more who’ve been hard at work bringing magic to city streets and town squares around the world.
So many of the childhood stories I loved were set in the UK and Ireland that I associated everything beautiful and magical with that place . . . and everything mundane and dreary with my own home, to the point that I couldn’t even enjoy a fantasy set there. It turns out this is part of a larger common experience of people living in colonized countries, where the “homeland” is held up as a shining example of all that is best and brightest.
But de-mystifying the British Isles had an unexpected benefit; once I had seen that generations of artists had imagined beauty and intrigue and magic into what turned out to be a regular old landscape, it gave me the freedom to do the same.
Only, my taste seems to run to the tangled and twisted, so instead of imagining a lovely, mystical version of Vancouver, I came up with the gothic-dystopian City of Nightmares.
In my post-climate-disaster version of the city in Blind the Eyes, Vancouver’s been overtaken by sea level rise and a miasma of toxic smog, and infested with a plague of monsters awoken by the warping of nature. Survivors, trapped in the city by a domed barrier once meant to protect them, have retreated to the once-shining skyscrapers of the downtown where they live a hyper-regulated and repressive half-life meant to keep them safe from the dream-eating nightmares and floodwater-patrolling seamonsters. Until one prickly girl and her snarky ghost reclaim the power she never knew they stole . . .
So, yeah, it’s a little dark. But re-envisioning my homeland appears to be an ongoing obsession. In the novels and short stories of the Threads of Dreams series, I built a past-meets-future pit-and-treehouse-populated ecocity in remote Northern British Columbia and sent a team of tree planters monster-hunting in post-apocalyptic Powell River.
And in my next release, written for #NaNoWriMo2021, I send an unwilling babysitting tween and his pint-sized ghost-hunting charge into the caves beneath a very real house in Chilliwack, BC with a very dark secret.
Curious about how I bring magic (and monsters) to life in 21st (and 22nd) Century Canada, reenvision Celtic mythology for the modern era, or reinterpret medieval Japan with a gothic spin? Join me at kawiggins.com (and sign up to the newsletter for free short fiction!) or @kaiespace on social!
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