NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Melissa Albert returns with THE BAD ONES, a supernatural horror novel about four mysterious disappearances in a town haunted by a sinister magical history
Goddess, goddess, count to five
In the morning, who’s alive?
In the course of a single winter’s night, four people vanish without a trace across a small town.
Nora’s estranged best friend, Becca, is one of the lost. As Nora tries to untangle the truth of Becca’s disappearance, she discovers a darkness in her town’s past, as well as a string of coded messages Becca left for her to unravel. These clues lead Nora to a piece of local lore: a legendary goddess of forgotten origins who played a role in Nora and Becca’s own childhood games. . . .
An arresting, crossover horror fantasy threaded with dark magic, THE BAD ONES is a poison-pen love letter to semi-toxic best friendship, the occult power of childhood play and artistic creation, and the razor-thin line between make-believe and belief.
“The romance is subtle but sweet, the supernatural creep factor is extreme, and there are secrets aplenty in this compelling and eerie tale.” —BOOKLIST, starred review
“Unholy, vengeful, and utterly captivating. THE BAD ONES delivers on Melissa Albert’s status as a modern horror master, and burns with a steady, corrosive clarity, not unlike a developing photograph revealing unseen evils.” —Ryan La Sala, author of THE HONEYS
“A deliciously dark and twisted labyrinth of a book from the master of YA horror. Peopled with some of the most believable teenage characters I've read, and full of the fervor and sharp edges of teen girl friendships, THE BAD ONES had me hooked until the very last page.” —Heather Fawcett, author of EMILY WILDE'S ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF FAERIES
“The intensity of teen friendships is both fantastical and horrifying in Albert’s latest masterpiece. At turns achingly sweet and bitingly vicious—much like its characters—THE BAD ONES is a tense, lyrical, and haunting must-read.” —Kiersten White, author of MISTER MAGIC
“Melissa Albert writes the kind of horror that doesn’t just make you check under your bed—it makes you check your own reflection in the mirror. A black-veined, spectral howl of a novel, THE BAD ONES cements Albert as the contemporary queen of suburban fantasy.” —Ava Reid, author of A STUDY IN DROWNING
“As twisting and intriguing as a puzzle box, THE BAD ONES reveals secret after sinister secret, unfolding chilling layers right until the very end. Melissa Albert is a master of the uncanny.” —Erin A. Craig, author of HOUSE OF ROOTS AND RUIN
“THE BAD ONES opens with a terrifying and unsettling sequence of disappearances—and then the tension never relents. With beguiling prose and a simmering sense of dread, the book kept me absolutely spellbound as its darkly supernatural mystery unfolded." —Kate Alice Marshall, author of WHAT LIES IN THE WOODS
“I’m not the first to call Melissa Albert's writing magical and I won't be the last. In this latest, the spell she casts is in the intractable ties that form between girls, the kind that tangle into knots, the kind that make nets that both save and ensnare. Unsettling and unputdownable.” —Kendare Blake, author of THREE DARK CROWNS
“Albert seamlessly braids the murky past with the pin-sharp present to create a masterful horror-thriller with a bruised and tender heart.” —Laura Steven, author of THE SOCIETY FOR SOULLESS GIRLS
“Stunning and immersive, THE BAD ONES will entrance you in its hypnotic mythology ruled by the sinister powers of imagination. The real and the imagined collide in this haunting small town mystery shrouded in creeping dread, packed with twists, and brimming with revelations about the nature of good and evil and justice and vengeance. I dare you to put it down!” —Katy de Becerra, author of WHEN GHOSTS CALL US HOME
“THE BAD ONES is a slow-burning yet delectable story so sinister I wanted to keep reading it forever. Albert's prose is juicy and sharp, and will haunt you in all the best ways.” —Jamison Shea, author of I FEED HER TO THE BEAST AND THE BEAST IS ME
“THE BAD ONES is a thrilling reminder of what horror that respects its audience can feel like. This was an addictively terrifying, beautifully vicious book.” —Courtney Summers, author of THE PROJECT
“By taking readers on a sublime journey where we are compelled to figure out a supernatural mystery as well as who her characters really are, Melissa Albert has crafted a unique tale with its own rhythm. A haunting, refreshingly layered story that will most certainly stay with you.” —Clarence A. Haynes, co-author of NUBIA: THE AWAKENING
“Albert successfully evokes adolescence’s fraught hyperreality using richly textured, authentically angsty characters and a storytelling style by turns ethereal and electric.” —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY