Creatures Most Vile
My YA Fantasy, Creatures Most Vile, follows a girl marred by voracious monsters and hallucinations as palpable and menacing as a beast prowling through the woods. Her struggles with societal pressure to fight ruthless behemoths and sparing her mental health blur the lines between hero and rebel, antihero and advocator.
Surviving the hunting grounds of monsters eager to rip their fangs into vulnerable human flesh comes down to three skills: running, hiding, and staying silent. Anora ingrained these traits into her very nature, but traumatic illusions of a bloody demise petrify her and hallucinations of her father’s death derange her, threatening her safety in the most dire moments. In those moments, the only thing standing between her and death is the Guard, a regiment of super humans who track and kill these monsters.
In the weeks leading to graduation, while her friends gear up for their move to the university, Anora is content with continuing her quiet life at home where she can support her struggling family. But when her hidden storm-wielding powers unleash, society brands her as a Guardian and she’s dragged to the Compound to begin training.
Crippled by all-consuming flashbacks during her evaluation, Anora knows she can’t conform to the Guardian regime. She explains her fears, her nature, to the trainers and Commander Devlend, insisting that she cannot be a Guardian and should be excused from her duties. But they dismiss her, claiming she will get over it with time.
Refusing to downplay her mental health, Anora must find a way to escape this fate on her own. Her success depends on overcoming betrayal, unraveling the Guards’ secrets, and outsmarting Commander Devlend. If Anora fails, she risks her family's well-being, her mental health, and possibly her life.
The setting of A Quiet Place meets the Grisha of Shadow and Bone with an intimate portrayal of mental illness, similar to The Storm Crow, in my YA Fantasy, Creatures Most Vile.