From Ryan La Sala, author of the tantalizingly twisted The Honeys and riotously imaginative Reverie, comes a chilling new contemporary fable about art, aesthetic obsession, and the gaze that peers back at us from behind our reflections.
No one survived the party at the penthouse. Except Athan.
Athanasios “Athan” Bakirtzis has made it far in life relying on his charm and good looks, even securing an invitation to a mysterious penthouse soiree for New York City’s artsy elite. But when he sneaks off to the bathroom, he hears a slam, followed by a scream. Athan peers outside, only to be pushed back in by a boy his age. The boy gravely tells him not to open the door, then closes Athan in.
Outside the door, the party descends into chaos. Through hours of howls, laughter, and sobs, Athan stays hidden. When he finally emerges, he discovers a massacre where the corpses appear to have arranged themselves into a disturbingly elegant sculpture—and Athan’s mysterious savior is nowhere to be found. Athan—the only known survivor—is now the primary suspect.
In a race to prove his innocence, Athan is swept up in a supernatural mystery, one of secret occult societies and deadly eldritch horrors with rather distinctive taste. Something evil is waking up in the walls of New York City, and it’s compelling victims toward violence, chaos, and self-destruction. Bound to him by a mysterious hereditary power, Athan has felt this evil hiding behind his reflection his entire life, watching him. Waiting. Now, it’s taking over.
About the Author
Ryan La Sala writes about surreal things happening to queer people. He is the author of Reverie and Be Dazzled and lives in New York City. Visit him online at ryanlasala.com.
Praise for Beholder
School Library Journal Best Book of 2023
★ “La Sala balances inventive gruesomeness with thematic depth in this bewitching horror novel, a tale laced with spine-chilling gore…. The result is a top-notch horror novel and a tearjerker.” ----Publishers Weekly(starred review)
"New York City, with all its grime and shine, is a fitting backdrop for this novel, which also weaves in elements of folklore and urban fantasy, giving the story a uniquely ominous and epic feel.... Gritty and imaginative: modern noir that’ll leave you wary of your reflection." --Kirkus Reviews
"This book is a wild ride..." --USA Today
“Unnerving, intricate, and glittering with La Sala’s trademark wit. You’ll be scared of your own reflection after this one.” --Rory Power, New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls and Burn Our Bodies Down
“Beholder takes readers through a glass darkly, and into a spellbinding, spine-tingling world no one but Ryan la Sala could have dreamed up.”--Caleb Roehrig, author of Last Seen Leaving and The Fell of Dark
"If it's unhinged horror of the mind, you know it's a La Sala. This berserk beauty is a joy to behold, and when you're done reading, you'll be avoiding mirrors for weeks!" --Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and Your Lonely Nights Are Over
Praise for The Honeys
★"La Sala gives real-life fears a supernatural twist, cleverly using folk horror and psychological-thriller elements to heighten Mars’ understandable tension and infuse this idyllic location with dread.... The eerily ambivalent conclusion is pure horror gold." --Booklist(starred review)
★ “La Sala’s slow plot reveal is gripping, and the narrative’s lush prose crafts both deliciously creepy horror scenes and a nuanced, self-assured protagonist consumed by grief and longing for acceptance.” --Publishers Weekly(starred review)
★ “This layered, complex, and at times truly disturbing novel creates an ever-heightening level of suspense, ratcheting up to an explosive conclusion that readers will not see coming but will find imminently believable and completely unforgettable. A sparkling and powerful exploration of grief, gender roles, and escaping the strong grip of expectations…” --School Library Journal(starred review)
"La Sala delivers a sharply observed, imaginative tale of grief, destruction, and the transcendent nature of the reinvention that follows the aftermath of death…. As rich and complex as dark amber honey.” --Kirkus Reviews
“A dark and redolent tale of familial bonds, grief, and a secretive summer camp tucked away in the heart of forests vast and dizzyingly wild. The Honeys creeped me out and I loved every moment of it." --Erin A. Craig, New York Timesbestselling author of House of Salt and Sorrow
"Novel after novel, La Sala proves himself to be a powerhouse in the YA space worthy of all the flowers that come his way. With crisp prose, a hauntingly stellar cast, and a main character we can't help but root for, The Honeys is a perfect successor for fans of Midsommar and Hereditary chomping at the bit for their next great obsession. Just, watch out for the bees." --Kosoko Jackson, author of Yesterday Is History
"The queer horror hive has a new queen! In The Honeys, La Sala pulls readers into a darkly poetic, razor-sharp satire of gender binaries -- and the binary of good and evil. A grim, beautiful exploration of the human body, its horrific surprises as well as its transcendent power."
--Adam Sass, award-winning author of Surrender Your Sons and The 99 Boyfriends of Micah Summers