“Robert Wiersema’s Black Feathers is a surreal nightmare, a tragically familiar dreamscape peopled by the vulnerable runaways we see on every streetcorner… and the predators who stalk them, even in places of supposed safety. It is a Hunger Games for the real world, a novel that defies you to look away.”
– A.M. Dellamonica, author of Child of A Hidden Sea
Sixteen-year-old runaway Cassie Weathers is utterly alone, living on the streets as winter sets in. Then she meets Skylark, a young girl who introduces her to a community of street-dwellers and runaways. As Cassie settles in to the community, the city is rocked by the news that a number of young prostitutes have been murdered.
Cassie grows closer to Skylark, but the night terrors and sleep paralysis Cassie suffered as a child begin to return, and the mystery as to why she ran away from home deepens. While it seems she ran to escape abuse, the actual reason might be more terrifying: helpless to resist her dreams, did she kill her father and leave home to protect her mother and sister?
In the camp, Cassie’s dreams take another turn: she dreams of killing one of the members of the community, a woman whose body is found nearby the following morning, an apparent suicide. When she dreams of killing Skylark, she tries to run again, only to find herself drawn back into the new home she has found. When Skylark disappears Cassie is left alone, spiralling into complex dreamworlds where her past blurs with her present and nothing can be trusted.
Inspired by authors such as Stephen King, Charles de Lint, and Neil Gaiman, Black Feathers is a novel that straddles genres, incorporating elements of literary fiction, urban fantasy and horror. It’s a coming of age story, a love story, and a mythic thriller.
“it’s that ability to keep us guessing that makes this such a disturbing and disconcertingly good read.”
-Quill and Quire
“The words glide by, pulling readers along, willing them to keep turning pages to see what happens next, what is real or not. While I wouldn’t demean the book by calling it a beach read, its dark moods could suit curling up with on the next rainy day.”
“A compelling tale of horror at once classic and contemporary, supernatural and human, Black Feathers draws the reader into that dark, unsettling place between memory and invention, nightmare and waking.”
-Jacqueline Baker, author of The Broken Hours
“Black Feathers is a uniquely scary novel. It offers the fantastic horror of a twisted evil criminal mind, but also the terrifying aspect of being young and vulnerable. In Cassie, Wiersema creates a character that you are truly concerned for, not just in the space of the events of the story, but in a human sense.”
– Craig Finn, lead singer of The Hold Steady
“It’s a tale that’s both intoxicatingly bloody and bloody superb.”
HarperCollins Canada, Summer 2015
Longlisted for the 2016 Sunburst Award