The Bewitching Hour (A Tara Prequel) (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Prequels)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan-favorite and LGBTQIA+ icon Tara Maclay gets the main character treatment in this YA prequel full of '90s nostalgia, mysterious murders, and a star-crossed romance, written by New York Times and USA Today best-selling author Ashley Poston.
Tara Maclay isn’t thrilled to be starting her senior year of high school in a new town. But if she can just keep her head down, then maybe she can make it through this year in Hellborne, Vermont without the town living up to its name.
Of course, her plan falls apart immediately, as dead students start turning up around her, and she’s suddenly voted Most Likely To Have Murdered Them by the rest of the senior class. Oh, and the fellow new girl Tara’s crushing on? Turns out to be a witch-hunter.
. . . So maybe it’s not the worst thing that Tara’s magic is majorly malfunctioning.
As the body count rises, Tara has to overcome her fears, reconnect with her magic, and cast herself in a more central role to save the town—even if it means putting her new relationship at risk.
Praise for The Bewitching Hour (A Tara Prequel) (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Prequels)
A teen witch gets caught up in the mysterious deaths claiming her new classmates. After her mother, who was also a witch, died, Tara Maclay’s father started believing witches were evil, forbade Tara from exploring that part of herself, and moved their family to Hellborne, Vermont, a town proud of its witch-burning past. Fellow high school senior Baz, a himbo jock, takes Tara under his wing, but not everyone welcomes her with open arms. Tara learns that two students recently died, and she and fellow new student Daphne have been slotted into their classes. When Tara witnesses a third death, she knows these aren’t the accidents they appear; something paranormal is at play. She befriends Daphne, who is a witch hunter, and the pair set out to stop the evil before more deaths occur. Tara, a kind witch who stutters, was a lesbian icon on TV’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and this new tale taking place before she joined the cast fills in her backstory. There are nods to the show and its characters, but this fun and chilling mystery stands completely on its own. Tara’s strict dad adds just as much tension to the story as the murders do, and her awkward new-student feelings plus a growing crush on Daphne ground the story with relatable emotions. Tara and Baz are White; Daphne is Black. A beloved Buffyverse character gets to be the hero and find happiness in this enjoyable, witchy tale. (Paranormal. 13-18)- Kirkus (June 1, 2023)