Dear NetGalley reviewer:

by Gigi Griffis

Much like my characters, I don’t have hobbies; I have obsessions.

I’m obsessed with storytelling in all its forms. I’m obsessed with weird little details about niche topics—like bat research and cadaver dogs. And I’m—intensely, endlessly—obsessed with strange and little-known history.

I love history because it is messy and funny and deeply human. Because it connects my own experiences and understanding of the world to a bigger story. And I love dark history because it is a roadmap, a warning, the turn-back-now sign hanging from crooked branch, the bog witch telling us to beware where we step. Reminding us that our ancestors sunk to their necks in that very same sinkhole, sliced themselves open on such similar lies.

Which is why it makes perfect sense that my YA debut, The Wicked Unseen, is a book set during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s and ‘90s. A time when white evangelicals were terrified that My Little Pony and Pokémon were trying to turn their kids into Satanists. And that panic spread its ridiculous, poisoned tentacles ever outward through the country.

It was a dark slice of history that hurt many people—including my younger self—in ways both large and small. Worse, a dark slice of history with echoes in the present: in book bans and burnings, in the panic over Critical Race Theory, in a growing Satanic Panic called QAnon.

So, consider me the bog witch, our crooked turn-back sign, warning us all. The danger isn’t Satan. The danger isn’t the “wrong” books and shows and media. The danger is the panic itself, in its ability to misdirect our attention away from the real things that hurt us all.

I hope this book is fun and thrilling and scary in all the best ways. I hope there are moments when you laugh and moments when you gasp. I hope it sheds light on a dangerous slice of history. And I hope, most of all, that it challenges the history we’re making right now.

Thank you for reading,

Gigi Griffis

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