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Abrams Preview: The Harrowing

Comic Books

Abrams Preview: The Harrowing

‘The Harrowing’ follows a psychic teen who hunts potential killers… until she discovers the boy she loves is her next target.

Courtesy of Abrams Fanfare, AIPT can share a preview of the genre-bending graphic novel thriller The Harrowing. Illustrator Rye Hickman and writer Kristen Kiesling, who is making her comics writing debut, the stylish, surprising, suspenseful, and unsettling book follows a psychic teen who hunts potential killers… until she discovers the boy she loves is her next target.

Set to release on April 16, 2024, comics writer Kieron Gillen says, “You will shiver in fear and delight. You will want to be held and to hold.”

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“This moment marks Rowan’s terrifying descent into losing control. While it’s not her first vision, it’s the first time she confronts the truth: something is fundamentally wrong with her,” writer Kristen Kiesling: ” said.

“Haven’t we all felt that at some point in our childhood? Haunted by the shadows of her mother’s struggle with germaphobia (or what she currently believes her mother suffered from), Rowan internalizes a fear that everything around her will unravel. Every ache becomes a potential brain tumor. Her mother’s cautious habits, like insisting Rowan wear gloves, instilled a hypochondriacal mindset within her, and these graphic, terrible hallucinations are proof that she is losing her sanity.”

So what’s The Harrowing about?

On the very day that 17 year-old Rowan Sterling almost, nearly, finally, kisses her longtime best friend and secret crush Lucas, she makes a surprising (and quite unwelcome) discovery. Rowan should be worrying about normal teenage things like attending college and whether Lucas is maybe more than a friend after all. But Rowan Sterling is gifted and she’s having terrifying visions of blood and violence. As her premonitions increase in number and intensity, Rowan seeks her father’s help, but instead finds herself drugged, kidnapped, and sent to a mysterious facility called Rosewood. And it isn’t long before Rowan discovers that it isn’t a boarding school or an asylum: it’s a training center for teens with special abilities who are known as Harrows. Rowan is a Harrow, a seer of death, and her world has forever changed.

Kiesling continued, “The guy in the diner…haven’t we all crossed paths with someone like this? So cocky with himself, that he doesn’t notice or care if he’s making someone else uneasy. I had fun toying with the idea of this jerk also being a murderer. The art really nails how awkward Rowan feels, and then suddenly plunges the reader into a scene of violence.”

Artist Rye Hickman added, “The color choices for the whole book were designed around shocking the reader as much as possible with the story’s blood-red visions of terrible violence. They stand out like a scream amidst the dim tones of Rowan’s everyday life.”

Fans can catch Kiesling at the LA Festival of Books the following weekend. Kiesling will also be on the panel Gone Girls: Mystery, Crime, and Suspense in Young Adult Fiction on Sunday, Apr 21, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM.

Check out the preview below.

'The Harrowing' 'The Harrowing' 'The Harrowing' 'The Harrowing'

Check out the press release below.

This spring, Abrams Fanfare will publish the genre-bending graphic novel thriller THE HARROWING by illustrator Rye Hickman and writer Kristen Kiesling, who is making her comics writing debut. Stylish, surprising, suspenseful, and unsettling, the book follows a psychic teen who hunts potential killers…  until she discovers the boy she loves is her next target. THE HARROWING will be published on April 16, 2024.

On the very day that 17 year-old Rowan Sterling almost, nearly, finally, kisses her longtime best friend and secret crush Lucas, she makes a surprising (and quite unwelcome) discovery. Rowan should be worrying about normal teenage things like attending college and whether Lucas is maybe more than a friend after all. But Rowan Sterling is gifted and she’s having terrifying visions of blood and violence. As her premonitions increase in number and intensity, Rowan seeks her father’s help, but instead finds herself drugged, kidnapped, and sent to a mysterious facility called Rosewood. And it isn’t long before Rowan discovers that it isn’t a boarding school or an asylum: it’s a training center for teens with special abilities who are known as Harrows. Rowan is a Harrow, a seer of death, and her world has forever changed.

“Harrows can view the actions of would-be murderers before they commit crimes, and the scientists at Rosewood believe it is their duty to use the Harrows’ powers to make the world a safer place,” said Kiesling. “Rowan is immediately drawn to Rosewood’s mission. After all, she lost her mother to a random act of violence two years prior. However, some of the other Harrows question the treatment of imcrims. How can it be ethical to imprison people who haven’t actually done anything yet?”

Empowered by the skills she’s acquired and ready to change the world, Rowan returns home, but when she reunites with Lucas, she has a vision of him shooting a man in cold blood. Now Rowan is questioning everything she learned at Rosewood—she refuses to believe Lucas is capable of murder—and sets out to protect him from the Harrows.

“Whether or not the ends justify the means is the fraught question at the heart of Rosewood,” said Rye Hickman. “Rowan is a good-hearted and passionate teen whose desire to help make the world a better place leaves her open to manipulation, and whose horrifying psychic powers mean she really can change the world for the better.”

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