“The Ballad of Black Tom” by Victor LaValle

I learned of this book back when Naz at Read Diverse Books hosted a Diverse SFF readalong for it. I was unable to participate in the readalong at the time and wasn’t sure if the novella was one I really wanted to read, but when I saw it in Barnes & Noble back in December, I picked it up recalling Naz’s review of it and started reading it on my way home. I was surprised that I was immediately hooked on the story.

Goodreads summary:

People move to New York looking for magic and nothing will convince them it isn’t there.

Charles Thomas Tester hustles to put food on the table, keep the roof over his father’s head, from Harlem to Flushing Meadows to Red Hook. He knows what magic a suit can cast, the invisibility a guitar case can provide, and the curse written on his skin that attracts the eye of wealthy white folks and their cops. But when he delivers an occult tome to a reclusive sorceress in the heart of Queens, Tom opens a door to a deeper realm of magic, and earns the attention of things best left sleeping.

A storm that might swallow the world is building in Brooklyn. Will Black Tom live to see it break? (Goodreads)

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