E. Latimer is the contemporary literary magician that Gen Z has been waiting for with rabid, foaming mouths.
Latimer had a unique path to writing, building a following on the communal writing app, Wattpad, and vlogging with the Word Nerds in addition to being a published fantasy author. Her humble beginnings as an author make her the perfect fit for a follow-up to Harry Potter. Hear me out.
Her savvy on the internet and her investment into writing platforms that many current YA readers grew up on make her novels especially appealing. She tapped into an especially Gen Z market with her take on fantasy, implementing conflict with sexuality and social media that other novels might stray away from in pursuit of that otherworldly feel.
But Latimer doesn’t shy away from the contemporary for the sake of building her world. She instead takes our world and adds the necessary magical twist, making her novels relatable and easy to lose yourself in. The similarities between the worlds she builds and our own make the slip into her novels imperceptible; by the time you look up again hours have probably passed.
Her grasp of the real makes her fantasy novels all the more engaging for young and older readers alike. She may place her books under the YA category, but the conflicts her characters go through, from family drama to clingy ex-boyfriends, touch readers of all ages.
Latimer represents a new wave in the sometimes dusty genre of fantasy, a world where witches can be gay and have absent parents on top of fighting the forces of evil.
THE RECOMMENDATION: Witches of ash and ruin
Two words. Queer witches.
Follow the main character, Dayna Walsh, in Witches of Ash and Ruin as she grows into her true power as a witch with the help of her coven, while struggling with her somatic OCD and being freshly outed in her conservative town.
When another coven comes into town to help Dayna and friends stop an ancient evil, Dayna will have to navigate her new abilities, complex history, and her sticky relationship with Meiner King, the granddaughter of an opposing coven’s leader.
As if this couldn’t get any more complicated for any seventeen-year-old, let alone a magical one, the murder of a local witch rocks Dayna’s small town. To make matters worse, the mark of the Butcher of Manchester, an infamous serial killer with a taste for witches, turns up around the body. If the covens don’t unite and find him soon, he won’t stop until all of them are dead.
To quote the famous SNL character Stefan, at risk of sounding super out of touch, this book has everything: enemies to lovers, badass women, bloodthirsty ancient powers, demanding grandmas.
If you’re in need of a fresh brand of fantasy, Witches of Ash and Ruin is waiting for you, witch.