Latchkey Preorder

The Archivist Wasp Saga Series Number 2

Volume Two of The Archivist Wasp Saga

“Fierce, blazing, brilliant. The mythic and brutal world of Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Latchkey is so richly realized, you don’t step into it, you fall.”

      —Jacqueline West, New York Times–bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere

Isabel, once known as Wasp, has become leader of the fearsome upstarts, the teen girl acolytes who are adjusting to a new way of life after the overthrow of the sadistic Catchkeep-priest. They live in an uneasy alliance with the town of Sweetwater—an alliance that will be tested to its limits by the dual threats of ruthless raiders from the Waste and a deadly force from the Before-time that awaits in long-hidden tunnels.

Years ago Isabel befriended a nameless ghost, a supersoldier from the Before-time with incredible powers even after death, and their adventure together in the underworld gave her the strength and knowledge to change the brutal existence of the Catchkeep acolytes for the better. To save Sweetwater, Isabel will have to unlock the secrets of the twisted experimental program from centuries gone by that created the supersoldier and killed his friends: the Latchkey Project.

Latchkey continues the story begun in Kornher-Stace’s widely acclaimed Archivist Wasp, an Andre Norton Award finalist that was selected by Kirkus Reviews as one of the Best Teen Books of 2015.

More Praise for Latchkey

“Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Latchkey is a little like retracing a war veteran’s scars with a scalpel and asking, ‘So. Does this hurt more than the original?’ It does, of course. Hurts good, hurts deep, this almost-familiar world that bleeds right into ours, where the only thing fiercer than ferocity is tenderness—though both talk equally as tough. After reading Latchkey, one starts seeing ruins superimposed over currently thriving structures. Every struggling patch of city lawn becomes a garden of ghost grass; every breezy puff of leftover winter holds the possibility of frostbite and vertigo and seeing the face of a long-lost friend once more. Has there ever been such longing, fueled by such darkness and adrenaline? Has there ever been such satisfaction, and at such a cost?”

      —C. S. E. Cooney, World Fantasy Award-winning author of Bone Swans

“Building on the deeply-realized Archivist Wasp, in Latchkey we are given a world even more fallen and brutal, for now even the old order of the archivists is broken. Here, when heroes are hurt, they stay hurt; here, the survivors must endure trauma without the words to describe it; here, knowledge itself is both deeply suspect and humanity’s only hope. History itself, embodied by blood-hungry ghosts, by turns cannibalizes the living and provides the only way forward. And yet, for all the loss and bodily pain, Latchkey shows us the power of community and the worth, greater than diamonds, of courage. Cathartic, feminist, explosively imaginative and masterfully payed out, Kornher-Stace gives us a second-world fantasy that transports our minds while, time and again, it emotionally arrives.”

      —Carlos Hernandez, author of Sal and Gabi Break the Universe

“What a great read! This surreal dreamscape of a book delves deeper into the unique world of the Andre Norton Award finalist Archivist Wasp, continuing a resilient heroine’s unusual friendship with a super-soldier ghost amid a far-future dystopia they both struggle to survive and understand.”

      —Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger and Breath of Earth

“Nicole Kornher-Stace’s Latchkey is a completely unique and enthralling story. A blend of fantasy, paranormal and more that defies categorization, I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommended!”

      —Jennifer Brody, award-winning author of The 13th Continuum

Cover art by Jacquelin de Leon,

About the author

Nicole Kornher-Stace is the author of Desideria, The Winter Triptych, and the Andre Norton Award finalist Archivist Wasp. She lives in New Paltz, New York, where she is currently at work on her first middle grade novel. There is a newly-adopted cat trying to sit on her keyboard as she types these words, and chances are excellent the same cat is trying to sit on the same keyboard as you read them. Visit her website at

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