PW #236: Middle Grade Horror: DEVASURA

Manuscript Status: Two weeks delivery

Mentor: Patrice Caldwell
Mentee: Zareena Nazimudeen
Category/Genre: Middle Grade Horror
Word Count: 49,000


Stranger Things meets Singaporean mythology when twelve-year-old Zhen Yu, with the help of his best friend, his younger sister, and fickle and friendly spirits, must defeat an ancient creature before it possesses his soul and makes his loved ones’ worst fears come true. Perfect for fans of Mary Downing Hahn and Doll Bones by Holly Black.


Zhen Yu wanted to slam the front door on his papa’s face. Instead, he closed it gently. The last thing he wanted was for his sister to wake up. To coax Su Ling to sleep he’d spent an hour singing “Let It Go”— an hour he didn’t want to endure ever again.

He strode past the BMW parked in the driveway, resisting the urge to punch the huge hulk of metal. The gate creaked in protest as he yanked it open.

Zhen Yu kicked an abandoned Coke can down the empty road. At 2 AM on a weekday, his neighborhood was a dead town. If only Harun wasn’t sick and could’ve snuck out as usual and joined him. If only his papa got help for his depression, if only his Nainai was still alive, if only his mama hadn’t left them… There were too many “if onlys” in his life.

He turned a corner and stopped dead in his tracks. Piles of burnt hell notes, oranges with joss sticks protruding from them, and bowls of rice littered the field in front of him. Tall, thin red candles poked out of the ground, glowing like beacons for wandering spirits.

How could he forget this was the Hungry Ghost month? The gates of the underworld were wide open.


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