After being kidnapped and sent to an enigmatic facility known as Rosewood, 17-year-old Rowan Sterling discovers that she has the ability to prevent horrific tragedies through pivotal premonitions in the new graphic novel The Harrowing. Illustrated by Rye Hickman and written by Kristen Kiesling in her graphic novel writing debut, The Harrowing will be released on April 16th from Abrams Fanfare, and we have a look at Rowan using her eerie abilities in an exclusive excerpt just for Daily Dead readers!

Below, you can check out our exclusive excerpt and the official press release with additional details, and for more context into this crucial scene from The Harrowing, here's what Kristen Kiesling had to say about the mental manipulation happening at Rosewood:

"As a writer, I aim to draw the reader in and create situations that challenge one's beliefs, interpretations, and assumptions. This story delves into the ethical dilemma of sacrificing one life to save many, akin to British philosopher Philippa Foot's The Trolley Problem. I strive to address ideas open to debate within the gray area of morality. When right and wrong are not so clearly defined.

The focal point of this scene is manipulation. Jackie implies to Rowan that had she not been born, her mother might still be alive. Guilt becomes a powerful tool in coercion. Driven by her longing for her mother, Rowan seeks solace in following her footsteps. Working for Rosewood also fulfills Rowan's deep-seated need to protect her loved ones. On the bottom of page 73, Rowan's reaching out for the imcrim's hand signifies her active role in shaping her future within Rosewood. By page 75, we witness a pivotal shift in Rowan's perception, firmly establishing that the imcrim is less important than the people his imprisonment protects. This will soon be challenged for Rowan, when the imcrim is no longer a faceless stranger and instead someone she loves deeply.

Rye Hickman's illustrations skillfully guide the reader through a rollercoaster of emotions. From childhood memories to guilt, through chaos, to determination."

Rye Hickman also shared their insights into the complex visual layout in this excerpt from The Harrowing:

"This is an overwhelming and important moment for Rowan, so the paneling is both complex and dense throughout her memories of her mother and her new skills inside a murderer's intent. But then, when Rowan has made the decision to help, everything simplifies."

To learn more about The Harrowing, visit ABRAMS' official website!

Press Release: 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. "

Here’s what people are saying about THE HARROWING

"THE HARROWING will give you death, destiny, defiance and most of all love. You will shiver in fear and delight. You will want to be held and to hold."

—Kieron Gillen, The Wicked + the Divine, Young Avengers

Ominous… [and] visceral.

—Publishers Weekly

"Minority Report reframed as if through the eyes of Stephen King, Kiesling and Hickman have created a real page-turner that asks tough questions of fate and morality. A complex and pulse-pounding debut that should be read widely."—Samuel Sattin, author of Buzzing

"An original, genre-blending graphic novel."

—Kirkus Reviews

"I read The Harrowing in one sitting — it's that good. It kept me up long after I turned the final page, pondering big questions -- namely, how far would I go to protect the ones I love."

—Max Brallier, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Kids on Earth

"Kiesling makes excellent use of smooth, engaging, and natural-feeling dialogue to, and the heavy, shadowy illustrations do much of the rest."

—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A wonderful mix of creepy crawly paranoia with a pinch of horror, Kiesling and Hickman have created something special that will keep you looking over your shoulder for days after reading."

—Marco Finnegan, illustrator of The Keeper

"The Harrowing is a story for fans of the morbidly supernatural. Kristen Kiesling's story is brought to life by Rye Hickman's stylish art in a world of grey and red that will feed your inner goth."

—Daniel McCloskey, creator of Cloud Town

Abrams Fanfare will publish THE HARROWING on April 16, 2024.

About the creators

Kristen Kiesling is extremely good at one thing. Scaring herself. She grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma where every forest held a mystery, every mound of dirt contained a body, and all roads lead to uncovering fictional truth. She writes graphic novels, young adult fiction and picture books. She enjoys creating new twists that challenge readers’ beliefs, interpretations, and assumptions–questions she hopes linger long after her words have ended.

Rye Hickman is an illustrator/comic artist, and co-creator of Lonely Receiver, Moth & Whisper, The Dead, Test, artist on SFSX and colourist on The House, Feathers, Kingdom Bum. They are a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design's Sequential Art program.


Founded in 1949, ABRAMS was the first company in the United States to specialize in publishing art and illustrated books. The company continues to publish critically acclaimed and bestselling works in the areas of art, photography, cooking, craft, comics, interior and garden design, entertainment, fashion, and popular culture as well as narrative nonfiction and new works of fiction for adults; children’s books ranging from middle grade to young adult fiction to picture books to board books. ABRAMS creates and distributes brilliantly designed books with the highest production values under the following imprints: Abrams; Abrams ComicArts; Megascope; Surely Books; Abrams Image; Abrams Press; The Overlook Press; Cernunnos; Cameron + Company; Abrams Books for Young Readers; Amulet Books; Abrams Appleseed; and Magic Cat. ABRAMS also distributes books for Booth-Clibborn Editions, Bungie, Alain Ducasse Édition, Èditions de La Martiniére, Editions BPI, Global Golf Group, Lucky Spool, Milky Way Picture Books, The Museum of Modern Art, SelfMadeHero, Tate Publishing, V&A Publishing, and The Vendome Press.

Exclusive Excerpt:

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.