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To understand our viewpoint. We are a couple, married fifty years in the Pacific Northwest with no knowledge of modern Hispanic teen culture in New York City. So we were doubtful about getting into this young adult fiction fantasy.
We loved it! The writing painted vivid pictures. The girl, Sierra, is a wonderfully complex teen. She is spunky, standing up to anyone. But, inside, she is not sure of herself, not fearless, not always right.
The fantasy is built on a unique (to us) concept of "life after after death." The characters are all fully believable. The events include danger, mystery, fear, romance, doubt, discovery, bravery, loyalty and the best kind of justice.
So, we both recommend the book to mature preteens, teens, adults, and old folk, to any who like books with the kinds of events and elements described.
The reader is outstanding! The range of voices is beyond criticism. And, the reading never draws attention away from the enthralling tale.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Daniel José Older knows how to craft a magnificent fantasy world, and "Shadowshaper" is an excellent example of that. Sierra is an endearing protagonist, both brave and uncertain, not fully understanding what's going on, but knowing she has to figure it out and protect those she cares about. The magic of shadowshaping is unique and interesting - I loved its basis in connection to spirits. I appreciate Older's ability to center a book around young people, but not have it feel juvenile.
Anika Noni Rose does a fantastic job bringing Older's words to life. My one complaint is that some I mostly listen on my commutes, there were a few points where she gets quiet (intentionally, to convey whispering) that were difficult to hear over car noise. Otherwise I enjoyed everything about this recording and would unequivocally recommend it.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful