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Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her strokeridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears... Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one, and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family's past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
Full of a joyful, defiant spirit and writing as luscious as a Brooklyn summer night, Shadowshaper introduces a heroine and magic unlike anything else in fantasy fiction and marks the YA debut of a bold new voice.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By C. D. White on 01-13-16
A Vivid Tale for Many Interests
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.
8 of 8 people found this review helpful
By Adrienne Hood on 08-21-16
Beautiful Urban Fantasy
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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful