By: Dusty Crabtree
Published by: Musa Publishing
Release date: July 15, 2012
Genre: YA paranormal
Source: Kindly provided by publisher
One of the secrets of writing YA is being able to connect with the teen inside enough to believably sound like a teen is speaking. My chief complaint about this book is that the narrator sounded too much like an adult to be believable as a high school student.
Now that that's out of the way, Let me introduce you to Iris Kohl. Iris has an aversion to hospitals and a knack for seeing "shadows" that no one else sees. These shadows are menacing and obviously bent on causing havoc, but Iris has no idea what to do about them. Generally, she avoids them as much as possible. Recently, however, circumstances and relationships have made the avoidance increasingly difficult. She learns significantly both about herself and the shadows in this novel, and at the end, we are left with a sense of purpose and hope.
The romance factor: Iris has a sweet, if overly-amorous, boyfriend who is all-too-quickly overshadowed (no pun intended) by an intriguing, irresistible type. Iris has significant difficulty sorting out who is good for her, and in whom she is genuinely interested. Even though the triangle wasn't high-interest for me, I thought that Iris's confusion regarding these two boys was quite realistic and gave the teen character some credibility.
As for the tragic incident alluded to in the summary below: I felt that there were a lot of unanswered questions about the event, especially the character's motivation behind it. Also, Iris's aversion to hospitals didn't make sense to me. People generally have aversions to the cause of their discomfort if they've experienced a crisis, not the place where they were cared for and began to heal. I'm still unclear about why this particular subplot was left in the novel anyway, since the link to the main storyline was not readily apparent to me.
Final word: If you love YA paranormal, have plenty of time, and are looking for an affordable new choice for your e-reader, check this one out.
Summary from Goodreads:
Iris Kohl lives in a world populated by murky shadows that surround, harass, and entice unsuspecting individuals toward evil. But she is the only one who can see them. She’s had this ability to see the shadows, as well as brilliantly glowing light figures, ever since an obscure, tragic incident on her fourteenth birthday three years earlier.
Although she’s learned to cope, the view of her world begins to shift upon the arrival of three mysterious characters. First, a handsome new teacher whose presence scares away shadows; second, a new friend with an awe-inspiring aura; and third, a mysterious and alluring new student whom Iris has a hard time resisting despite already having a boyfriend.
As the shadows invade and terrorize her own life and family, she must ultimately revisit the most horrific event of her life in order to learn her true identity and become the hero she was meant to be.