Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older


Shadowshaper by Daniel José OlderShadowshaper by Daniel José Older
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

What I’m about to say and what you can probably tell upsets me: I only liked to write this book. I didn’t love it like I wanted to. Trust me, I really wanted to love this story. There’s a minority on the cover.

So this story follows Sierra as she learns that her family is keeping secrets. Essentially there is an entire society that existed right under her nose her entire live, until now. Things are turning bad, the paintings are fading and creatures are coming to attack. Sierra gets sucked up in this world.

Let’s be real, the portrayal of life and various events that happen to people felt legit. The issues Sierra had with with Aunt, were things I’d heard with my own ears. There were so many moments that just felt so real and pulled straight from a reality that was genuine. It was honestly what helped this book feel so grounded. The world that Sierra navigated wasn’t a caricature. It was real.

The problem I had wasn’t even particularly with the characters. The characters also felt like real people. Each person had their own unique personality. They moved through the world with their own flair, their own agendas, and their own issues. Sierra in particular felt like the kind of girl you wouldn’t be so surprised to meet in real life. While, I liked her and how she reacted to the things happening around her. I liked how she reacted to confronting the views or her own and of others. Yet, I still felt like I didn’t know her very well.

This is largely because of this odd distance that I seemed to feel from her and Robbie. Robbie is the love interest that I liked, but I couldn’t tell you anything about why I did. He was sweet, but I never formed a connection. This is rather frustrating because I wanted to connect, but something just didn’t click.

I want to also mention that the relationship between Robbie and Sierra. There is an instant chemistry between them. They have things in common yet are very different so it makes sense that they would be drawn to each other. Heck, even once the relationship develops it never reaches this insta-love. Neither one of them are claiming love, but they show interest and care for one another and that is refreshing.

The plot was solid. I really don’t have many complaints. Sure, it would have been nice if a little less time was spent in the beginning building up and explaining things, but Sierra never sat back and waited for things to come at her. Even when she was clueless she was pushing the plot forward and trying to figure things out. The ending did feel a bit rushed, but it was exciting and thrilling to see how they got themselves out of trouble.

So yes, I liked this book. It was entertaining. It had a wonderful perspective. It felt real. The magic system was fantastic and I’d love to see more of it. The characters felt real, but I was left with just a feel of like not love. If another book exists in this world, I would definitely pick it up.

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