Tuesday, March 07, 2017
Books in My Ears: Shadowshaper
I just finished Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older. I've heard nothing but good things about Older from the likes of Amanda and Jenn on the Get Booked podcast. When I was browsing my library's audiobook holdings, it popped out at me, and the rest is magic.
Read by Anika Noni Rose, this book was magical and mystical and sensual and fast-paced. In short, it was just the kind of novel that pulls me in from the start.
Sierra is a teen growing up in Brookyn, and she's a talented artist. As the summer begins, she's looking forward to a carefree time, but then a zombie something-or-other shows up at a party and changes everything. Along with her friends and a mysterious cutie and fellow artist, Robbie, Sierra begins to uncover the Shadowshapers, an order originally comprised of her ancestors. They can channel spirits into art--paintings, music--and those spirits will work with them, protect them. It's great until a twisted anthropologist comes into the mix and screws everything up, perverting and twisting the Shadowshapers' abilities to fulfill his own selfish wishes.
This was a perfect pairing of novel and reader. Anika Noni Rose is seriously amazing. Her voice is buttery and enthralling, filling Sierra and her quirkiest friends with life. Older's writing is quirky in itself, cheesy in spots, but so much fun. I appreciated the atmosphere of New York, the distinct voices of Sierra's friends, and the inclusiveness in this YA urban fantasy. Sierra's Caribbean heritage and the web of culture, magic, and family in this story was lovely and refreshing.
As usual, I'm not doing this one any justice, but if you need something fun to sweep you away, this is probably it.