Monday, June 28, 2010

Book Review: Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready

Aura was born after the shift, which means she can see and communicate with ghosts. Not really her favorite thing, until an accident kills her boyfriend Logan. On the one hand she’s grateful that he’s not completely lost to her, but on the other hand, it does make it hard to move on. And the new guy in town – Zachary – really wishes she would move on.

I am always fascinated with the sorts of afterlife concepts authors can come up with, and Smith-Ready really has some fun ones. We learn right off the bat that in Aura’s world, ghosts take the form that they inhabited during their happiest moment on earth (that prevents murder victims from looking chopped up and cancer victims from looking wasted away). When I explained this to a friend of mine, she asked, “But what if their happiest moment was when they were a baby?” That one stumped me, although I do have to say if you’re happiest moment came as a baby…well, that’s just sad.

In any case, there are many creative world-building elements to go along with the pretty unique love triangle of Post-Shifter Aura, Dead Logan and Pre-Shifter Zachary. It’s also a credit to Smith-Ready that she kept me on my toes plotwise – you could never be sure what would happen next. So far no real villains have emerged, but you do get the sense that the government is getting stricter and less tolerant with their policy towards ghosts – mainly because some ghosts can turn into “shades” – giving them a dark power that the living are terrified of.

This is the first book in a planned series, but fortunately you do get some measure of closure. I’m excited to read the second novel SHIFT when it releases May 2011. SHADE is now available in hardcover. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

13 comments:

Amanda said...

This is one of those books I really wanted to get but I didn't have the money to buy at BEA. I was already spending so much on travel/hotel/food/etc that I decided not to buy any books while I was there. I've put this one on my list of library books and hopefully my library will get it!

bermudaonion said...

I'm glad you enjoyed this, but I'm not sure it's for me.

Cara! said...

This looks fantastic! I love the concept and was hoping it lived up to the hype. From your review it seems that it indeed does.

Zibilee said...

Ok, this book sounds like a really intriguing read to me, and I am not usually the type of reader who would gravitate towards a read of this kind. I really liked your review, Lenore, and think that I am going to have to try this one out. My kids would probably love it as well. Thanks for the very awesome review!

Carla said...

I started reading this one a few weeks ago and I think the way Jeri has written the novel makes it that much more fascinating. I love the fact that Zachary is from Scotland and his accent is described perfectly. I loved all the stuff about stone circles, because they are ridiculously popular over here in the UK. It made me realise that a lot of researching must've gone into this book. Hopefully I can finish it soon, amazing review!!

Faye said...

I loved this book. Jeri creates an awesome sotry with great characters. I can't wait 2 read the second one :D

Shooting Stars Mag said...

This is a really good book. I love Jeri's writing. I'm glad you enjoyed this one. I can't wait for the next in the series.

-lauren

Staci said...

for some crazy reason I just haven't been reading any YA but this one does sound pretty good to me.

Sandy Shin said...

I have read a lot of great reviews of this book, but yours is the one that makes me want to read it. I'm definitely adding it to my to-read list.

Serena said...

This is the one book I missed out on at BEA, and now I really wished I hadn't. Off to stick it on the wish list!

kay - Infinite Shelf said...

Oh, this book sounds great! And the reviews so far are pretty positive, too. I should really read it too, although I'm thinking I'll wait a little so that the sequel doesn't seem too far away!

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

LOVED this book! Great review :)

Jennifer said...

Definitely sounds like a unique take on the afterlife. I might wait till the sequel is closer though since you mentioned that the ending doesn't really give you closure - I hate it when that happens. I'm horrible in the patience department!