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SHADOW WALKERS by Brent Hartinger


by Brent Hartinger

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7387-2364-8
Publisher: Flux

After his parents’ deaths, Zach is doomed to live under his grandparents’ rule on a remote island. His tribulations as an isolated gay teen worsen when his beloved brother is kidnapped and Zach discovers the only way to find him is through astral projection. However, as he stumbles toward supernatural prowess, what should be meaty self-discovery scenarios are disappointingly abbreviated (even he seems surprised by his rapid progression). Homosexuality, domestic crime and an immortal serial killer are also far too efficiently explored, making the narrative feel rushed. Despite hasty shortcuts, though, Hartinger presents an entertaining mingling of coming-of-age and supernatural. His approach toward homosexuality is refreshing, in that it isn’t the flashy foreground of Zach’s struggle but is adequately addressed. And through a veil of mild violence, teen fantasy and otherworldly terror, the tale ultimately reminds readers of more meaningful ways of communicating than laptops and texting (even if the book’s haste to get to its point seems to cater to the attention deficit said texting and laptops might inspire). (Paranormal. 12 & up)