THE BECKONING SHADOW by Katharyn Blair
Kirkus Star

THE BECKONING SHADOW

From the "Beckoning Shadow" series, volume 1
Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A girl with magical powers enters a brutal tournament, trying to win a chance to rewrite her past.

As a child, Vesper loved stories about the Oddities and their magic. Then she became one. She’s a Harbinger, capable of manifesting people’s fears. Ever since a horrifying incident borne of her lack of control, Vesper’s been a runaway loner. After landing in San Francisco, she crosses paths with fellow Oddities and learns about a high-stakes cage-fighting tournament; the winning Oddity gets $1 million and one unraveling (undoing something that has happened, altering the past). She doesn’t know how to fight and is scared of her own dangerous powers but badly wants to undo her damaging past. Vesper teams up with Sam, a nonmagical Baseline human, who oversees her rigorous training at an MMA gym. The deal is that she gets the cash prize, and he gets the unraveling to correct where things went wrong in his last relationship two years prior. Even while planning to betray him and claim the unraveling, Vesper begins to fall for Sam. All storylines—the tournament, what happened with Sam’s ex, why the rules of magic are changing—tie together through flawless pacing and well-balanced action, leading to revelations that foster character growth. While Vesper and Sam are assumed white, secondary characters have varying skin tones.

An extraordinary debut packed with richly drawn characters in a sure-to-entertain storyline. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-06-265761-9
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2019




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