IN THE SHADOWS by Kiersten White

IN THE SHADOWS

Age Range: 12 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Teens square off against sinister immortals in an overstuffed muddle presented, Hugo Cabret–style, through an alternating mix of prose and wordless visuals.

White’s prose, created in collaboration with Di Bartolo, puts generic elements and character types together for a slow-moving tale featuring a set of bored undying. They have gathered in a small Maine town in 1900 to move the caged demon that keeps them alive to a new hidden location, in the process menacing a clutch of teenage residents. The creators offer no historical background or specific agenda for the bad guys, aside from just continuing to live. They are pursued across the decades by Arthur, dedicated to their destruction. Di Bartolo’s wordless graphic panels chronicle that quest, which takes Arthur over continents and through the 20th century into the 21st. Readers are likely to find themselves more confused than enthralled. The graphic panels are interspersed in short, episodic sections from the very beginning so that readers will have no idea how they are connected to the text until links are supplied many pages later. Moreover, the art is drawn and colored in a loose, blurry way that makes recurring figures hard to recognize (Arthur has a facial scar, but that’s no help since he doesn’t acquire it until late in the prose story), and many discrete incidents are often so compressed that the graphic portion frequently feels more like a sketchy storyboard than a story.

Ambitious but a failure both as a whole and in its parts. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 12-14)

Pub Date: April 29th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-545-56144-0
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2014




MORE BY KIERSTEN WHITE

ChildrenILLUSIONS OF FATE by Kiersten White
by Kiersten White
ChildrenPERFECT LIES by Kiersten White
by Kiersten White
ChildrenTHE CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
by Kiersten White

MORE BY JIM DI BARTOLO

ChildrenLIPS TOUCH by Laini Taylor
by Laini Taylor
ChildrenDREAMDARK by Laini Taylor
by Laini Taylor

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE INQUISITOR'S APPRENTICE by Chris Moriarty
by Chris Moriarty
ChildrenTHE INVENTION OF HUGO CABRET by Brian Selznick
by Brian Selznick