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SHADOW FALLING by Tui T. Sutherland

SHADOW FALLING

Avatars, Book Two

By Tui T. Sutherland

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-06-085146-0
Publisher: Eos/HarperCollins

Set in a future Manhattan nearly devoid of people but well-stocked with squabbling gods of several pantheons, this second episode adds even more Avatars—teenaged mortals imbued with the powers of a selected deity and sent forth to duke it out with each other until one achieves supremacy. The Avatars (most of them) have other ideas, however, and here they continue to band together to help one another while trying out their new abilities. Focusing on her young cast’s inner and outer conflicts, the author doesn’t move the plot forward much, but she does throw the sponsoring gods, particularly the Greek ones, into an unflattering, often comic light while trotting in several new characters with unknown identities or agendas. Reading like a role-playing game that’s just moving out of its character-oriented, set-up phase and into the action part, this closes with some of the Avatars sailing off for Africa, and leaves plenty of openings for future numbers—plus a heavy hint that the setting isn’t as real as the players suppose. Gamers with a literary bent may be drawn in. (Fantasy. 11-13)