Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows by Jacqueline West

You know that house down your street that everyone always knows about, refers to as "that house," and is just generally creepy? Olive has just moved into that house. Her brilliant (read dippy) mathematician parents are delighted with the architecture and the lighting of the library; Olive on the other hand is fascinated with the old clothes, glass medicine bottles, and the paintings - especially the paintings. She soon discovers that she can go into the paintings and interact with the subjects, but there's something menacing watching her. With all the information gleaned from a small scarecrow boy, a lovely young woman, and three talking cats, Olive doesn't know who she can trust or what the truth is. What she does know is that there's something coming after her, someone who doesn't welcome Olive and her parents into the house.

I really enjoyed this book. As I was reading, I kept comparing the atmosphere that West created with Neil Gaiman's Coraline. The book grabbed my attention and kept it, just when I thought the plot was going to fall into some overly done trope it took a bit of a turn and renewed my interest. That isn't to say that there weren't a few obvious plot twists, but given the overall awesomeness of the book it's easily forgiven. Needless to say, it took me about two hours to plow through the 235 pages of fast-paced adventure.

This book is coming out June 30th (though on West's website it lists the release date as June 15th), it's a series and I hope that the second follows quickly on the heels of this exciting first book.

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