Monday, February 16, 2015

Review: The Shadows

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere, #1)The Shadows by Jacqueline West

There is a mysterious old house on Linden Street. A family of out-of-towners come and buy the amazing house, with all of the previous owners possessions still inside. The father and mother are mathematicians with a creative daughter named Olive. Olive loves to explore all the treasures of the old house. She especially loves to wear the old jewelry and gloves. One day when she puts on a pair of spectacles, she discovers that the pictures all over the house are alive!

Jacqueline West created a new fantasy series about a girl who could enter paintings. It felt like a mix between Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Marianne Malone's The Sixty-Eight Rooms. Yet not as dark as Coraline and not as lighthearted as the Sixty-Eight Rooms. (At least for me, your reading experience can differ greatly from my own.) It was quite a clever story about art and magic together. The familiars in the book add lighthearted silliness to the book. Overall it was a pretty solid story. The acceptance at the end toward the animals staying was a bit cheesy, but I can over look it. The familiars are necessary for the house and how else would they stay except for pure acceptance.

I would recommend this title to older elementary students and middlers. I wouldn't recommend it as a family listen on a car trip because younger listeners might not like the darkness of the book.

Lexy Fridell was the narrator for The Shadows. It took me a whole disc to become accustomed to her voice, but she shares a very good narration. (The familiars have some excellent and outrageous accents!) Her voice reminded me a lot of Kristin Chenoweth.

Reviewed from a library copy.

Audio Book Details...
The Shadows by Jacqueline West
Series: Volume 1, The Books of Elsewhere
Read by Lexy Fridell
Produced by Penguin Audio
Number of Discs: 5
Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
ISBN: 9780143145714

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