Bite Sized Book Review ~ Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older



Read if:

  • You like fantasy YA. Nothing to dislike here. Fast-paced adventure for teen readers. Entrancing contemporary dialect if you like that sort of thing. (Love it when done right.)
  • You like urban fantasy and don’t mind a young viewpoint. Nails the UF tropes with a splash of originality
  • You enjoy an artistic look at urban culture. I loved that he didn’t translate the bite sized chunks of Spanish that were sprinkled throughout.
  • You like the idea of art as magic.
  • You care about the ideas of a young woman of color as a protagonist. If you care about that, go to Amazon or your local bookseller, buy the book, and put your money where you mouth is.
  • You like a little Spanish mixed in with your stories. (What? Seriously. I love languages.)

Don’t read if:

  • You don’t like YA or a younger protagonist voice. Older lays it on pretty thick. It bothered me for the first couple chapters. I like YA, but I don’t really want it written different. Harry Potter is written for kids, but it’s not written *like* it’s for kids. Percy Jackson is. This is more like Percy in that sense.
  • A little culture that isn’t your own offends you. Boo. What are you reading for? But, yeah, it’s definitely written with the flavor of another culture, but in modern days and modern times. If you’re one of those cranky people who are going to call that an agenda, don’t read it. Maybe don’t read the Internet, either. Older even hints at intra-cultural conflicts that an outside like myself won’t understand. That’s okay with me. I loved it. More, please.

Cover-Judging: 9/10

I picked up the book for two reasons: because my buddy recommended it to me personally (he knows I love NYC and art-as-story-device and kickass female heroes of color), and because the cover was awesome. Check out that hair. And the color and the skyline. It gives you the selling points right away. I might have gone with a slightly younger look on the model in order to sell the genre a tiny bit better, but whatever, it works. It sold me.

My verdict:

Loved it. Want to go back. If there’s ever another, sign me up. Go buy it.

Posted on under ~Rach / bite sized reviews

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