One of several new YA titles out this week is Brent Hartinger’s Shadow Walkers. He’s a new author for me, and this is my first read of a YA with a gay protagonist, and one of the few YAs I’ve read from a male POV. So, lots of firsts here in my reading world! Read on to win an ARC!
ABOUT THE BOOK: Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who’s intriguing (and cute). As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert’s last. Even worse, there’s a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it’s hungry for Zach.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Brent Hartinger is the author of the four-book Geography Club series, about a secret high school gay-straight alliance; The Last Chance Texaco, a mystery about a girl in a “last chance” group home; The Order of the Poison Oak, a sequel to Geography Club; and Ground & Humble, a thriller about the intersection between the lives of a popular kid and a geeky one. You can find him online at www.brenthartinger.com.
MY THOUGHTS: I sort of dragged my feet going into this one, astral projection not quite being something I thought I’d find interesting. But the story caught me up quickly, and Zach is a wonderful, sweet character any reader can’t help but pull for. The astral projection part? Well, it turned out to be a fascinating take on a new world, and I wish the book had been longer. I do have to say that most of the YA books I read are basically like adult books with teenage protagonists, but this one reads young to me. Not middle grade, but younger than most of the YA I see. Still, it’s a good read, a fascinating story, and a really clever bit of worldbuilding. There aren’t that many books I can honestly say I wish were longer–but this is one of them.
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