Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Shadow Thieves by Anne Ursu

Summary: Strange things start happening to Charlotte Mielswetzski the day a cute little kitten appears and demands to be taken home. Not long after that, her cousin Zee shows up from London telling her a terrible tale about the kids in his school that had all mysterious coma-like sickness. Then, the kids at Charlotte's school start showing the same symptoms and strange white-faced men in tuxedos start following Charlotte around. Soon, Charlotte and Zee learn that that a demon named Philonecron is stealing shadows to create an army to overthrow Hades, the king of the underworld.

Assessment: First, let me say that at first, I found this book quite fast-paced and action-filled. And then I read Percy Jackson. Okay, it doesn't stand up to Percy in that regard. It is not filled with swordfights and demons trying to kill Charlotte and Zee at every turn. One reader on the Barnes and Noble website said it was boring. So I do not recommend this book to the reluctant reader, and it might be more suitable for girls. But having said that, it still is a very enjoyable book. I enjoyed seeing Charlotte uses her wits to get out of some very frightening scenarios including escaping flesh-eating rhyming harpies and facing down Philonecron's zombie army of the dead. Finally, I liked the withdrawn and a tad sarcastic third person narration. The mix of adventure and humor is well mixed making this a slightly slower, but no less enjoyable romp into Greek mythology. And I cannot end this review without mentioning how satisfying it is to learn the true origin of Charlotte's kitten, but I won't say what it is. You'll have to find out for yourself.

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