Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older — A Review

shadowshaperShadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

RaeleighReads rating: cup-of-coffee3cup-of-coffee3

“Crazy. It was the same word María and Tía Rosa flung at Grandpa Lázaro. The same word anyone said when they didn’t understand something. “Crazy” was a way to shut people up, disregard them entirely.”

Oh, Shadowshaper, what a let down.

You had such a good premise — a young girl discovering her magical abilities handed down through the generations, saving her family, and being pretty kick-ass throughout.

Your mythology was new (to me anyway). Your urban setting was appreciated. Sierra, your MC (main character) was a WOC (woman of color), and that was so refreshing. Nothing was cliched, and the dialogue felt authentic and youthful. The writing was decent in the way that all trad-published writing is decent.


But your pacing was scatter-brained.

I felt like I was watching a runner who had been on the bench for six months and finally started running again, but this runner has forgotten that they need to ease into the laps. Their body has become weakened and can no longer sustain its once-fast pace, but they ignore that and run in fits and starts and then say f*** it and stop only to charge on again in about twenty seconds. Whew! Sorry for the drawn-out metaphor.


But your story felt incomplete.

Oh, the ends were tied-off, but I’m left with this feeling of it’s not over yet. I almost wanted to shake the book to see if some hidden pages would fall out. And this isn’t a series. It feels like the setup for a series. You know, those series where the first book is just all right because it’s doing the setting-the-scene work, and the real nitty gritty good stuff only comes around in book two or four. Except this is it.

disappointed emma stone



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