Shadow Hills

In case there aren't enough reasons that I love book blogging, one more to add to the list is that I love discovering new titles from other book bloggers.   Shadow Hills is a tile that I knew nothing about until Casey over at The Bookish Type brought it to my attention.

 Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus tells the story of L.A. teenager Persephone "Phe" Archer who enrolls in a Massachusetts boarding school after the death of her older sister. Her new home is in the town of Shadow Hills and she soon discovers strange things about the local students - including that they're all descendants of survivors of a plague that hit the town in the 1700's. Of course, even aside from her strange classmates, Phe has enough oddity to deal with due to her ongoing nightmares that seem a little too realistic to ignore.

I love the suspense and the mystery that was drawn into this novel. Hopcus easily could have created another vampire or werewolf story, but instead takes a fresh and original approach to supernatural abilities. She even manages to ground the paranormal aspects of the story in solid science, lending an air of believability to the fantasy elements of the book. The story was well told and the ending is solid - Hopcus could easily write a sequel, but the book lacks nothing as a stand alone work.

I really enjoyed the writing style also, and felt that Hopcus did a wonderful job creating deep characters and a vividly detailed setting. Phe is a multi-faceted protagonist and she has a solid narrative voice. Her emotions are realistic and her backstory, complete with mistakes she admits and learns from, was well-developed. Shadow Hills was a great novel and easily stands as one of this year's most unique and intriguing young adult urban fantasy books. 
The more I read blogs and connect with other readers on the web, the more I value hearing about new titles from other people.  With so many new books hitting the market every day it's impossible to keep track of everything that sounds read-worthy.  Who do you usually hear about new releases from?  Bloggers?  Librarians?  Bookstore employees?

4 Response to "Shadow Hills"

  1. pirate penguin says:
    October 27, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    I really liked Phe--and I like how Hopcus subtly weaved touches of wicca and mythology into the story. (I wonder if anyone else noticed? Maybe they have but they don't seem to mention it in their reviews.)

    And I usually heard about new releases/books I haven't read before mostly from the blogosphere. Ever since I started blogging, my TBR list has grown tremendously!

  2. Casey (The Bookish Type) says:
    October 27, 2010 at 12:00 PM

    Aww yay!! I'm so glad you liked it! Fantastic review! You really hit all the factors that are important to me =)

  3. mummazappa says:
    October 28, 2010 at 7:59 AM

    I really want to read this one. I get most of my books for my list from blogs these days. Also from Good Reading Magazine which I love :-)

  4. lisa :) says:
    October 28, 2010 at 7:35 PM

    @Pirate Penguin - I didn't want to give too much away, but I did like how the magic and mythology was brought into the story. I wonder if she'll delve deeper into it in future books. (I really hope there will be more - especially with Phe's book, I think there's definite potential for expanding on that!)

    @Casey - Thanks! And double thanks for leading me to it!

    @mumma - Let me know what you think if you read it! I'll have to look into Good Reading Magazine - I'm not normally a periodical reader but that sounds like one I could love!

Post a Comment

I love reading, I love blogging, and I love comments! Please feel free to chime in on any post new or old, or if you have any overall feedback or something to say about this blog in general I'd love to hear that too! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and have a wonderful day!