Monday, March 21, 2016

Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older

Anyone looking for a book about a fierce heroine should read Shadowshaper by Daniel JoséOlder.
Sierra Santiago is a young woman learning to become comfortable with her curvy body,  brown skin and unruly hair. Having inherited what some might consider undesirable characteristics, Sierra holds her head high and does not shy away from who and what she is.
Commissioned by the elders in her community to paint a mural over the obstructive Tower that has defaced the quaint brownstone neighborhood,  Sierra starts her summer off with a mission. The junk car lot where she spends her time is the hangout for the Domino Kings, elder men whom her grandfather, Grandpa Lazaro once associated with.
Sierra and her friends roam the stomping grounds of their neighborhood, constantly taking in the ever changing effects of gentrification in the Brooklyn community. “The takeover,” as Sierra's best friend, Benny calls it is a mild encroachment compared to the haunts converging.
When her grandfather’s old boys club of Shadowshapers  (those with the power to transfer spirit into form) start disappearing only to come back as corpuscules, it falls on Sierra and her friends to rid their community from the dark forces at work.
This story is an enthralling read. The modern characters Older has created are refreshing with true “the world is ours” attitude of teens who have everything to lose. Their city grit clashes with centuries old traditions of spiritual summoning brought to the States from Puerto Rico in a way that moves the story forward.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a character driven story with supernatural undertones. This story has more dimensions than what appears on the surface which results in an engaging read to the very end. Readers will not be disappointed with this book

Review by Trinika A.

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