Thursday, January 03, 2013

Shadow Breakers

Shadow BreakersBlythe, Daniel. Shadow Breakers.
1 January 2013, The Chicken House
Copy received from YA Books Central and reviewed there.

Miranda is not happy that she, her mother, and her baby brother Truffle have moved to Firecroft Bay from London, but she understands her mother's need to move somewhere different after the death of Miranda's television personality father. Miranda feels a strange sense of foreboding in her new home, and this is reinforced when the school bus is completely consumed by ice on her first ride to school! She manages to make friends with Jade, another new girl from London, but is drawn to a group of geeky kids headed by her teacher, Miss Bellini. Ollie, Cal, Josh, and nine-year-old prodigy Lyssa all help Miranda tremendously when she is besieged with weird visions and when she experiences power surges. The group is investigating these, and finds that horrific fires were caused by these at several points in the past and may have a common element... Miranda's friend, Jade. Can the group bring the ancient evil under control before there is another fatal fire?
Strengths: Lots of action, but also the most poignant and realistic longing for a deceased parent since Milo, Sticky Notes, and Brain Freeze. This is a rather British book-- there is tea served at least three times-- and the sense of place (both the seaside community and a British school) was brilliant. Miranda also skateboards, which is such a hard thing to find in books! Also had a great twist to it!
Weaknesses: This dragged a bit in the middle when we were finding out about the source of evil-- it picked up quickly enough.

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