The Shadow Thieves
by: Anne Ursu
Synopsis (from Barnesandnoble.com):
See that girl, the one with the bright red hair, overstuffed backpack, and aura of grumpiness? That's Charlotte Mielswetzski. And something extra-ordinary is about to happen to her. Oh, it's not the very cute kitten that appears out of nowhere and demands to go home with her. It's not the sudden arrival of her cousin Zee, who believes he's the cause of a mysterious sickness that has struck his friends back in England. It's not her creepy English teacher Mr. Metos, who takes his mythology lessons just a little too seriously. And it's not the white-faced, yellow-eyed men in tuxedoes, who follow Charlotte everywhere. What's so extraordinary is not any one of these things....It's all of them. And when Charlotte's friends start to get sick one by one, Charlotte and Zee set out to find a cure. Their quest leads them to a not-so-mythical Underworld, where they face rhyme-loving Harpies, gods with personnel problems, and ghosts with a thirst for blood. Charlotte and Zee learn that in a world overrun by Nightmares, Pain, and Death, the really dangerous character is a guy named Phil. And then they discover that the fate of every person -- living and dead -- is in their young hands. In her dazzling debut for young readers, Anne Ursu weaves a tale of myth and adventure, danger and magic that will keep readers engrossed until the very last secret is revealed.
So, what do I think?
Overall: The book started off a little slow, but after a few chapters of them walking around and talking, it started to get really good. This is Ursu's first YA novel and I think she is used to writing for adults who have a longer attention span. I think that a few chapters in the beginning could have been taken out to keep the reader engaged. I really liked the idea behind the book and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes greek mythology.
Characters: I really like Charlotte and her cousin Zee. I'm not sure if I like them being cousins and not love interests, but you will see why it's importat they are blood related. Charlotte is a typical teenager who really doesn't fit in. I saw a lot of me in her. She is a great liar too. Zee is just the opposite. He is athletic and popular. I think that the characters fit well with the story.
Setting: In the beginning of the story it takes place in the US and London. It is set up that way so you can see the differences in the upbringing of the two characters. In the last half of the book they are in the Underworld, and I think Ursu did an awesome job of describing it. I always knew where I was in the story and what my surroundings looked like.
Rating: I give it 4 out of 5 stars!!
If you like this book, you would also like: