Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (June 30, 2015)
Genre: Fiction/Urban Fantasy/YA
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 (A Billion Stars)
Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world.
Sierra Santiago planned an easy summer of making art and hanging out with her friends. But then a corpse crashes the first party of the season. Her stroke-ridden grandfather starts apologizing over and over. And when the murals in her neighborhood begin to weep real tears… Well, something more sinister than the usual Brooklyn ruckus is going on.
With the help of a fellow artist named Robbie, Sierra discovers shadowshaping, a thrilling magic that infuses ancestral spirits into paintings, music, and stories. But someone is killing the shadowshapers one by one — and the killer believes Sierra is hiding their greatest secret. Now she must unravel her family’s past, take down the killer in the present, and save the future of shadowshaping for generations to come.
When most people think of New York City, they think of 42nd street. Manhattan. Well that’s not all there is to the NYC. This is one of the reasons why I love Daniel José Older’s Shadowshaper. It showcases the NYC that I grew up with. The concrete jungle that is more than Park Ave and skyscrapers. It’s a melting pot of diversity. A hodgepodge cultures. Multicultural. Multiracial. Something that I’m happy to say that is displayed beautifully in Shadowshaper.
Sierra is not your typical female heroine. Not only does she rock her natural hair and have beautiful brown skin but she’s proud of it. There’s no self-hate here baby. Presentation is so important. I wish publishing companies get that but I digress. This is not a rant on why we need diverse books. More of a celebration that a book like the one that Daniel José Older has written is getting the praise that it deserves.
Shadowshaper is a fast-paced urban fantasy that mixes Caribbean legend with beautiful, breathtaking world building. Showing Brooklyn the way it is meant to be. With people of all walks of life and color. While the writing was hit and miss for me with it’s simplicity, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this book is unique and special. It was such a moving and wonderful reading experience.
Shadowshaper is the story of Sierra who discovers the hidden world of…well Shadowshapers. A group of people that use heritage, whether it’s music, storytelling or paintings to connect with spirits. I’m not doing a great job of explaining but believe me when I say that this book is the bomb.com. There’s action, a bit of romance and story that grips it claws into you until the very end. Wishing that there was more. I hope there’s more. Shadowshaper would be an awesome series that I would look forward to reading.
With a plethora of diversity and representation plus a warm but strong female and sophistication heroine, Sierra is sure to be up there with Shadowshaper is what TMI wished it could be. What it should have been instead of that “whitewashed” version of urban fantasy.
This review is a failure on how much I love this book. I how much I wish more people would read this book and give it a chance. It’s that good with the best YA cover of the year. My words doesn’t do justice to what Shadowshaper means to me and joy that I felt when reading this wonderful and amazing book that speaks to me and my soul. This is my New York. This place that I grew up and still live to this day. Sierra is me. And all the black and brown girls out there.
So fuck yeah I highly recommend this book. Give it a chance and tell your friends about. Shadowshaper is not the next TMI, but it’s own unique self. READ THIS BOOK!!!