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So not only can you see dead people, you can talk to them too? And bring them back to life!? I’m gonna go stand over here…

So it is new book time once again!  My weekend was a jumble of reading and breaking furniture and then more reading!  If I had the powers over furniture that Kate Winters has over the dead, you can bet that all my broken furniture would have been resurrected this weekend instead of being haphazardly piled in a corner.

Shadowcry by Jenna Burtenshaw is the story of Kate Winters, a fifteen year old girl who just wants to work in her uncle’s bookstore and not get involved in war.  Her dreams are soon shattered when the wardens descended, taking all the people from her small town of Morvane.  But they are not just drafting people from towns at random, they are looking of someone.  Someone who can raise the dead. Someone like Kate, who just brought a blackbird back to life.  Now Kate is the prisoner of the toughest warden of all, Silas.  He has some sort of plan for her; Kate just is not sure what.  She is sure of two things: firstly, that she has to save her uncle from a life of slavery; and secondly, that her old friend Edgar is more than he seems.  Kate’s entire existence is coming apart before her eyes; can she build it back up and come to terms with her new powers before it is too late?

Shadowcry was an amazing first from Ms. Burtenshaw, I was duly impressed.  The relationship between Kate and Silas was one of the highlights of the book and was touchingly realistic.  In fact, Ms. Burtenshaw’s strength is in developing complex relationships between characters and making them all flow together.  There are many characters in this book, and they are all pretty much thrown at you, no time to get adjusted.  It is through dialogue and interaction that you really learn about them.  The scenes where Kate goes into other peoples’ memories is pretty impressive as well.  Normally I am very anti explanations via some sort of convenient ability to see the past, read minds, etc.  The way this book treats them, however, does not annoy me as much as I thought it would.  They are not leaned upon or used as a crutch; they are just part of the overall story.  Shadowcry is a book that I devoured quite quickly and I would love to visit Kate Winter’s world again.