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Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger
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Shadow Walkers

by Brent Hartinger

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423399,967 (3.07)1
2011 (3) ARC (2) astral projection (2) booklist review (2) fantasy (2) fiction (4) gay (1) Gay mystery (1) glbt (1) GLBTQ (4) isbn (1) JPL (1) kidnapping (2) kids (1) LB (1) lgbt (1) m/m (1) orphans (1) paranormal (3) queer (1) read (1) romance (2) sff (1) speculative fiction (1) supernatural (2) teen (2) to-read (3) Washington State (1) YA (4) young adult (2)

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What first drew me in to Shadow Walkers was the idea of astral projection. I would love nothing more than to be able to leave my physical body behind and just travel! Brent Hartinger hits the nail on the head with his explanation in this book. By the time I had finished reading, I'd say I had a pretty good handle on the concept. If you have ever wondered about astral projection, you'll find it simply fascinating.

Truthfully though, other than the astral projection aspect, this book had a difficult time holding my attention. The characters are sweet enough. Zach has a good head on his shoulders, although he feels trapped on his island home. Emory is sincere and definitely meshes with Zach. However it was Gilbert that stole the show, let me tell you. This fireball of a little brother was so adorable! When he goes missing I seriously had a moment of panic. Such a cute little kid!

The romance aspect of the book was also a nice addition. I thought it was fabulous that Brent Hartinger included a homosexual romance that wasn't angst driven or a social issue. It did fall a little flat for me though, mostly in the believability department. Although I enjoyed the fact that the boys were able to connect on such an otherworldly level, their relationship moved like lightning. I've heard of stress bringing people together, but even with my paranormal blinders on I had a hard time accepting that they would be so into one another in such a short time.

Added on is a bit of a side story about an astral creature that tries to devour the souls floating in the astral realm. I liked this addition, but I so wished it was a little more drawn out and explained. It was genuinely interesting! It just happened to be overshadowed by everything else going on. I'd honestly have to say that my favorite part of the whole book was the mystery surrounding Gilbert's disappearance. I had no idea where that part of the story was going, and as Zach searched I genuinely worried. When your favorite character ends up missing, well that's just something that you end up worrying about.

My final verdict on this book is that it is a sweet, short and unique read. Although it didn't sate my whole literary appetite, there was definitely enough there to keep me coming back! If Zach, Emory and Gilbert come back in a second book I'll be there to follow them on their adventures. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
A messy plot with likable characters and an unrealistic ending to the mystery. Review to come. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
Summary: Zach’s life on a small island off the coast of Washington State is interrupted when his younger brother is suddenly kidnapped. The police doesn’t seem to be trying hard enough, so Zach takes matters into his own hands—he learns to astral project. In this shadowy plane, Zach meets a cute boy, and the two work together to uncover who kidnapped Zach’s brother.

My thoughts: I’d never read about astral projection before, so Shadow Walkers was definitely interesting. Brent Hartinger developed the idea of walking through a dream world really well, and I felt as if I understood the concept pretty well by the time the story was over. The astral projection world was creative, too—I enjoyed the little obstacles that got in Zach’s way as he navigated around, especially the evil squid-thing (don’t laugh!).

Other than the unique astral projecting concept, I wasn’t too thrilled with Shadow Walkers. Almost all of the characters seemed pretty flat to me, with the exception of Zach and his little brother, Gilbert. The little dude had such a great personality! Zach’s feelings of isolation and loneliness were laid out pretty well, and I liked that he had such a strong relationship with friends over the internet. I’m sure most of us bloggers can relate to that! Other than those two characters, though, I didn’t feel any connection with others in the story.
Zach’s romance with Emory, the boy he meets while astral projecting, seemed extremely unnatural—they meet, and two days later are professing their love for each other. Even for a paranormal romance, I felt it was way too unrealistic (I actually snorted when Emory told Zach he loved him! I just couldn’t believe it!).

The mystery aspect of the story was a bit predictable, and Zach’s “I have to be a hero” attitude got stale after a while. Still, I managed to finish the book easily in two hours, and was content with the (somewhat unbelievable) ending. Though I can’t say that I completely enjoyed Shadow Walkers, others, especially younger readers, might find the suspense of the shadow world fascinating. ( )
  renkellym | Mar 14, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0738723649, Paperback)

"I just devoured the book, a good story for any age."—ALAN CHEUSE, NPR's "All Things Considered"

Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute).

As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach.

From Brent Hartinger, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Geography Club

 

 

 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:12 -0400)

Living with his grandparents on a tiny island off the Washington coast, Zach feels cut off from the world, but when his little brother, Gilbert, is kidnapped Zach and a new friend, Emory, seek him in the astral realm, where a centuries-old creature hungers for Zach's soul.… (more)

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