Title: Shadows of the Hidden
Author: Anne Riley
Publisher: Compass Press
Pages: Paperback; 340
Release Date: December 1, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy a good fantasy story with vivid characters!
Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
Natalie Watson doesn't believe her parents are dead, even though they disappeared five years ago. Discovering the truth about their fate is one of the only things that gets her out of bed in the morning. But after moving from her home in Georgia to her aunt's boarding school in Maine, solving the mystery of her parents' whereabouts is just one of several challenges she must face. When she's not fending off attacks from the popular kids, she puzzles over the rumors about a strange boy in her math class--one with fiery red hair who rarely speaks.
Despite suspicions that he murdered his sister a year earlier, Natalie finds it impossible to stay away from Liam Abernathy--especially when he confesses to knowing something about her parents. Soon she's following him into the forest, where things happen she doesn't understand...things that shouldn't be possible.
Natalie soon realizes her connection to Liam is deeper than she ever imagined, and not everyone she counts as a friend can be trusted. When she finds herself at the center of a centuries-old quest for immortality, she must work with Liam to stay alive--even if it means facing a truth about herself and her family that will not only shake her perception of herself, but of the entire world around her.
Another book to add to my list of those I am truly glad I accepted for review! Shadows of the Hidden was most definitely worth it. We meet Natalie at a difficult time in her life. With her parent's disappearance looming over her, it doesn't really seem fair that she should have to deal with normal teenage issues as well. Then she notices her classmate Liam sneaking off into the woods at night, which sets into motion quite the unbelievable and intriguing story.
I was amazed at how easily I fell into step with the characters in this book. Natalie is the type of character I adore. Sweet, strong, and honestly simple in her appearance and mannerisms. She's a wonderfully normal girl. I liked that the author gave Natalie this personality because it was believable. It made it easy to understand her! Still, the favorite character card definitely goes to Liam. Mysterious, sweet, and full of courage, he was a perfect partner for Natalie and I adored him.
Speaking of the story, it's a great one. I think Riley does a stellar job of keeping the plot moving. Always giving just enough to keep you guessing, and wanting to read on to find out where things are going. Mystery, and just a touch of magic, are turned into a rich tapestry of a story line. I couldn't keep myself from skipping ahead now and then to see if I was right about what was coming. I admit it. Although I would have liked a little more closure on certain aspects (no spoilers here!) I can't deny that I devoured this book.
I highly recommend giving Shadows of the Hidden a spot on your reading list. Fans of fantasy and science fiction will find elements to love here, as well as lovers of more contemporary reads. Kudos to Anne Riley for weaving such an epic tale. I can't wait to read more!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.