How did I get it: I won a copy from Suzanne Johnson over at Preternatura. Yay!
Why did I get it: I enjoyed Geography Club back in graduate school when I was taking YA Lit so I was curious. Besides, I liked that this was a YA book about the paranormal AND about a boy.
How I would rate it: 4 out of 5 stars.
Living with his grandparents on a tiny island off the Washington State coast, Zach feels cut off from the world. Especially when he’s forbidden to chat with his online friends. But then his little brother, Gilbert, is kidnapped. To find him, Zach discovers how to astral project. 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 they 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.
Review: This incredibly quick read has a lot going on — astral projection, gay teenagers, horrible kidnappers, and Lovecraftian monsters who need human drones to have a form in the real world. Needless to say, I was quite pleased!
Character-wise, I really liked Zach both in terms of his relationship to his little brother Gilbert and his desire to matter/connect more to others. I also really liked him getting to know Emory who is dealing with a lot of his own issues. I was happy when they became really connected to one another both in the astral realm and in the real world. There’s so many great little moments and little exchanges that really made me care about both of the boys, and I also loved the ending they both got.
Plot-wise , something was a little off in terms of the mysterious kidnapping leading to the use of astral projection since astral projection wouldn’t really be helpful in terms of protecting anyone from crazy kidnappers or men with guns. Ultimately, my confusion was completely overshadowed by the creepy Lovecraftian monster and the sweet bond that developed between Zach and Emory. Not to mention that the writing was very engaging and quick-paced. And I liked the final showdown and the way Zach dealt with both the monster and one of the kidnappers.
In conclusion, at a little over 200 pages, Shadow Walkers was a enjoyable, creepy, and delightfully strange book that would work for tweens as well as teens and anyone looking for a change of pace. Or Lovecraftian monsters. (And aren’t we all?)