Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connelly
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Summary from NetGalley:
Emmeline can manipulate shadows, but what happens when her shadow starts craving a life of its own?
Emmeline’s gift to control and manipulate shadows makes her the subject of mockery…and fear. Forbidden to leave home by her parents, Emmeline’s closest confidant is her own shadow, Dar. When a noble stranger visits and offers her parents a cure, Emmeline is terrified of losing her power—and her only friend. So Dar proposes a deal: she will change the noble’s mind if Emmeline will help her become flesh.
When the man ends up in a coma, Emmeline is stunned—and blamed. Now forced to flee, her only hope of clearing her name is to find a way to give the shadow she’s no longer sure she can trust what it craves—life.
ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review.
Don’t you just love that cover? It really sets the tone for this book quite well. It was one of the reasons I picked up the galley, plus the summary. I was very curious about what a shadow weaver was, how she came about her powers and what exactly was Dar?
Emmeline was an endearing character, although I felt sorry for her throughout most of the book. She was immensely naive at times, especially when it came to Dar. But once you reflect on her upbringing and how her parents treated her, I can accept some of the choices she makes. She is a nice mix of trusting her instincts and not wanting to trust people with her secrets. Her shadow weaving sounds amazing as well, and not quite what I was expecting. The way she received her abilities was unique, and you know from the start that there are others like her.
Lucas was another adorable character with a remarkable gift that compliments Emmeline’s gift very nicely. He was maybe a little to trusting considering his up bringing, but I loved watching their friendship grow. Lucas is a happy kid who has grown up knowing that his parents love him and appreciate his gift, unlike Emmeline. I’m looking forward to seeing their friendship grow in the next book.
There was a nice contrast between Emmeline’s parents and Lucas’s. It was also nice to see that even though Emmeline’s presence in their family does them more harm than good, they don’t give up on her in the end. They are the nice supportive adults that I like to see in middle-grade books.
The plot was very intriguing and although I did not trust Dar almost from the beginning, I was not quite prepared for her to be as evil as she was, or who exactly she was. I know it is hard for children to see the evil in their friends, but many things did not add up about Dar that I kept wishing Emmeline would pick up on. There were some slow spots in the story which may loose some kids, but otherwise the pacing was good.
I will confess that I almost gave up on this book in the first 50 or so pages. But it did grow on me. I think it was the writing style at first that I didn’t like and then also the cliche of an unloved child with supernatural powers. But the book grew on me as I kept going and I ended up really liking it.