Thursday, September 7, 2017

Book Review: Shadowhouse Fall

Title: Shadowhouse Fall (Shadowshaper #2)
Author: Daniel Jose Older
Genre: Young Adult | Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Publication Date: September 12, 2017
Source: ALA
Format: ARC

Sierra and her friends love their new lives as shadowshapers, making art and creating change with the spirits of Brooklyn. Then Sierra receives a strange card depicting a beast called the Hound of Light -- an image from the enigmatic, influential Deck of Worlds. The shadowshapers know their next battle has arrived.
Thrust into an ancient struggle with enemies old and new, Sierra and Shadowhouse are determined to win. Revolution is brewing in the real world as well, as the shadowshapers lead the fight against systems that oppress their community. To protect her family and friends in every sphere, Sierra must take down the Hound and master the Deck of Worlds... or risk losing them all (goodreads).

Shadowhouse Fall raised all the stakes in this fast-paced sequel!
Plot: Older did not hold back with Shadowhouse Fall! This novel took everything that we knew about the Shadowshaper world and added a whole new element to it! I loved the direction that Shadowhouse Fall took, it reminded me of a cross between Poison Princess and Cardcaptor Sakura. Sierra and her friends were introduced to the Deck of Worlds which warring factions were vying for. Along with trying to find each card, they had figure out which card corresponded with the chosen Shadowshaper. 

Shadowhouse Fall was fast-paced and expanded upon the Shadowshaper history; however, I had the same problem with Shadowhouse Fall as I did with Shadowshaper: it moved way too fast. This is, of course, a personal preference. I know there a plenty of readers who would prefer non-stop action, but I prefer extra time committed to developing the characters. That being said, I can't wait to see what Older thinks up for the third installment. 

Characters: Older brought out the sass in Sierra and company, and I loved hearing his voice through Sierra! We learned some more about Sierra's heritage and how it related to the other Houses; old faces appeared in Shadowhouse Fall but with some definite twists. Sierra definitely went through the wringer in Shadowhouse Fall and I wish there was more time dedicated to Sierra's introspection. Shadowhouse Fall was very dialogue heavy, and I do mean heavy. I would have loved to hear more of Sierra's thought process, especially since some of the conversations seemed shallow.

Worldbuilding: Older was nothing but #woke in Shadowhouse Fall! A lot of the conflict dealt with how police treated minority youth and the repercussions of New York's short-lived Stop and Frisk. Older was unapologetic and he was bold and I couldn't help but smile or reread passages where he spoke his mind on current events. 

Short N Sweet: Shadowhouse Fall was an entertaining read, but I wanted more from the characters that Older crafted. 


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