The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1)

The Shadows (The Books of Elsewhere #1)
Genre(s)
Age Range
8+
Release Date
June 14, 2010
ISBN
9780803734401
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When eleven-year-old Olive moves into a crumbling Victorian mansion with her parents, she knows there's something strange about the house - especially the odd antique paintings covering the walls. And when she puts on a pair of old spectacles, she discovers the strangest thing yet: She can travel inside the paintings, to a spooky world that's full of dark shadows. Add to that three talking cats, who live in the house and seem to be keeping secrets of their own, and Olive soon finds herself confronting a dark and dangerous power that wants to get rid of her by any means necessary. It's up to Olive to save the house from the dark shadows, before the lights go out for good.

User reviews

2 reviews
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0(2)
Characters
 
N/A(0)
Writing Style
 
N/A(0)
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0(2)
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The Shadows (A Room with Books review)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Apparently somewhere along the lines I "graduated" to Young Adult and figured I was too old for Middle Grade and that was that. Here I've spent years thinking I was too good for Middle Grade and let me tell you, I have been COMPLETELY missing out!

The Shadows was the absolute perfect book to reintroduce myself to Middle Grade. It was chock full of magical realism. I mean, we have talking cats, magical glasses, pictures that are actually portals, and a large creepy old house.

Olive is an awesome protagonist. She's not your typical girl-who-can-everything, but instead, she's not so good at math though her parents are both math lovers and geniuses, she can never seem to remember where she leaves things, and she's a little clumsy. All these "flaws" make her a perfect person for the story too. It just wouldn't be the same if you had some fearless go-getter going about the same adventures.
The talking cats are also fantastic characters. I love all their different personalities, but I don't want to spoil them too much for you...
Olive's parents are also great. I'm not sure if this happens in a lot of MG as it's been quite some time since I read any before this one, but they were actually around. You barely ever see that in YA and it was a nice little change of pace. Plus, they're adorable. Their romantic talk is all mathy and weird, but also fun to read. Also, they're not evil parents or anything of the sort. They're nice parents any kid would love to have without being giant pushovers either.

The whole idea of the story was great too. The idea of life inside paintings is magical and Jacqueline does a fantastic job with it. Also, the mystery was done rather well. I was constantly wondering who I could trust, so I can only imagine how Olive must have felt! The pacing was perfect. I was never bored, but I also wasn't overwhelmed by action action action.

Final Thoughts: I absolutely adored The Shadows and I look forward to reading the rest of the series soon. This book has the perfect balance of action/adventure and mystery. Plus, talking cats. You can't say no to talking cats.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0
The Shadows (A Room with Books review)
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
N/A
Characters
 
N/A
Writing Style
 
N/A
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
Apparently somewhere along the lines I "graduated" to Young Adult and figured I was too old for Middle Grade and that was that. Here I've spent years thinking I was too good for Middle Grade and let me tell you, I have been COMPLETELY missing out!

The Shadows was the absolute perfect book to reintroduce myself to Middle Grade. It was chock full of magical realism. I mean, we have talking cats, magical glasses, pictures that are actually portals, and a large creepy old house.

Olive is an awesome protagonist. She's not your typical girl-who-can-everything, but instead, she's not so good at math though her parents are both math lovers and geniuses, she can never seem to remember where she leaves things, and she's a little clumsy. All these "flaws" make her a perfect person for the story too. It just wouldn't be the same if you had some fearless go-getter going about the same adventures.
The talking cats are also fantastic characters. I love all their different personalities, but I don't want to spoil them too much for you...
Olive's parents are also great. I'm not sure if this happens in a lot of MG as it's been quite some time since I read any before this one, but they were actually around. You barely ever see that in YA and it was a nice little change of pace. Plus, they're adorable. Their romantic talk is all mathy and weird, but also fun to read. Also, they're not evil parents or anything of the sort. They're nice parents any kid would love to have without being giant pushovers either.

The whole idea of the story was great too. The idea of life inside paintings is magical and Jacqueline does a fantastic job with it. Also, the mystery was done rather well. I was constantly wondering who I could trust, so I can only imagine how Olive must have felt! The pacing was perfect. I was never bored, but I also wasn't overwhelmed by action action action.

Final Thoughts: I absolutely adored The Shadows and I look forward to reading the rest of the series soon. This book has the perfect balance of action/adventure and mystery. Plus, talking cats. You can't say no to talking cats.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful? 0 0