Review: Walking Shadow

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Walking Shadow
by Brigid Gorry-Hines

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Walking Shadow / B003CV7T1C

You might think that Cassandra is just another Goth Girl, with her silver eyes, blood-red hair, and penchant for drawing people with their hearts in their hands rather than in their chests where they belong. But you'd be wrong - the colors of her hair and eyes were given to her at birth, along with the curse that causes her to perceive the thoughts of everyone around her, all the time, until she is almost driven insane with the constant barrage of emotions.

This intense beginning is certain to grab the reader from the very beginning - the scenes with Cassandra's mother are particularly poignant and painful. It is always difficult to write "updates" of Greek mythological characters, and Cassandra has always been one of the most intriguing figures in mythology, so your subject matter is definitely going to hook the reader - and you've captured the despair and pain that would derive from having no filters on the world around you.

Having said that, if I could make one small suggestion, it would be that you might want to tone down some of the "goth" details - Cassandra's hair and eyes set off an instant Mary Sue flag (and raises the question of how did her ancestors escape being burned as witches - long enough to reproduce anyway - with such indelibly strange markings on them), and some of her anxiety in her situation. Which isn't to say that she wouldn't be *extremely* anxious - I'm sure she would be - but a minor tone-down of the angst will allow the reader to slip more easily into her shoes and allow them to discover her life horror for themselves. A terrifying element like "read everyone's minds, all the time" deserves to be savored by the reader, but if Cassandra just outright tells the reader how horrible it is, they never really get to discover it for themselves. It's something to think about, anyway.

I would definitely like to read more of this excerpt.

NOTE: This review is based on a sample excerpt of this book provided through the ABNA contest.

~ Ana Mardoll

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