The blurb reads,
It is the Chilly time of year….
Darken your Halloween with this Paranormal Thriller: The Shadows!
From the moment she enters the world of her new boarding school, Blight’s Academy, teenage sleuth, Poppy Farrell, finds danger. From a strange encounter on a train platform, to evidence of a murdered student in the woods that surround the ancient, gothic buildings, life at Blight’s Academy grows more menacing by the day.
Poppy and her friends, Clair and Georgie, must outwit their Shadows, older girls assigned to mentor them, but who coldly follow them wherever they go, like their shadows. There is a dark secret at the heart of Blight’s Academy: disappearances, deaths, and conspiracies pervade the wooded grounds, flicker in the stained glass windows, tinkle like a music box lullaby through the turreted halls.
Enter the world of The Shadows where witchcraft is afoot. Young Adult or Old Adult, this story is guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine and keep you turning the pages far into the night.
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The introduction to this book really intrigued me. I have grown up on Enid Blyton and St. Claire’s and Malory Towers. Reading those books opened up a whole new world of how boarding school life is and the camaraderie between girls was something I really wished I had. I’m a tomboy of sorts, I’ve always got along better with boys/men rather than with girls. And as the years pass, I keep wanting to make more friends who are girls. Anyway I digress. The book made those characters, the ‘Forms’, the subjects and the whole concept of boarding school so much more friendly.
This book begins with an introduction. For those readers who have not had the pleasure of reading one of Enid Blyton’s books about boarding school, get an idea about the British schooling system and the various grades and their names. I found this very friendly and I hoped that this would enable the readers to envision the students, their ages and hence their personalities.
The book introduces the reader to one of the most likeable characters I have read in a book, conspiracy theorist, lively and perceptive Poppy Farrell, who is starting out as a junior in Blight Academy.
The author does a great job of describing Blight Academy. You end up getting the chills as you recreate a creepy, very Adams Family like house which is scary to look at.
The author’s lucid and sparkling description of the Headmistress, Mrs. Wick, the disciplinarian, Mrs. Grimshaw and Poppy’s roommate Clair, instantly connect the reader to them. It makes you feel as if you are right with them.
Things aren’t altogether that right at Blight Academy. Poppy gets accosted by a student at a lone station and is warned to not go to Blight Academy. For some reason, every teacher at Blight’s is against Poppy. There are dark forces around. Sixth Form students shadow the First Formers and they take it quite far. Is there dark magic involved? Are lives of students taken for not being a part of the game? When souls are slaughtered in the name of the Devil, is even Britain’s foremost academy a safe place?
This book has all of this and more! It is a perfect accompaniment on a day when you want to take a trip down memory lane. Reading about school will make you remember your own school days, but the paranormal thriller that it is, it will snap your attention and hold on to it, until you finish the book!
I absolutely loved Poppy!! She is such an amazing character! It made me wish there were a lot more books in this series so I could have more of her. She is one of those characters from books, who you end up liking instantly and who stays with you for a while after you read about her.
At some point, I was actually a little scared. The book makes such a vivid world open up in front of you, it takes you into that world where there are so many unanswered questions and characters are so layered.
And the best part is, because this is a YA, it is written in a simple language, without life altering twists.
I am really good friends with the author, that being said, her charm in bringing the occult to common, day to day situations makes her one of those Indie Gems who is just waiting to explode on the big stage!!
My Rating: 4.5/5