Saturday, March 12, 2011

Book Review: Into the Shadows, by Karly Kirkpatrick

I’m having trouble describing Into the Shadows. On one hand, it’s about people among us who have supernatural abilities. In this case, Paivi, our teenage narrator, has dreams about the future that come true. She also moves things with her mind, mostly in a violent way, when she gets angry. Her parents also have some abilities, but these aren’t really defined.

On the other hand, this story is about a dystopian society in the near future that is much like Nazi Germany. Because of rampant terrorist attacks, the government has obtained a list of all people suspected of having these supernatural abilities and begins to round them up and take away their rights because they have supposedly been aiding the terrorists. How they identified these people is not explained, except a USB flash drive containing these names is obtained from a mysterious man.

The story is predictable, but that’s part of its message. First, all these people have to wear an electronic pin. They have a curfew. They can’t eat at certain restaurants or shop at certain stores. Then, the authorities come and begin to take people away for interrogation, and sometimes these people aren’t ever seen again.

Paivi is trying to get through this ordeal with the help of some good friends (Jason in particular, who she is becoming romantically involved with.) Once this new society begins to be described, Paivi’s abilities fade into the background. There’s a little bit about her trying to control her dreams, but it seems like she could have tried to use some of her telekinetic abilities to her advantage. This didn’t really happen.

Karly Kirkpatrick’s writing felt true—it made me uncomfortable to see what this society had become. I wanted to shout out, “Do something! Don’t let them do this! What about the constitution?” So, I was definitely involved in the story. I would have liked to see some of the lesser characters a little more fleshed out. For example, Christian. I didn’t buy into the power he had over Paivi at the beginning of the book. And as I said, the supernatural abilities could have been a bigger part of the story.

My one BIG complaint about this book is the use of the word “anyways.” To me, this is absolutely unacceptable. I’m not talking about in a direct quote, because I know this is how people, especially the younger generation speak, but this word should not be used in the narration. It isn’t proper English!! (Stepping off soapbox...)

The story is readable. It definitely has a message.  It ended on a huge cliffhanger – nothing was really resolved, so there may be more to come. It takes place in Illinois, and was written by an Illinois high school teacher, so that gives it special appeal for me and my students.
Published by CreateSpace, 2010
E-Book won from I am a Reader Not a Writer (Kathy) and the author
278 pages

Rating: 2.5/5

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1 comment:

  1. Very informative review.
    I like the historical comparison to Nazi Germany.


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