Can she escape the shadows and face the truth before the darkness destroys her?
"If the enemy is a fire, the evil is its shadow, flickering upon the wall."
"That's very poetic, Miss Bellini. I just wish I knew what it meant."
Miranda's new home is a dull seaside town at the edge of the world, the sort of forgotten place where nothing ever happens. Until something does. Something strange and sinister. With her schoolteacher and her classmates, who might be more clued in than they let on, Miranda sets out to uncover the mystery. Her bravery borders on recklessness. She thinks she's chasing shadows, tortured spirits from centuries past, but could true darkness lie within? With a mixture of science and magic, Miranda's got to figure out how to break and banish the evil before it destroys her.
An electrifying paranormal thriller that will have readers guessing till the end!
Gr 6–8—Plot twists and a compulsively readable style give this exciting novel an edge over the pack. After her beloved father dies, Miranda Keira May, 12, moves to a creepy town on the English coast with her mom and baby brother. Weird things start happening: a school bus freezes, computers explode, and the tween has frightening dreams. Miranda is invited to join a team that has been organized to research and deal with the strange happenings and solve the mystery of their source. The gang includes a sympathetic teacher and four of her students, each of whom has a special supernatural talent; there's a haughty girl, a cute guy, a computer geek, and a child genius, all of whom feel like familiar characters. Our heroine is smart, sassy, and basically a good kid. She also has a special ability that allows her to know when the supernatural phenomena are going to occur. Magical ley lines, science, ghosts, and myth all play a role in the story. Is the other new girl, Jade, responsible for the current weirdness? Or is it someone closer to home-say, Miranda herself? While much of the supporting cast is straight out of central casting, Miranda's mom has some nice moments. Ultimately, this scary story reads like a combination of Ghostbusters and Buffy.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
- Sarah Raymond
The Shape is quickly approaching as the whispers begin reciting the same thing over and over again. Twelve-year-old Miranda Keira May is new to the seaside town of Firecroft Bay in England. Firecroft Bay is a town filled with a history of witches, the plague, and many other bizarre incidences. Miranda is plagued with what is at first a series of dreams of a dark shadowy figure she calls The Shape, but eventually The Shape begins showing itself to her in more than just her dreams. She must discover what is happening. She befriends a group of kids who her friend, Jade, calls "Weirdos," but really these kids are only out to discover the same thing Miranda is trying to discover. This book is filled with twists and turns and spine chilling spooky images as a group of modern day ghost busters try to tackle the mysteries of this coastal town. Reviewer: Sarah Raymond
A fresh and often funny paranormal mystery for the middle school set. Twelve-year-old Miranda May, who has been plagued with disturbing dreams featuring a menacing shadow, has just moved with her family to Firecroft Bay, a sleepy town on the English coast steeped in fog and mystery. Miranda is soon drawn into a group of students who, she is surprised to discover, meet in a secret lair to hatch their plans to bring high-tech gadgetry, smarts and telepathy to bear on the paranormal elements in their midst. The group enlists Miranda's help in subduing the Animus, the ominous shadow that has been haunting Miranda and wreaking havoc in the town. The trouble is that Miranda doesn't quite trust this merry band of spook hunters, or perhaps it is they who don't quite trust her. The only sure thing is that something is not what it seems. While the focus is a bit scattered initially and the dramatic tension is slow to build up, confusing character arcs and plot elements begin to coalesce about halfway through the story and then hum along to a satisfying ending. A relatively tame paranormal mystery with interesting and likable, if not memorable, characters, this one is a good choice where demand for the genre is strong--which will be just about everywhere. (Paranormal suspense. 9-12)
Daniel Blythe is the author of several tie-in novels for the popular BBC sci-fi television series DOCTOR WHO. He studied Modern Languages at Oxford and teaches Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University. He lives in Derbyshire, England, with his wife and their two children. Visit his website at www.danielblythe.com and follow him on Twitter @danblythewriter.