Shadow Walkers

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Overview

Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing ...

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Shadow Walkers

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Overview

Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm—a shadow place. While searching for his brother, Zach meets a boy named Emory, another astral traveler who's intriguing (and cute).

As Zach and Emory track the kidnappers from the astral realm, their bond grows—but each moment could be Gilbert's last. Even worse, there's a menacing, centuries-old creature in their midst that devours souls and possesses physical bodies. And it's hungry for Zach.

From Brent Hartinger, the award-winning and critically acclaimed author of Geography Club

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hartinger (Project Sweet Life) gives his usual slice-of-life style a paranormal twist in this metaphysical thriller. As a mostly closeted gay teenager living with his younger brother and grandparents in a small island community in the Pacific Northwest, Zach relies on the Internet for social interaction. When he's grounded for a minor infraction and loses his online privileges, he starts experimenting with astral projection, though with little luck. After his brother is kidnapped, Zach again turns to astral projection in an attempt to find him. Teaming up with another teenager he meets on the astral plane, Zach and his cute new ally race against time to prevent a tragedy, little suspecting that an even greater danger is stalking them. Were it not for the implausible leap of logic that leads Zach to use astral travel to save his brother (a somewhat ill-fitting plot mechanic, with too many coincidences and aspects left unexplained), this would work well as either a tense thriller or a gay teen romance. But both plot and character development feel rushed, and things never quite fall into place. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
VOYA - Walter Hogan
Hartinger is best known for his novels about gay teens, especially Geography Club (HarperTempest, 2003/VOYA April 2003) and its two sequels, to date. He has also written about teens sharing psychic dreams and supernatural experiences in Grand & Humble (HarperTempest, 2006/VOYA February 2006). In Shadow Walkers, those two themes are merged as Zach, a gay sixteen-year-old, discovers that he has a paranormal talent which helps him to save his kidnapped younger brother, and to find a boyfriend along the way. The story opens with Zach's strict, old-fashioned grandparents forbidding him to use his computer or cell phone for a week after he had repeatedly neglected his chores. Moreover, they live on an isolated coastal island, and there is no TV in the house. Lonely and bored, Zach picks up a book about "astral projection" and becomes fascinated by the possibility of connecting with the wider world by means of a mental discipline, now that his accustomed electronic access is unavailable. It turns out that Zach has a strong talent for leaving his body behind and mentally traveling in the astral realm where he meets other spirits, including Emory, wheelchair-bound in his physical life but not as an astral traveler (does Avatar come to mind?). Zach and Emory combine their talents to challenge both a supernatural predator and the very earthbound kidnappers of Zach's brother, Gilbert. The LGBT element is handled matter-of-factly; for example, Zach is more concerned about getting in trouble for universal adolescent misbehaviors than about his grandparents discovering that he is gay. Reviewer: Walter Hogan
Kirkus Reviews

After his parents' deaths, Zach is doomed to live under his grandparents' rule on a remote island. His tribulations as an isolated gay teen worsen when his beloved brother is kidnapped and Zach discovers the only way to find him is through astral projection. However, as he stumbles toward supernatural prowess, what should be meaty self-discovery scenarios are disappointingly abbreviated (even he seems surprised by his rapid progression). Homosexuality, domestic crime and an immortal serial killer are also far too efficiently explored, making the narrative feel rushed. Despite hasty shortcuts, though, Hartinger presents an entertaining mingling of coming-of-age and supernatural. His approach toward homosexuality is refreshing, in that it isn't the flashy foreground of Zach's struggle but is adequately addressed. And through a veil of mild violence, teen fantasy and otherworldly terror, the tale ultimately reminds readers of more meaningful ways of communicating than laptops and texting (even if the book's haste to get to its point seems to cater to the attention deficit said texting and laptops might inspire). (Paranormal. 12 & up)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780738723648
  • Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Pages: 209
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Brent Hartinger is the author of eight novels for young adults, including Geography Club (HarperCollins, 2003) and Shadow Walkers (Flux, 2011). His books have been praised by reviewers at top national dailies like USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, The Oregonian and Seattle Times; leading GLBT publications The Advocate and Instinct Magazine; and top online book review outlets Bookslut.com and Teenreads.com. He is founder and editor of the fantasy website TheTorchOnline.com and also writes for AfterElton.com, the foremost online outlet for GLBT news. He lives in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2013

    Thomas

    Nm u?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Highly suspenseful page turner

    This well written story about a young man's journey to do anything to save his younger brother had me spell bound. It is a quick, easy read, but every twist and turn was expertly done. The story is highly suspenseful with vivid descriptions of characters and location.

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    Posted October 29, 2011

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