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4.7 14
by Dallas Reed

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When the box is opened, everything starts to change.

On a freezing night in Winter, Colorado, there's a party going on—and it will change the town forever.

Justin, the party's host, doesn't know that the box in his dad's study contains a shimmering dust that has the power to transform all it touches. Emma, the cute new girl, doesn't know she will spend


When the box is opened, everything starts to change.

On a freezing night in Winter, Colorado, there's a party going on—and it will change the town forever.

Justin, the party's host, doesn't know that the box in his dad's study contains a shimmering dust that has the power to transform all it touches. Emma, the cute new girl, doesn't know she will spend the next twenty-four hours running for her life through a freezing blizzard. Russ, a local snowboarder, doesn't know that the person he loves most is about to betray him. And Tess, the queen of the school, only knows she wants to see what's in that box.

Nobody knows what's coming—yet. But as the party gets under way, the residents of Winter will find themselves face-to-face with forces darker than any December storm.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Reed, pseudonym of Thomas Pendleton (Mason; coauthor of the Wicked Dead series), turns out a horror novel that borrows heavily from genre conventions-and adds a cultural allusion that is obvious to everyone but the characters. High school student Justin Moore throws a party in his fancy house in Winter, Colo., while his parents are away. Although he's hidden the breakables, along with an ancient box found by a construction crew working for his dad, the box is discovered, and übercruel Tess Ward opens it. A shimmering cloud emerges, almost instantly transforming Tess into a figure of pure evil and gradually changing the others into a maniacal mob. Of course, a blizzard then isolates Winter from the outside world, making its residents easy prey, and Tess's mob wreaks devastation before anyone realizes that the fateful box is identical to Pandora's. Reed tells more than shows, and even the gore isn't very gory ("His left cheek was swollen so bad, it looked like he had a lemon shoved in his mouth"). Don't look here for Pendleton-style chills. Ages 14-up. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
VOYA - Kathleen Beck
Winter, Colorado, is in uneasy transition from small, local ski town to fashionable resort. Reactions from the locals to developers and new, wealthy residents range from suspicion to cupidity. As the first snow begins to fall, newcomer Justin plans a party while his parents are out of town. Before leaving, his father shows Justin a mysterious box found during construction on the new resort hotel, and enjoins him strictly not to touch it. Of course, the predictable happens when Tess, local queen of cool and party guest, opens the box and releases a swarm of silvery particles that infect everyone they touch. Soon the village is in chaos, with people attacking one another, eating everything in sight, or falling into coma-like sleep. Russ and Emma, two teens somehow uninfected by the madness, frantically try to determine the nature of the shimmering particles and how to stop them before the whole village is destroyed. Emma suddenly recalls the myth of Pandora's box - but no one remembers the ending. Did Pandora get the evils back in the box? Conflating Pandora's ills and the Seven Deadly Sins, the author raises an interesting issue: Has civilization become so self-indulgent that evil, when released, immediately takes a deadly form? The author's writing is sometimes clunky and his characters are sketches, but the moral question will intrigue some readers. Others will enjoy the mild horror a l· R. L. Stine. If an occasional reader is led to Greek mythology, what is not to like? Reviewer: Kathleen Beck
School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up

A zombie story with a mythological twist, Shimmer is a quick and compelling read. As far as the residents of Winter, CO, know, all they have to worry about is weathering the major blizzard that is on its way. What they don't realize is that an ancient evil is about to be unleashed on their town. Justin, a spoiled rich kid, throws a big party while his parents are out of town, and the school's queen bee, Tess, stumbles upon a strange box. Despite Justin's demand that she leave it alone, she opens it. A strange silver cloud emerges, and the townspeople begin to go mad with lust, hatred, greed, gluttony, and sloth. Five students are unaffected by the insanity, and they resolve to protect the box that Tess (who is now frighteningly altered) seems determined to possess. But where can they hide in a town that seems destined to self-destruct? And how can they contain the evil that has been released into the world? Initially, some of the teen dialogue seems forced, but it smoothes out as the novel progresses. Also, one of the characters makes a choice that doesn't fit with the way the author has constructed him, but otherwise the characters are well-drawn and believable, specifically Emma, the heroine. Violence, crude language, and references to drug use require that this book be given to an older age group; however, the writing is at a lower level, making this an ideal choice for reluctant or struggling readers.-Heather M. Campbell, formerly at Philip S. Miller Library, Castle Rock, CO

Kirkus Reviews
When partygoers accidentally unleash a malevolent presence from an ancient container recently discovered on the mountain summit, the town's residents begin to manifest erratic behaviors based on the seven infamous sins. Emma, newly arrived in Winter, Colo., recruits local teens to help keep the infection from spreading. One-dimensional characters add nothing to the plot, though some tension develops as the narrative explores the intersection of old ways with new development on the mountain. Emma's crush, Russ, makes a noble sacrifice, but the weak friendships between characters cause it to appear flat and manipulative instead of heroic and noble. The vaguely defined evil is an amplified version of a high-school ice queen-cold, but desperate for followers. Brian James's Zombie Blondes (2008) has much richer villains. Reed incorporates cell phones and the Internet into his storytelling to build a connection with teen readers, but they will likely find the portrayal of teen tech-users unflattering. Despite some potential, an unsatisfying villain coupled with an unsophisticated portrayal of teenagers cause this first effort at young-adult fiction to falter. (Horror. YA)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.94(h) x 0.71(d)
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt


Chapter One

The refrigerator was empty, and Emma Driscoll groaned, because it meant she'd have to buy something from one of the vending machines at school. What good was having a chef for a mother if the woman never brought food into the house? Well, Emma didn't have time to worry about it; she was running late for the bus.

Grabbing her black parka with the faux-fur-lined hood, she ran to the door and threw it open in time to see the bus easing toward the corner. "Oh, crap," she muttered, fumbling with the house keys. She managed to lock the door and get her parka on before the bus came to a stop, but she was going to miss her ride if she didn't run. Emma juggled her books, secured them against her chest, and started running.

She hated taking the bus, but she figured she'd hate missing the bus more. School was two miles from the duplex her mother rented. It was already snowing and the wind was picking up. There was no way she was walking, so she ran. But running wasn't easy. Deep snow slowed her steps no matter how hard she willed her legs to move. The bus door began to close though Emma was still two houses away.

"Hey!" she cried. "Wait!"

She poured on the steam. The bus's doors closed, and her heart sank, but she kept running, grateful the vehicle wasn't yet pulling away.

In any other city the school board would have already declared a snow day, but not in Winter. Apparently, snow was so common that half the school year would be forfeited if they let a few inches of accumulation close things down.

"Wait!" she repeated, gasping in a lungful of icy air.

She was out of breathby the time she reached the bus. Normally, she could have run ten times as far and not even broken a sweat, but the freezing cold and the thick snow exhausted her prematurely. She leaned on the side of the bus and knocked on the door with a flat palm.

Oh great, I forgot my gloves, she thought.

The door opened and a wall of welcomed heat poured out. "Thank you," Emma told the bus driver, a heavy man in his late forties whose name she did not know.

"Welcome," he said, slapping the doors closed behind her. "Find a seat. I can't move this crate until you're sitting down."

"I'm on it," Emma said, still out of breath. She looked down the aisle of the bus, trying to ignore the glares of disdain she received from three quarters of the kids.

In Winter, Colorado, there was a feud underway. It had been going on for some time now, and it was between the longtime residents of the city and a bunch of newcomers. Though always a retreat for the wealthy, Winter was not a full-blown resort like Vail or Aspen, but that was rapidly changing. Not so long ago, ranching and copper mining were the money games in Winter, but now it was tourism. In the last three years, new condominium complexes and boutique hotels had sprung up in the village along with a number of high-end shops. The new hotel, where Emma's mother would be a chef, was pretty much the nail in the coffin of the old ways. The Hawthorn Resort and Spa was a twenty-two-floor building the color of sandstone. Emma thought the place looked cool, really chic compared to the old lodge-y looking hotels on the edge of the village, but she knew the locals thought it was awful, like a statue built to the gods of progress.

Since her mother was employed by this evil enterprise, naturally the town kids hated her: She was part of the problem, part of the invading force, climbing their mountain to destroy them with iPhones and flat-panel LCD televisions—not that Emma or her mother could afford either of those. As if moving to a new town wasn't hard enough, she'd walked into class that first day feeling like a convict headed to the lethal-injection gurney.

Near the back of the bus, a hand shot up, and Emma was thrilled to see her only friend. She waved back and moved faster down the aisle.

Christina Brown insisted on being called Betina. Betina wore all-black outfits, giving her an overly serious look. As Betina explained it, she was neo-goth. She admired the despondence of the goth movement, but thought the overall look was for crap, so she accentuated her dark attire with simple jewelry and almost no makeup. She also resisted dyeing her hair black, preferring it to remain a natural dirty blond.

Emma walked a little faster over the wet floor where clumps of snow melted into the narrow grooves of the rubber mat. The air in the bus was humid, and it smelled of damp wool and cotton. It was a familiar, even pleasant, scent, Emma thought. Just like in elementary school and middle school. So many other things changed, but not the funky scent of a school bus on a snowy day.

She took the seat next to Betina and noticed that her friend had written School Blows in the condensation on the window. She also noticed Betina had excellent penmanship.

"You shouldn't have run," Betina said dryly. "He wasn't going anywhere."

"No reason everyone should have to wait for me."

"That's so not goddess. It's reverse goddess. Anti-goddess, if you will."

"You get weirder every day."

"I'm a calendar of the bizarre."

Emma laughed and leaned back in the seat. "I figure most of these kids hate me enough without adding to the problem by holding up the bus."

"They'd hate you, anyway."

"Thanks, Betina."

"Look, it's tribal. They had something and now other people are coming in to take it away from them, and most of them are too stupid to realize it wasn't all that great to begin with."

"So they hate what I represent?"

Shimmer. Copyright © by Dallas Reed. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Shimmer 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Take one part mythology, one part Michael Crichton's PREY, and one part Stephen King's DESPERATION - and you'll come up with something that resembles SHIMMER, a toned-down horror story for the young adult crowd. Winter, Colorado is a quiet town that will soon be drawing a huge tourist ski crowd with the opening of Hawthorn Resort. Emma and her mom have moved to Winter for her mom to become the head chef at the new resort. Justin's family has moved there because his father is one of the largest investors in the new place. Betina, Russ, and Kit are life-long residents. Soon, the five of them will come together after a party goes horribly wrong. Justin's parents have gone out of town, and his father has forbidden him to throw a party. Justin knows that no one will check in on him on a school night, and what better way to make friends in this new town? With a little bit of beer, the cool crowd is mingling with the jocks and the not so cool people. But when the coolest of the cool, Tess, brings out a mysterious box from Justin's father's study, the party loses control. Tess opens the bizarre box and a weird shimmery cloud flies out. Emma and the others aren't sure what they saw, but before they can figure it out, the cloud is gone. Tess, never a nice person to begin with, begins a strange transformation. Apparently, what was in the box has entered Tess and has a will of its own. If you've read any of the stories mentioned in the first paragraph, you can start to piece together what happens after the box is opened. Tess starts to infect other people in the town, and Winter becomes a place bent on destruction. It's up to Emma, Justin, Betina, Russ, and Kit to save the town and ultimately themselves. Now, I read mixed reviews for SHIMMER, but I really enjoyed this one. The chapters were short and the action was fast-paced. There was some gore and violence in the story, but nothing overly graphic that would limit younger readers from maybe giving it a whirl. Aimed at the young adult, the story doesn't have the enhanced plot development and characterization as a book by Crichton or King would have, but for this story it isn't needed. It would probably detract from what the author is trying to convey. Just be sure you don't pick this up on night when a blizzard is due to hit!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Um Im not gonna say all this stuff about I will be the perfect cat or something cause thats not possible. But I will say I will try me best to serve the clan to my fullest extent and I will be loyal and fight for Shimmerclan at all costs. I can accept being just a warrior so it's not a pressing matter and I won't leave the clan if I dont get chosen. Thanks for your consideration
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have this bookin my school library and i need to know if its good or not
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She nodded. "I can do that." (I'm goung to my grandma's and I don't know if I'll have WiFi.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You are a brioliant writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read mine at zip results two+.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LeOxLoVe810 More than 1 year ago
I was at Farm and Fleet, I think. And there was a discount book section, I saw this one, and decided to give it a try, I didn't think it'd be this great! Figuring it was in the discount section and an unheard of writer,I wasn't so sure. BUT!, It was amazing! :DD
DimondArrow More than 1 year ago
This book really was thrilling and what made me attracted to it was the cover and then reading it was very page turning
Riley Moeller More than 1 year ago
shimmer is a very detailed book. so scary and interesting at the same time. i loved it soooo much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago