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Spirits that Walk in Shadow

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spirits that Walk in Shadow (2006) Nina Kiriki Hoffman

I ordered Spirits that Walk in Shadow, but because it’s a trade paperback instead of a mass market paperback, it got put on a different shelf, and I forgot I had it. But my reading binge while home sick reminded me I had another unread Nina Kiriki Hoffman book around somewhere, and I excitedly pulled it from the shelf.

Jaimie is still trying to recover from years of mis-education, but decided that it was time to attempt college. Kim has come to college trying to escape what may have been the worst six month of her entire life. They end up roommates, which may not only save Kim from her depression, but may bring Jaimie back in touch with her extended family, many of whom disowned her for her previous actions. Rugee is a Presence–a household god–who has consented to come to college with Jaimie, presumably to keep an eye on her, and to help her remain on the somewhat straight and narrow.

As with most of her other books, Spirits that Walk in Shadow is set in the same magical world as most of the rest of her books, however, the main character are different from tale to tale. Although some of the secondary characters are the same as previous books, readers should have no difficulty picking up Spirits that Walk in Shadow without having read any of Nina Kiriki Hoffman’s previous books. Which is good, because most of them are out of print and very difficult to find.

Also as with her previous books, her writing and storytelling are sharp. Kim and Jaimie are immediately sympathetic, even though they both have pasts than haunt them.

One other thing I want to note: Like Fistful of Sky, Spirits that Walk in Shadow is a young adult book. What that means in reality is no boinking and no horrible language. What I’ve also come to discover is that young adult tends to mean a higher quality of writing than some of the “adult” fantasy on the shelves. So if you’re looking for Spirits that Walk in Shadow and can’t find it, check the young adult section.

Or do what I do, and just order it on-line. Then you don’t have to feel like you need a kid chaperone to peruse the shelves.
Rating: 7.5/10

 

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