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Friday, September 10, 2010

Shadow Hills by Anastasia Hopcus

Title: Shadow Hills
Author: Anastasia Hopcus
ISBN: 9781606840832
Publisher: Egmont
Page #: 388
Source: From my Public Library

"Since her sister's mysterious death, Persephone 'Phe' Archer has been plagued by a series of disturbing dreams. Determined to find out what happened to her sister, Phe enrolls at Devenish Prep in Shadow Hills, Massachusetts - the subject of her sister's final diary entry.

After stepping on campus, Phe realizes that there's something very different about this place - an unexplained epidemic that decimated the town in the 1700s, an ancient and creepy cemetery, and gorgeous boy Zach - and somehow she's connected to it all.

But the more questions she asks and the deeper she digs, the more entangled Phe becomes in the haunting past of Shadow Hills. Finding what links her to this town... might destroy her."
First Lines:

"I had thought nothing could be worse than what they had already done to me, but I was wrong. The silent echo of nothingness filling the windowless chamber was infinitely worse. Not knowing how much time had passed, whether it was day or night. Not knowing when he would come for me."
Page 1

This is a book I picked up because of the many positive reviews I had read about it. I knew it was a debut author and I thought the premise sounded really promising. I'm going to be honest here... I spent the first part of the book comparing it to other stories. Not because of anything other than there were bits that sounded like other things... a bit of cemetery emphasis like in Hush, Hush; The isolated town situation like in the Morganville Vampire series; The boarding school magic thing like many other books; the connection with the ancient like the House of Night series. I dunno, I was just initially worried that this book wouldn't find its own way.

I was relieved when I got beyond all of those comparisons and the story came through. There were still several aspects from other stories, but this book found its own voice. And it was all done with a creepy mystery thrown into the mix. Following Phe as she unraveled the many mysteries of this town and the people who live there was an interesting journey. I think I was left with a couple of questions in the end, but the author did a good job getting all the important bits in there.

One thing I thought was really cool was the emphasis on different types of music. It almost had nothing to do with the story itself, but it gave a common thread throughout the book without it being overdone. I was also kinda proud of myself because of the number of bands that I knew. There were a few that I hopped on iTunes to find out, but it was a really cool undercurrent of the story.

I think anyone into the paranormal romance genre will love this book. I think it fits right into all of those books/series' that I mentioned before. Perhaps it started out a bit rocky for me, but it was insanely cool at the end. I will be recommending this to many of my girls who are looking for a bit of creepy mystery tossed in with their romance. It's well done and I look forward to more things from this author.

Speaking of the author, check out her website here. I don't see any next projects mentioned, but I do wonder if she will set another book in this town. I would definitely be interested in that. We'll see, I guess... huh?
Other Blog Reviews:

The Crooked Shelf
Library Lounge Lizard
The Neverending Shelf
Book Crazy
Presenting Lenore
Pure Imagination
Late Bloomer Online
There are tons of other blog reviews out there. I suggest you look around a bit. The reviews are a little mixed on this one. But good luck! :)


anjohnston said...

Glad to read you enjoyed this book! It's one I'll be picking up eventually and I love the music thing. Thanks for your review!


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Buried in Books

....Petty Witter said...

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