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When the murals painted on the walls of her Brooklyn neighborhood start to change and fade in front of her, Sierra Santiago realizes that something strange is going on--then she discovers her Puerto Rican family are shadowshapers and finds herself in a battle with an evil anthropologist for the lives of her family and friends.
Publisher: ** E-Book // Click on DOWNLOAD link to place holds
ISBN: 9780545591621
Branch Call Number: EBOOK TEXT
Alternative Title: OverDrive


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arapahoeshirmeca Dec 28, 2018

Over a couple of days Sierra Santiago, teenage mural artist, learns about herself, a dangerous anthropologist and a secret society. All while discovering who her friends really are and what her family's heritage is really about.

IndyPL_KaseyP Nov 14, 2018

Sierra Santiago is everything! Strong, vulnerable, complex. Her relationships with her family and friends are the grounding force of this supernatural story. Older brings Latin American mystical forces to the forefront for an original take on the Urban Fantasy genre. He incorporates, intrigue, betrayal, paranoia, and social justice issues. It is also refreshing to see a lady of color be the girl discovering all kinds of magical powers, in a genre that has been begging for more diverse mirroring for a long time. Highly Recommend!

Ethnically diverse teens empowered to face their families legacies, fight evil, and create a better future.

spl_merley May 08, 2018

With its urban edge and vibrant characters this contemporary fantasy is packed with action, mystery, sass and a good does of wit.

ArapahoeLaura Jul 30, 2017

Dark and mysterious, this urban fantasy mixes modernity with cultural heritage seamlessly.

Jul 24, 2017

Vividly gorgeous and totally lit. Read it now.

Jun 09, 2017

I loved this! I couldn't put it down, can't wait to read the next one in the series.

forbesrachel Jun 02, 2017

Sierra Santiago has lived her whole life in Brooklyn surrounded by friends, family, and neighbours. She thought she knew who they were, and who she was, but when a corpse-like thing chases her, calling her name, things rapidly unravel. Turns out, her family has the ability to act as a conduit for spirits, to infuse the dead into art, thus bringing it to life. They, and others in her neighbourhood, warded off evil until something started hunting them. Sierra must not only discover who is doing so, but scramble to understand her own powers before she is next. As an urban Fantasy, Shadowshaper feels fresh because it's magic and voice is steeped in the values and traditions of culture that is different than the traditional white, western one. The importance of community, the power of art, and the societal pressures that people of colour feel shape the world that Sierra lives in. Through her, we see the pride she has in her heritage, but also the negative effects that a white dominant society has on her psyche. Her story is a coming of age story, but also one about learning to accept herself, and those in her family who did what they thought was best. While the ideas are to be praised, the execution of the story does fall a bit short. Characters sometimes feel like they're talking to thin air rather than listening to and conversing with one another, and there are times where something dramatic has happened, yet a page later, it is just life as usual. In some ways these are more realistic portrayals of teens, but it doesn't necessarily make for good storytelling. Fortunately, Sierra's development goes smoother. She is a young woman with her own agency, but she is also not afraid to ask for help, and seeing how her confidence in herself grows gives you a good feeling inside. Her relationship with Robbie, a fellow shadowshaper, helps her reach these new levels. For those seeking a quick urban Fantasy with a different coat of paint, hope into this world of spirit murals, and those who shape them.

May 08, 2017

Imaginative and original, with an entertaining, diverse cast of characters. I loved the idea of shadowshapers and I liked how authentic the story felt culturally. But it also felt rushed, a little confusing, and had a weak villain. Still, worth a read if you enjoy urban fantasy!

Dec 14, 2016

I read Shadowshaper in one sitting, despite being on a crowded, noisy airplane with a seven year old chattering in my ear. Once I started reading this book, I could not stop. No matter how many interruptions, how many times I had to look away, I went right back to it. The world of Shadowshaper is so engrossing, it felt just as valid as that airplane and much more interesting.

(Besides, the seven year old had his own book, and it was about zombies. What more could he need?)

On Instagram, I described Shadowshaper as "City-based fantasy about a young artist who discovers her family's hidden magical heritage." The book's tagline is better: "Paint a mural. Start a battle. Change the world." This book is about power. Who wants power? What will they do, or not to, to get it? What happens when people become powerful?

The main character is a young woman named Sierra. She lives in Brooklyn. She has a good life. She has great friends. Things are about to get strange, though. Her grandfather had a stroke... maybe. Her mother isn't telling her everything... definitely. But she's going to figure out what's going on. Specifically, why people in murals have started crying, and why that dead-looking guy was chasing her. And if bad things are going down, including people getting hurt in her neighborhood? She's going to stop it. No doubt about that.

I've seen folks renounce the term "strong female character" because Hollywood so often gives us a caricature. Give a woman a gun and have her kick somebody, and that's a strong female character, right? Clearly no. When we say "strong female character" we mean someone like Sierra. Real, complicated, not always perfect, but always trying. A completely developed personality. Not killer Barbie. Not a gal in combat boots who becomes a damsel in distress (and someone's date) when the leading man shows up.

Rather than throw out the phrase "strong female character" I'd prefer to point out gals like Sierra as examples of what we want. THAT, we should say, THAT is a strong female character. She's determined, and she doesn't go to pieces when she meets a cute boy. (There is a cute boy in Shadowshaper, but the world doesn't revolve around him.) Sierra stands up for what she believes in, even at great personal risk.

This was the third book I read by Daniel José Older, and they've all been amazing. I found out about him at Wiscon in 2014, when he appeared on several panels. He was so smart, funny, and real that I guessed he'd be a good writer. I was correct. He has a tremendous ability to pull you into a story. The world he's developing in his books is rich and detailed. He's a gifted storyteller. I'm so glad I went to those panels!

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JCLChrisK Mar 15, 2016

We are entwined. I drew power from the spirits and spirit workers and I returned it to them tenfold. The true source of shadowshaper magic is in that connection, community, Sierra. We are interdependent.

JCLChrisK Mar 15, 2016

Crazy. It was the same word María and Tía Rosa flung at Grandpa Lázaro. The same word anyone said when they didn't understand something. "Crazy" was a way to shut people up, disregard them entirely.

nydemo Jun 15, 2015

Does it go to the comment page?


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spl_merley May 08, 2018

Mysteries and danger begin to unfold as Sierra discovers secrets about her family and the tradition of the Shadowshaper. When danger closes in Sierra must work with Robbie, a quiet fellow artist, to discover her gift and the legacy of being able to channel spirits into art. As dark forces threaten her family, friends and the family tradition she is only just discovering, Sierra must learn quickly how to wield her new found powers to save them all. Diverse characters discovering their own sense of power and the value of family history and legacy make this a must read book.


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