In the Shadows - Kiersten White, Jim Di Bartolo

Once in a great while, a loved one recommends a book to me that I actually end up really enjoying. Behold! In the Shadows is such a book. Part sort-of-graphic novel, part regular historical YA supernatural novel, it's a gorgeous book with a lot to offer. Kudos to all parties involved in the production. If there were any typos, I was too wrapped up in the story to notice them (and I'm almost never too wrapped up in a story to notice typos).


I would have liked for the characters to be a little more fleshed out, and I would have liked a better sense of the time period the written portion of the story takes place in. There was a nod here and a reference there, but it just wasn't enough for the kind of immersive experience I look for in any kind of novel with a historical setting. Otherwise, I found Kiersten White's writing to be better than I'm used to seeing in YA these days.


While Jim Di Bartolo's illustrations are quite good, I found the accompanying story in pictures confusing as all get-out until I worked out what was going on and when it took place in relation to the written story. I ended up going back through the sort-of-graphic novel segments after I finished reading and got a lot more out of them (you know, once I knew WTF was going on, heh). I do question whether the placement of the illustrated segments adds to or detracts from the overall effect, but that's just my inner pedant talking. (FYI, my inner pedant is more than slightly OCD and secretly wants to rule the book world at least long enough to put a bunch of stuff in chronological order.)


If you get this book, it's worth it to pay extra for the hardcover. It really is gorgeous. And heavy. It weighs twice as much as the last hardcover I read. That's quality paper for you.