Secret of the Shadow Beasts
Published June 14, 2022
About Secret of the Shadow Beasts
For fans of Dragon Pearl and the Lockwood & Co. series comes a swift-moving contemporary fantasy about a young girl tasked with destroying deadly shadow creatures.
In Brannland, terrifying beasts called Umbrae roam freely once the sun sets, so venomous that a single bite will kill a full-grown adult–and lately, with each day that passes, their population seems to double. The only people who can destroy them are immune children like Nora, who are recruited at the age of seven to leave their families behind and begin training at a retrofitted castle called Noye’s Hill. But despite her immunity, Nora’s father refused to let her go.
Now, years after his death by Umbra attack, Nora is twelve, and sees her mother almost killed by the monsters too. That’s when Nora decides it’s time for her to join the battle. Once she arrives at Noye’s Hill, though, she and her new friends are left with more questions than answers: Where are the Umbrae coming from? Could the government be covering up the true reason their population has whirled out of control? And was Nora’s father, the peaceful, big-hearted man who refused to let Nora fight, in on the treacherous secret?
Nora is such a cool character. I loved her compassion and the way she continues to ask questions rather than just accepting the way things are. I loved the journey in the way she relates to her teammates and builds relationships with them.
The story sometimes required a greater willing suspension of disbelief from me. I remember one moment where the team is in a car and someone uses a sword to cut someone’s shirt open. It seemed like in close quarters like that, a sword would be really difficult to use. I also thought it was kind of weird that no one put Nora through some basic combat training at any point. It was basically like, “Okay, you have natural talent, so you’re good. Ready to go fight monsters?!”
Despite those things, I found myself pretty carried away with the story. I loved watching Nora get to know her teammates and build relationships with them. I think readers who enjoyed THE FIREBIRD SONG by Arnée Flores will love this one.
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12.
One of Nora’s teammates is trans. Another is nonbinary.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Shadow beasts, or Umbra come out at night. They have the ability to shift into shadows instantly. At dawn, they turn into mist spores.
Situations of peril and battle scenes against Umbra.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support this blog. I received a free copy of SECRET OF THE SHADOW BEASTS in exchange for my honest review.