About the Book
Author: Daniel José Older
Pub. Date: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (Scholastic)
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Find it: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Goodreads
Cassandra Clare meets Caribbean legend in SHADOWSHAPER, an action-packed urban fantasy from a bold new talent.
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra’s near-comatose abuelo begins to say “No importa” over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep…. Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
Sierra soon discovers a supernatural order called the Shadowshapers, who connect with spirits via paintings, music, and stories. Her grandfather once shared the order’s secrets with an anthropologist, Dr. Jonathan Wick, who turned the Caribbean magic to his own foul ends. Now Wick wants to become the ultimate Shadowshaper by killing all the others, one by one. With the help of her friends and the hot graffiti artist Robbie, Sierra must dodge Wick’s supernatural creations, harness her own Shadowshaping abilities, and save her family’s past, present, and future.
Excerpt from Shadowshaper by Daniel José Older
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“Sierra? What are you staring at?”
Blatant lie. Sierra glanced down from the scaffolding to where Manny the Domino King stood with his arms crossed over his chest. “You sure?” he said.
“Yeah.” Sierra looked back at the mural. She hadn’t been making it up: a single tear glistened at the corner of Papa Acevedo’s painted eyes. The tear wasn’t moving — of course it wasn’t moving: It was paint! But still: It hadn’t been there yesterday or the day before.
And the portrait was fading; it seemed to disappear more and more every hour. This afternoon when she arrived at the Junklot to work on her own mural, it took Sierra a few seconds to find the old man’s face peering out from the brick. But fading murals and crying murals were totally different flavors of weird.
She turned back to her own painting, on a much newer concrete façade adjacent to the old brick building from which Papa Acevedo’s face stared out. “Hey, Manny,” Sierra said. “You sure the people who own this building won’t be mad about my mural?”
“We’re sure they will be,” Manny chuckled. “That’s why we asked you to do it. We hate the Tower. We spit on the Tower. Your paint is our nasty loogie, hocked upon the stupidity that is the Tower.”
“Great.” The Tower had shown up just over a year ago, totally unannounced: a five-story concrete monstrosity on a block otherwise full of brownstones. The developers built the outer structure quickly and then left it, abandoned and unfinished, its unpaned windows staring emptily out into the Brooklyn skies.
The Tower’s northern wall sat right on the edge of the Junklot, where mountains of trashed cars waited like crumpled-up scraps of paper. Manny and the other old guys who played dominos in the lot had immediately declared war on it.
Sierra dabbed dark green paint along the neck of the dragon she was working on. It reared all the way up to the fifth floor of the Tower, and even though most of its body was just an outline, Sierra could tell it was gonna be fierce. She shaded rows of scales and spines, and smiled at how the creature seemed to come to life a fraction more with each new detail.
To read the rest of chapter one make sure to stop by Pieces of Whimsy on July 7th and Rhi Reading on July 1oth!
I’ve had my eye on this one for a while – the beautiful cover art drew my attention. But now that I’ve read the excerpt I’m even more excited to read this one! I’ve heard that Daniel José Older’s adult urban fantasy novel is really good, too.
Love the excerpt! I haven’t read many books with Caribbean influence.