Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Seer of Shadows

The Seer of Shadows by Avi
YA, library, fiction
Read October, 2011
Review summary: Meh

Review contains spoilers

Avi really got me with Crispin: Cross of Lead and its sequel. I was really looking for the third in that trilogy, but I couldn't find it. This one was available, though, so I picked it up.

The Seer of Shadows is told by a boy in New York City in the late 1800's. He's a photographer's apprentice. A society woman hires the photographer for a portrait, she says to put on her dead daughter's grave, so her daughter's ghost doesn't miss her so much. The photographer decides to use a double exposure (using a painting of the daughter) to trick the woman into thinking her daughter's ghost is hovering over her shoulder. But without the photographer's tricks, ghosts begin to appear, and the apprentice teams up with the woman's servant girl to investigate. Nothing is as it seems.

I was hoping a rational, non-paranormal answer would be revealed at the end (like in Signal_), but no. In this book, ghosts _and angelsexist and they're going to follow you around until you die. Sorry. Oh, and this kid is the only one who can see them. And his camera. I read it all, and it wasn't boring, but it also didn't mean much to me. It was nonsense. It wasn't even trying to convey something through the nonsense. Which is a shame because the protagonist started out being such an interesting character, raised on rationality and empiricism. He should have been able to solve this mystery without mysticism. Oh well.

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