Wednesday, March 25, 2015

In The Shadows

In The Shadows

Text Story by Kiersten White/Art & Art Story by Jim di Bartolo


If you could live forever, what price would you pay?

Two sisters living in a sleepy Maine town hope for very different things. Sixteen-year-old Cora wants nothing more than to move past the wild emotions of her youth, while fifteen-year-old Minnie wishes everything in her life felt as magical as the Gothic novels she devours. Both girls are intrigued by Arthur, the boy with no past but an abundance of mysteries, living in their boarding house.
When two new boarders, brothers the girls'' own age, arrive unexpectedly, the beckoning night pulls the teens out of the house and into a mystery. But as the new friends grow closer, their adventure takes a turn for the worse. Something sinister is happening in their sleepy town, and the teens must uncover the truth about its shadowy history — before the menacing past of one of their own catches up to them.

My thoughts:

In The Shadows is a wonderful collaboration between Kiersten White who provides a beautifully written gothic narrative and Jim di Bartolo who supplies a dark and mysterious wordless graphic novel adventure.  In White's story Minnie and Cora, whose mother owns a boarding house in a quiet coastal town, are surprised when a mysterious boy name Arthur shows up on their doorstep with nowhere else to go.  Arthur, who is quiet and keeps to himself, ends up staying at the boardinghouse longer than planned having been mesmerized by the sisters especially Minnie.  With the arrival of Thomas and his severely ill brother, Charles, Minnie introduces the teens to the local folklore starting with a trip to the witch's house which sets the teens on a path to discover that not all is as it seems in the quaint little seaside town and causes Arthur to take on a quest that he never wanted. Di Bartolo's graphic novel takes place over a span of a hundred years and follows one man as he tracks a group of men that hold a little blond boy in chains with in an iron cage.  Readers will be unable to put down this compelling read as they try to figure out how these two stories are related which is not at all obvious at the start.  By the end of the book as the two stories connect to become one complete tale readers will be amazed and want to go back through the story to see if there was any clues that were overlooked.  In The Shadows is a unique and wonderfully maddening hybrid novel that readers and non-readers will enjoy.

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