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Lost in the Shadows

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It's not uncommon for people to go missing in a vast and wild place like Alaska. But in a rainy forest just south of Juneau, it seems to happen more often than usual.

The dense woods around Shadow Creek are beautiful and tempting, but there's also something menacing about them. Everyone in the nearby town knows the story of the Witch of Shadow Creek, although few suspect it's anything more than "just a story."

When Jack Strader and his dad move from California to reopen the Shadow Creek Lodge after a family tragedy, they're just looking for a change. But Jack's about to find out that Shadow Creek is a place where the border between this world and the next is sometimes thin.

346 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 17, 2016

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About the author

J.S. Green

1 book51 followers
J. S. Green grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah with his nose in a book. In the back of his childhood mind, he always imagined himself growing up to be a writer - either that or playing baseball or beach volleyball. (Unfortunately, he never had much talent for sports and didn't live near the beach.) Instead, he earned an MBA, spent some time living in Brazil, and once kept keeps a large growing collection of carnivorous plants. But several years ago he finally started writing, and Lost in the Shadows is his first novel and reflects his love of ghost stories.

He now lives in Los Angeles, California where he likes nothing more than to spend time at the beach with his family and a good book.

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5 stars
15 (48%)
4 stars
9 (29%)
3 stars
6 (19%)
2 stars
1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews
Profile Image for ck.
151 reviews7 followers
May 28, 2016
Lost in the Shadows is a story that dances on the edge of a knife. Jack and his father are spending a season or two in Alaska reopening a guest lodge for Jack's dad's boss, and taking the time away from home to begin healing from the death of Jack's mom.

Expected sources of tensions include Jack's frustration from being away from friends and needing to get comfortable in a new setting, which is tough for any teen. And then a body is found, and the undercurrent of unease strengthens.

Plot and pacing are deliberate, which makes the growing unease even more effective -- like the breath of a weak breeze on your neck when you're telling ghost stories around a campfire. Author J.S. Green takes a similarly effective approach to building his characters, adding depth and detail in a manner that contributes to the reader's sense of unease. Dialogue is credible and by its normalcy provides an effective counterpoint to the increasingly eerie undercurrent.

In addition, Green subtly introduces several motifs that heighten the tension and impact of the story. This is a non-spoiler review, so I can't get into specifics about these, other than that they are credible and elevate the story above the level of the usual "whodunit." One section in particular -- you'll know it when you get there -- was both taut and respectful, making it suspenseful in the moment and worth reflecting on afterward.

A final word about the setting: I've done some hiking near the part of Alaska in which most of the story takes place. The physical descriptions of ancient growth, gentle mists and textured silence ring true. I enjoyed the chance to return.

Profile Image for OutlawPoet.
1,184 reviews70 followers
November 13, 2017
Lost in the Shadows by J.S. Green has shades of horror and the paranormal, all wrapped up in a delightfully creepy mystery.

Green transports the reader to a small Alaskan lodge – a lodge located on the edge of a forest where people have been known to disappear.

The story is a grim one, yet slightly mystical as a mysterious figure begins to show itself at the lodge. And Jack, our main character, is drawn into the mystery despite his own sorrows.

I was captivated by the Alaskan setting and the bits of Tlingit and Inuit culture peppered throughout the story. And I was intrigued by our mystery – I simply didn’t want to stop reading until the end.

Parents of YA readers will want to know that the book is clean and Jack, our main character, is simply a good kid. He’s not perfect (he reads as authentic), but he’s definitely a kid you’ll want your own YA reader to emulate. The horror elements are subtle – more looming suspense than graphic.

An excellent read that managed to give me some chills!
Profile Image for Mandy.
750 reviews16 followers
October 21, 2016
Young adult fans of mystery will enjoy this novel. The beginning lags a bit as the author portrays the setting, but then things take a turn with Jack's first step into the forest. When the series of unfortunate events begin to occur as Jack begins exploring the woods, you become engrossed in the mystery of who or what did it. The story moves quickly making it an easy and quick read. I would recommend this to teens and adults.
Profile Image for Cheryal.
842 reviews2 followers
March 25, 2016
I don't like Mysteries. I didn't know this was a mystery.

The first 24% was hard because it didn't catch my attention at all. I almost didn't finish THEN
it started to pick up pace THEN I was too scared to read at night in the dark THEN I came to a perfect closure that left me peaceful and thinking "I wonder if that could happen?"

Very well done for a first novel.

Profile Image for Entrada Book Review.
306 reviews26 followers
October 29, 2018
This book has the boon all readers search for: the marriage of excellent writing and impressive story telling.

This book has the typical coming of age story, starting with a tragic turn that sends the teen from the sunny California coast to the perpetually rainy and droll Alaska woods and into the middle of multiple murders with a mystical Native American twist. It also weaves in the typical teenage angst of trying to understand the new world of romance and the powerlessness of adults ordering your life.

The mind of the narrator is very realistic, giving you an accurate peak into the adolescent thought process. The narrator's attempts to protect his father from the truth to avoid adults meddling in the complicated situation feel authentic and well-reasoned in the way adolescents have of validating their (sometimes questionable) decisions.

The mysterious disappearances in the strange new world of the deep Alaskan forest is intriguing and keeps the reader constantly invested. The book is difficult to put down. The writing is advanced enough to keep an adult audience invested but simple enough that a young adult audience it is aimed toward would follow easily without talking down to them. Although there is a mystical element but it doesn't feel so radically outside the realm of reality that it is wildly unbelievable, especially in the frame of this work. The ending makes good sense and explains the arch of the story which isn't incredibly obvious and keeps the reader invested to the very end.

There are a few minor grammatical missteps that are distracting. The writer could use some lessons on the when a question mark is required and when to use an apostrophe in names. But the writing is excellent and the grammar is generally good enough that these are forgivable mistakes.

Overall a very enjoyable read that should be recommended especially to a young adult audience.
2 reviews
April 1, 2016
This book is the one my uncle made and it's called lost in the shadows by j.s.green. In this book it's filled with mystery, adventure and a little bit of romance. In this book a 16 year old Jack strader had tragedy when he and his dad were going to meet jacks mom at a family's house for a party when his mom got into a car crash and died. Jacks dad decided to go somewhere fresh and start somewhere new for the summer. They both go to Alaska to run a lodge when many costumer we're missing or some hikers saw something. This book to myself personally is a great book and I think my uncle should go on. It's good how there's some history in there and how even though they can get mad at someone there's always a way to help. There's so much history in the book that every page and very chapter you are thinking what's going to happen next and makes you never want to put the book down. That's how good it is and for that my uncle is a good inspiration for me.
Profile Image for James Berghout.
54 reviews
January 4, 2018
Lost in the Shadows is a very fun read! The twists and turns the story took were as interesting and enjoyable as they were unforeseen. I was continually wondering what was going to happen next and was pleasantly surprised when the predictable didn't happen. Lost in the Shadows defies categorization, with the exception that it is appropriate for all ages. J.S. Green has done a first-rate job with his first novel. I can't wait to read more. I give it five stars due to the story, the writing and the inspiration that it gives me to get busy and write my own stories.
Profile Image for CorrieGM.
483 reviews
October 6, 2018
Very well written. Not only the main plot is thrilling, but some other threads are woven well into the story: losing your mum, having to move from your hometown, falling in love. I am very glad I won this book at LibraryThing. I learned more about Alaska as well.
Profile Image for Chrissy Busick.
685 reviews31 followers
October 20, 2018
This book has an intriguing mystery to it. I enjoyed trying to figure out what was going on. With hints of paranormal, no real violence, no erotic scenes, or foul language this is a great mystery for anyone who enjoys a young adult story.
Profile Image for Kerri.
595 reviews4 followers
June 26, 2016
I wasn't a particular fan of this book. I enjoy a good mystery, but for whatever reason the mystery didn't grab me here. I know that the remote Alaskan town Jack and his father moved to was small, but it was made to feel even smaller by the lack of meaningful interaction between the characters. Conversations rarely dip beyond the surface, and there are pages and pages with no dialog to speak of. I think Mr. Green tried to alleviate this by introducing new guests to the lodge, but when those characters proved to be so minor as to be irrelevant, I stopped investing in them. Too much of the story takes place in Jacks head, rather than out in the world. Also, the ending was a little too abrupt—especially what took place at the totem pole—and the insinuations made from Sergeant Jones seemed to have little to no basis. It seemed like a red herring from the get go.

Mr. Green's descriptions of the surroundings are truly his strong suit; it was easy to create a visual in my head of the locations, especially along the trail. It tended to get a bit monotonous though, given how much time Jack spends out there. I do believe that the author's use of descriptive language is quite good though.
23 reviews
May 25, 2018
With rumors of a witch running around will jack survive the real thing? "Lost in the Shadows" by J.S. Green is a book filled with mystery, romance, and adventure. Mystery is a big theme in this book. She incorporates the element of mystery by putting jack in situations where he never knows what will happen next. Another huge theme is Romance. Jack is put to the test when he falls in love with a girl named Kate but is scared to tell her. Also there is a lot of adventure in this book. He is constantly running around trying to escape the witches grasp. All in all, the mystery, romance and adventure is an amazing combination which keeps the reader on the edge of their seat.
Profile Image for Euni.
94 reviews1 follower
July 5, 2018
I really think that this was a great story! I enjoyed the pacing of the book and the concept of it as well. For me the highlights were more when the witch was involved or when things were written from her perspective. Overall the book was pretty solid for me. The only reason that it didn’t get 5 stars was because it didn’t keep me in suspense or leave me dying to read the next page. BUT with that said it was still a very enjoyable book and I absolutely plan on reading more things written by this author!

•The story had a very solid progression. I have seen that some people complained that the book started off a little slow, but I think it progressed organically.
•I enjoyed how Jack was written. He was not an arrogant kid trying to take on a witch…the book is not like that at all. He is just a kid trying to deal with what life has thrown at him.
•There were times that the book was written in the witches perspective and that was pretty interesting. It was actually my favorite parts.

•I honestly wish there were more interactions with the witch. I feel like there were parts where her story were hinted at, but it seemed super rushed in the last interaction.
Profile Image for Tina Derby.
97 reviews1 follower
July 23, 2018
Lost in the Shadows in a quick read. It was mildly interesting but could have used more insight to the why's behind the witch's story. It was too vague.
Displaying 1 - 13 of 13 reviews

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