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The Shadow War

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  81 ratings  ·  41 reviews
World War II is raging, and five teens are looking to make a mark. Daniel and Rebeka seek revenge against the Nazis who slaughtered their family; Simone is determined to fight back against the oppressors who ruined her life and corrupted her girlfriend; Phillip aims to prove that he's better than his worst mistakes; and Liam is searching for a way to control the portal to ...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 23rd 2021 by Philomel Books
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McKenzie Four of the main characters are part of the LGBT+ community. Evangeline and Simone are in a relationship. And then two of the male characters are also…moreFour of the main characters are part of the LGBT+ community. Evangeline and Simone are in a relationship. And then two of the male characters are also in a relationship by the end of the story. (less)

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Average rating 3.67  · 
Rating details
 ·  81 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Lindsay Smith
Feb 15, 2019 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
MY NEWEST NOVEL HAS BEEN ANNOUNCED!!! Alchemy of War is about 5 queer AF teens in the forests of Nazi Germany who get more than they bargained for when they harness dark energy from an alternate universe to destroy the Third Reich.

It is super queer. And murderous. And really really queer. Did I mention the murder? So many Nazis die in so many brutal ways.

More info to come as we get closer to Fall 2020. :)
♠ TABI⁷ ♠
Me, screaming with excitement:


(if you don't get this, we can't be friends)
Claude's Bookzone
2.5 Stars

CW: (view spoiler)

Well that was an interesting sci-fi history mash up!

It was a very diverse cast of characters that banded together to fight against the Nazi regime in this YA novel. I think the concept was quite good but the execution felt a bit disjointed. The story didn't flow particularly well as flashbacks were the main technique for filling in information. That's a good storytelling technique, but I feel they were a bit overused i
Feb 20, 2020 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Queer teens using dark forces from another dimension to kill Nazis. That’s going to be a yes please from me
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was ok
Shelves: giveaways-arcs
Well this was unique, and I have to say when they compared this to Inglorious Bastards meets Stranger Things I can honestly see it in a sense. I enjoyed the LGBTQ representation of this novel along with the mash-up of historical WWII meets this paranormal, parallel, shadow world that can be harnessed for its evil powers. I was pretty intrigued by the creatures that lurked in this other realm that exists alongside ours. I honestly was constantly looking for the portions that brought these dark be ...more
Jan 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
★★★★☆ 3.5/5
thank you to penguinteen and netgallery for the arc!

i absolutely love the idea of this book but unfortunately i feel like the execution fell short. the book strays very little from the blurb; it’s literally just 400 pages of a bunch of people running around killing nazis with little plot or explanation of why exactly there is a giant shadow realm and it’s relevance. where did it come from? why does it exist? how long has it existed? why has nobody discovered it before? i had SO many
Kimberly (novelhaus)
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
3.5/4 stars!

This book is fast-paced, action packed, and full of compelling characters that I thoroughly enjoyed reading about! I am normally a fantasy and sci-fi girl but sometimes I like to dip my toe into the historical fiction waters. This was a little bit of historical fiction, little bit sci-fi, and 100% a solid book.

Tension kept me turning the pages and the whole shadow realm was a good addition to set this apart from the typical world war II era historical fiction I have read.
The charact
Jan 30, 2021 rated it liked it
I think fans of Six of Crows would enjoy this story! So I didn’t really get into this story until about 50% of the way through. This story was character driven, rather than plot driven, especially at the beginning. Because there were so many characters we had to weave our way through so many backstories and flashbacks, which left me confused initially. There was also a lot of science talk in the story, which just isn’t for me. However, once I finally figured out who everyone was I started enjoyi ...more
Feb 18, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really truly feel that Lindsay Smith is the only one that can get me to thoroughly enjoy a World War II historical fiction. This is a bit science-heavy at times, but with a character-driven story I did not mind somethings going over my head plot-wise.

I received an ecopy of this book via Netgalley; however, my opinions are my own
Mac (bookshelfpalace)
Feb 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Thank you PenguinTeen for providing me with an e-arc of the book!

The Shadow War is a Historical Fiction/Fantasy novel that takes place during World War II. It is a multiple POV novel about 6 different people coming together to try and gain control of the Shadow World and win the war.

The cover is what first drew me to this book, but after reading the plot I knew it was a book I wanted to read. I love books that start off with all the characters not knowing each other, but slowly throughout the b
3.5/5 Stars

*I received a free ARC of this book from Philomel Books/Penguin Teen in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.*

The Shadow War tells the story of five teenagers—Liam, Daniel, Rebeka, Phillip, and Simone—fighting to make a mark for themselves as World War II rages around them. When the five cross paths in the forests in the heart of Germany, they begrudgingly agree to team up to fight against the Nazi regime, although none of them knows
Leslie Baker
Feb 02, 2021 rated it liked it
I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me a review copy of The Shadow War.
Rating: 3/5 🌟
Author: Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: 2/23/21
I really wanted to like this book. Like REALLY bad. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The characters were flat, and underdeveloped. The only characters I liked were, Rebeka and Evangeline. I really wish Evangeline would have had more chapters. I believe I would ha
Leslie Baker
I want to start by saying a huge thank you to Penguin Teen for sending me a review copy of The Shadow War.
Rating: 3/5 🌟
Author: Lindsay Smith
Publisher: Philomel Books
Release Date: 2/23/21
I really wanted to like this book. Like REALLY bad. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The characters were flat, and underdeveloped. The only characters I liked were, Rebeka and Evangeline. I really wish Evangeline would have had more chapters. I believe I would ha
Cori McCarthy
Dec 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-s
First of all, I want to thank Penguinteen for sending me this book through NetGalley!

When I first saw the description of this book, I wasn’t 100% set on if this would be up my alley. In the end, it was a very interesting read full of intriguing characters that are easy to fall in love with. The plot was also very interesting to read, and I loved the description that went into every scene. There was a lot of action-packed scenes, and it was definitely fast-paced! While reading this book, I got so
Feb 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
This kind of book is not one that I usually pick up, but I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read it. Smith added an extra layer of evil to the Nazis in a way that reminded me of Captain America: The First Avenger. Smith also mastered the found family trope, and found a way to bring together a very unlikely group of people together in order to find a way to help save the world. Smith's storytelling had me hooked and I really appreciated the way that she paid special attention to each of t ...more
This book hands-down has one of the most original premises I've ever encountered, and I'm surprised not more people are giving it a try. I do believe that adding fantasy/science-fiction elements to historical stories is a really good device to have a new perspective upon the subject.

Let's start with what I enjoyed about it:

⭐️ It is really, REALLY well-written. I'm personally a big fan of flowery, metaphorical and very poetic writing style, and while it was not extreme in this book, it was still
Mar 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
I was hesitant at first to read a historical sci-fi fantasy with the backdrop of WWII, but I'm happy to say this book blew me out of the water in terms of the handling of fantastical elements mixed with the cruel realities of history. I deeply enjoyed following each of the main characters along on this fight against fascism, slowly unraveling each of their backstories as their relationships developed with each other. Liam and Simone were particularly charming protagonists, and that's not to say ...more
Mar 02, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I've read. If you're at all intrigued by the description, I encourage you to travel the journey this book brings you on.

I was hesitant bc I was afraid there'd be unnecessary gore but was pleasantly surprised. It's honestly one of the best books I've ever read. It has a lot of poignant takeaways, and is excellent if straight up nonfiction isn't your thing (like me).

It had just enough fantasy elements to carry me thru, and referenced a lot of things that are historically accu
Apr 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing

“Horror was a real, beating thing, bloody and raw. It was a glower nurtured into a whisper, goaded into a shout, hardened into fists and long knives. Horror was a law, a way of life, an unfeeling cage. And becoming a horror himself was the only way to tear it down.”

Overall, The Shadow War is a creative combination of Inglourious Basterds and Stranger Things, perfectly marrying WWII action and eldritch horror. The cast of characters is brilliant and strong with each teen bringing a unique bac
Feb 27, 2021 rated it liked it
I'm a bit dissapointed by this book. This book has so much potential to be a favorite of mine, it has such a cool concept. I enjoyed the first couple of chapters, but after that I personally felt it has too many flashbacks. Maybe it needed to be, but it felt very slow-paced, so I started to skip some of it.

As for the characters, there are some I don't like. It's also one of those story where romance makes the characters stupid. Fr tho, I don't like the romance, it felt too fast and I see no rea
I received an e-ARC copy of The Shadow War in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley/Penguin Teen. It does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I'm so invested in learning about World War II, and add in one of my absolute FAVORITE fandoms, Stranger Things!? Ohh, I was immediately sold. I loved the combination of the supernatural element during WWII set in Germany. Not only that, but the LGBTQ+ REP!? YES! Totally wasn't expecting a little more adult content, but I w
Feb 21, 2021 rated it liked it
Such an interesting approach to Historical YA. Involving WWII, and revenge against Nazis.

What I enjoyed: The multiple POV’s! I always say, there’s no better way to understand characters. You get in their minds, then you’re rooting for them like you’re in the novel yourself! Historical Fiction with elements of Fantasy really brings the world building together. With multiple characters POV’s we get a full picture. Very similar to that of Six of Crows. If you enjoyed that novel, you’ll definitely
Mar 06, 2021 rated it liked it
This was fun!!!

Confusing but fun! I loved how fast paced it was, how fleshed out and well developed the characters were and overall it was a good time. Yes I had lots of questions, many were not answered. But overall, this was FUN like I had a good time reading it and I’m a sucker for character driven books as we all know.

And major brownie points because this book reminded me how much I actually enjoy historical fiction, a very underrated genre for me!

Thank you to Penguin Teen for providing me
Mar 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I finished THE SHADOW WAR a few days ago, and it still lingers in my mind. It's an alt-history YA set during WWII where supernatural forces are being used by the Allies and the Nazis. The story is told in multiple POV and in my opinion, it really works. It allows the reader to lean in closer to each character which heightens the tension. While it is a book about war -- the word is even in the title -- it's really a story about character and there are several softer moments that made me smile.

Kym's Open Books
I liked the lgbtq representation
I liked the historical aspects of the war.
The characters were good but I didn’t connect with any of them.
My biggest problem with the book was the historical mashing with fantasy. I just couldn’t wrap my head around it and it felt off kilter.
I think others will like this but it’s just not for me.
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
So I knew I was going to like this book but I didn't know how much I was gonna LOVE this book. All of the protagonists are GREAT and I cannot pick a favorite because they all kept doing and saying such delightful things that I refuse to choose from them. Also the book is hella queer which I LOVE and also they killed a lot of Nazis which I ALSO REALLY LOVED. ...more
Deborah knox
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book reminds us of the capacity for true evil, in this case the Nazi Regime, to be taken to a whole new level. The cast of characters in this fantasy read about a weapon the Nazis want and our band of heroes is trying to keep them from acquiring is engaging. I loved this fantastical new addition to the WW II genre.
Oct 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: yarc
I was a big fan of the number of Nazis killed in this book, but unfortunately when it came to the characters and plot I didn't really care. I'm sick of books where every single member of an ensemble cast is paired up with another. ...more
Idina Jomia
Mar 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
When the blurb said it mirrored Inglorious Basterds, it did not lie! Fast-paced and action filled, this book is a great historical fiction that had me hooked from the get-go. It's intense and thrilling while also being set in a real-world time of the darkest we know. ...more
Kirsty ~ Paper Hearts Ink
Apr 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this! It definitely gave me Grishaverse vibes. Fast paced with really great characters. I don’t usually like historical, war type books but it was blended so well with the fantasy element. Couldn’t put it down!

Actually rating more like 4.5 stars
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Lindsay is the author of multiple novels for young adults, including Sekret and A Darkly Beating Heart, as well as the comic series Black Swan. She is the showrunner and lead writer for Serial Box's The Witch Who Came In From the Cold, a Publisher's Weekly Best Book of 2017. Her short stories and comics have appeared in the anthologies A Tyranny of Petticoats, Strange Romance Vol. 3, and Toil & Tr ...more

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