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Shadow Walkers

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  312 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
Zach lives with his grandparents on a remote island in Puget Sound in Washington State. With only his little brother, Gilbert, to keep him company, Zach feels cut off from the world. But when Gilbert is kidnapped, Zach tries the only thing he can think of to find him: astral projection. Soon, his spirit is soaring through the strange and boundless astral realm--a shadow pl ...more
Paperback, 209 pages
Published February 8th 2011 by Flux (first published February 1st 2011)
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Gavin Stephenson-Jackman
Sep 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Two boys in need of real friendship find each other in a most unusual way. Zach and his younger brother Gilbert are being raised by their grandparents on Hinder Island in Puget Sound after a car accident claimed their parents. Zach dreams of the day he can leave the isolated island and can find someone like himself he can share with. Fate presents an opportunity for him to leave the island without actually going anywhere. While he explores the shadow realm he meets Emory, a boy his own age who h ...more
Dec 20, 2010 rated it did not like it
Disappointing but unique paranormal read, 1.5 stars

In Brent Hartinger’s SHADOW WALKERS, Zach is a lonely teen living off the Washington coast. Stuck on an island with only his grandparents, his younger brother, and a few thousand residents, Zach feels lost and disconnected except for the friends he has online. When his younger brother, Gilbert, goes missing mysteriously, Zach learns how to astral project and look for him. While shifting about the astral realm, Zach meets Emory, another teen boy
Ravenous Biblioworm
May 24, 2012 rated it it was ok
Rating: 2/5

I heard many great things about this author. At the same time, as someone who has seen many young adult books with gay themes book covers (with shirtless guys typically in a sexual manner) I was very nervous in reading this book. Why? Well for some reason - gee, I wonder why *ahem book covers* - it seems that young adult gay themed novels are sexual in nature. It revolves around sex or sexual exploration, which I do not care about. Sure I can do the romance part (for instance I read Y
Jul 10, 2011 rated it liked it
From the same author of The Geography club, I was interested in reading this new novel.

From the Blurb, it didn’t really seem like the sort of thing I would be interested in, but having read some of Hartingers other work; I decided to give it a go. A certain amount of poetic license has been used in terms of rationalizing and bringing the concept of Astral Projection to the reader base, but if you are able to suspend disbelief and accept the concept, purely as a plot device, it’s not a bad read.

Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
As most other reviewers said, this book wasn't great but it certainly wasn't as terrible as other books I've read.

I liked the setting, the isolation, and the author's illustration of the main character Zach's reliance on technology to interact with others like himself. I even enjoyed his friendship with the other astrally projecting boy. I also appreciated that the romance didn't seem forced and didn't take over the plot. It wouldn't have been realistic in the least if our protagonist simply for
Jennifer Boyster
Oct 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I had started reading this book at about 2:15 yesterday i finished around 10am this morning. The book was not good. I was so exited to read it when i first heard of it. It starts off really slow. I couldn't care less about the charters or were they lived. By the middle it started to feel rushed. It felt like the romance in it was forced, they added a monster that just wasn't needed in my opinion, an the main plot of the story (Zack's kidnapped brother) felt as if it was solved way to soon. I fee ...more
This book was one of the most disappointing books I've read, compared to its potential. Its themes of gay and disabled teens are rarely found in YA books, and when handled well, the books can be great. Unfortunately, it was not handled well at all. The romance was sudden and unbelievable, and it added nothing to the plot. Despite this, it was a nice distraction from the plot, as I liked that even less. The villain's motivations sound like something I'd write in third grade, and they're just stup ...more
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook, ya-lit, glbt
After reading Hartinger's Geography Club last year, I wasn't raring to dive into more of his work. That isn't to say that it was bad, it just wasn't the type of gay YA fiction I like.

However, after hearing a book reviewer for NPR give Shadow Walkers the thumbs-up, I decided to try it. I have to say, it was the right choice.

I polished off nearly the entire book in one evening, which isn't too hard since it's very short, but the compliment stands. The book is fast-paced, exciting and totally origi
Dec 18, 2010 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Amanda by: Star Book Tours
Shelves: arc, dnf, 2010
I received this book from a tour site and, while it had an interesting premise, the delivery was not quite up to par. I have a rule for this type of book: If I can't get into the story after the first few chapters, I skip to the end to see if it ends the way I anticipate. If it does, then the plot is predictable enough, and I stop reading. That is what happened with this book. Perhaps this would be a good book for its intended audience - gay teen/tween boys with a penchant for scifi and romance. ...more
The lore of astral projection gets mixed up with a kidnapping mystery. It could have been an awkward fit but the author wisely dispenses with the more ridiculous trappings of that outdated mumbo-jumbo.

In fact, Mr. Hartinger does a clever bait-and-switch with his story. The kidnap victim isn’t what we think he is. The strange old lady doesn’t turn out to be a wise seer in disguise and the tentacle nightmare isn’t what it seems.

For a while, it seemed almost like a Scooby Doo episode, wherein a sup
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, 2018-bookish
Reading Challenge 2018 - Bookish: book featuring a character with a disability. Zach and his little brother Gilbert live in Hinder Island with their grandparents after their parents we killed in a car wreck. Zach feels stranded on the small island with the Internet being his only escape. He discovers a book on how to astral project and gets three sticks of incense from the local new age shop to attempt this. He learns that astral projection can be both a good and bad thing. Gilbert is mistakenly ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was very exciting to read. I love the characters and the descriptions of the astral realm as well. It was hard to put down! I recommend this to any and all Stranger Things fans as well, as they are similar and both amazing.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it liked it
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first picked this one up. I've read some of Brent Hartinger's previous novels and they were always just alright to me. Nothing really changed when Hartinger wrote Shadow Walkers. While I liked it, I felt like he could have done so much more with it, but didn't.

The main character was well written, but I felt like I really didn't get to know the rest of the characters as much as I would have liked. I felt detached from them, and when Gilbert's life was in
Sep 05, 2011 rated it really liked it

While Brent Hartinger is best known for his realistic fiction, particularly works with strong GLBTQQ characters, his newest work explores the realm of paranormal mysteries. Set on Hinder Island, a small island near Puget Sound in Washington state, readers meet Zach. Zach and his younger brother Gilbert moved to the small and quiet island community to live with their grandparents only a few years earlier, after the deaths of his parents.

It has not been the smoothest of transitions for Zach, who h
Apr 23, 2011 rated it liked it
What first drew me in to Shadow Walkers was the idea of astral projection. I would love nothing more than to be able to leave my physical body behind and just travel! Brent Hartinger hits the nail on the head with his explanation in this book. By the time I had finished reading, I'd say I had a pretty good handle on the concept. If you have ever wondered about astral projection, you'll find it simply fascinating.

Truthfully though, other than the astral projection aspect, this book had a difficul
Jan 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Summary: Zach’s life on a small island off the coast of Washington State is interrupted when his younger brother is suddenly kidnapped. The police doesn’t seem to be trying hard enough, so Zach takes matters into his own hands—he learns to astral project. In this shadowy plane, Zach meets a cute boy, and the two work together to uncover who kidnapped Zach’s brother.

My thoughts: I’d never read about astral projection before, so Shadow Walkers was definitely interesting. Brent Hartinger developed
Dec 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
here's what I liked about the book:
1. Zach in an average kid that is thrust into an extraordinary situation... who just happens to be gay... there is no big deal about his being gay, it is not a major plot thing, other than he falls in love and that could happen if he was gay or not.
2. Emory is in a wheelchair, and this isn't a big deal, it is not a major plot thing, other than he falls in love and that could happen if he was in a wheelchair or not. - The author did a great job of showing that d
Jul 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya

What to do when your younger brother goes missing? First a frantic search of all his favorite spots and call all his friends, but then what? When you live on an island what do you do? Although both Zach and his grandparents thought that Hinder Island was a safe place, far away from the dangers of the world, but it turns out nowhere is safe. After having a sense that something wasn't right, Zach finds his brother missing and is frantic to save him.

So, desperate he turns to some strange incens
Mar 18, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shadow Walkers is the first novel I have read that focuses on astral projection. Hartinger did a wonderful job explaining how his characters are able to walk through another realm. I didn't feel lost at all and by the end of the book I felt like I knew the concept of astral projection pretty well. Definitely interesting.

However, there is something about astral projection that makes me roll my eyes. I realize how silly this sounds coming from someone who loves to read about shape shifters and zom
Sep 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: love-the-title
*sigh* so much potential.

While I had been initially put off by the premise written in the description, the novel itself does a good job of presenting the idea of Astral projection, where the main character is a normal, skeptical person, but first tries astral projection because he's been grounded and is bored. Then later, out of desperation and a desire to save his little brother, he tries again.

The description of the astral plane is fascinating, with a cool grasp on how movement, vision, hearin
Jul 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Why I read this: I love the paranormal novels Flux has been putting out lately, so I jumped on this one when I heard about it.

Plot: For how short this book is, I felt like there was a pretty good plot line that involved almost a dual plotline. The main story is that Zach is looking for his brother Gilbert by using astral projection, a new talent he has found with the help of some interesting incense. In the astral realm he finds another boy who he connects with instantly, but also a creepy octop
Aug 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Wow, I am surprised at the number of incredibly negative reviews here for what is actually a rather great little book. When I was pre-teen to about fourteen or fifteen, I read a lot of stuff like this (though astral projection is a new one on me) - with an unremarkable, socially awkward girl having an adventure and fancying the boy in the book (hopefully getting to kiss him before the end). This satisfied both my desire to read something that reflected my life (unremarkable, socially awkward gir ...more
Lawrence Collins
Jun 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book. It's a good, quick read that goes by even quicker because you're immersed in the story. Despite being only about 200 pages, the main characters feel lifelike, or as lifelike as possible from a first-person perspective. The overall theme of astral projection is wonderfully described and the astral realm comes to life from the imagery. The pacing works for a short book and the mystery of trying to find the protagonist's younger brother who has been kidnapped is well thoug ...more
Sep 19, 2011 rated it it was ok
This book was recommended by a friend, so I wanted to like it more than I actually did. As other reviewers have pointed out, this is not a well written book. It's not terrible, but it's not really engaging either. There isn't quite enough going on in the main plot, or internally in the main character, to make you care about what happens.

In fact, the main plot is the least interesting part of the story. The fact that Zach is gay, struggling with telling his family and having a crush on a school m
Sep 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Set in Washington, on an island near Tacoma, so lots of local appeal.
Zach lives on tiny Hinder Island with his grandparents and his younger brother, Gilbert. One day Gilbert disappears and Zach attempts to find him using astral projection. While he is on the astral plane he meets Emory, who is cute and seems equally attracted to Zach. Together they continue the search for Gilbert, but they are also being tracked by another old being on the astral plane that wants to devour their souls.

I wanted t
Sep 17, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: queer
I had added Shadow Walkers to my 'to-read' list a while back, and I'm not sure where I got the recommendation. I wish I remembered so I could make sure to either ignore the rest of their suggestions, or at least take them with a grain of salt.

Unfortunately, while I'm pretty willing to let a lot of things slide for good queer books (particularly YA, since I couldn't find any when I was of the actual demographic), there's just too much that made this book fairly unbearable to read. I will give Har
This book was a recommend and so I checked it out. I finished it in a few hours (it's under 200 pages) and was left feeling conflicted on what to rate it. It wasn't horrible by any means, it was okay.

I think my main problem was that I didn't really feel invested in the characters. I don't know if it was because of the short length of the book or if maybe they were not fleshed out more.

The one fascinating thing I did like was about astral projection. It's not an ability/superpower that you run a
Jul 24, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
I probably ought to stop reading books by Hartinger as I find myself increasingly disappointed with each subsequent book. The storytelling and writing quality are just on this downward trajectory, and I'd like to harbor happy thoughts of his writing.

This book is full of repetition and trite passages. Character development is weak, and plot is even weaker. According to Kindle, I had read 20% before we actually got any semblance of what I'd call a plot.

Perhaps it's time for the author to devote
Sep 20, 2012 rated it liked it
I'm slightly conflicted about my opinion of this book (novella?). It's a decent read, but this might sound a little strange, but it almost felt like fanfic. I don't mean that in a condescending way, it's just that Shadow Walkers doesn't try to be ground breaking or make any statement, it's just to the point entertainment.

For the record (the characters are pretty adorable to be honest), Shadow Walkers is great for a quick popcorn type read, just nothing that I would suggest anyone go out of thei
Jul 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned-books
I got this book on a whim from the sale bin of National Bookstore, because the back blurb implied a queer romance, and it was a pleasant surprise overall. It was short and plot was easily resolved, but I liked having a main character I could actually relate to (he's gay and he has online friends, yay!), whose queerness isn't the source of the drama of the story. It would be awesome if there were a ton more books like these.
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The Backlot Gay B...: Shadow Walkers by Brent Hartinger 1 9 Apr 11, 2013 03:38AM  
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I am Brent Hartinger, and I live to write.

For the last twenty years, I have made my living writing just about everything that involves words.

My latest project is a trilogy of "new adult" novels called Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years. They're about a gay guy in his twenties, Russel Middlebrook, trying to make sense out of love and life.

The books in Russel Middlebrook: The Futon Years are:

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