Wendy Dunn's Reviews > The Shadows

The Shadows by Jacqueline West
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's review
Jun 25, 2012

it was ok

Cool concept. What eleven-year-old wouldn't want to dig around in a mysterious house and step into paintings? Olive is unusually brave and calm. I would like to have seen these character traits set-up strongly from the beginning. Also, her controlling belief, that her parents are dissapointed by her, no one really likes her, isn't controlling enough. She doesn't labor under these beliefs; she contradicts them. I don't feel they are limiting. Instead they feel tacked on. I would have liked to see the action escalate, and the danger be more dangerous. Olive retreats to the safety of the house too much. The cats rescue her again and again. Popping in and out of the paintings becomes monotonous so that when we finally get to the climactic attic scene, we aren't really worried about Olive. Aldous McMartin is a shadow that makes her cold. She fends off his psychological torments with ease. She is never truly challenged.

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