Castle of Shadows is another one for the Once Upon a Time Challenge and is another YA novel.
The reviews are all very positive, but for some reason, I had difficulty feeling the same way. When I can't think of much to say, I've been resorting to Product Descriptions and Reviews on Amazon. So here goes another one:
"No clue about why the Queen vanished had ever been found. Until now..." The day Charlie discovers a scrap of paper that could solve the dark mystery of her mother's disappearance, her world changes. Forever. Charlie and her friend, Toby, must race against time on a dangerous mission to uncover the sinister truth. But in this shadowy world of secrets and lies, there is more to fear than they can possibly imagine...
Sometimes YA novels are suitable for everyone, regardless of age, and sometimes they are suitable only for a particular age group. I would definitely place this in a "young reader" category.
I just wasn't deeply engaged by either characters or plot. Most of the YA novels I've read lately fall into this category. Maybe I should re-read some of the novels from my own childhood and see if they hold up to the memories I have of them. Some novels enchanted me then, but would they have the same effect now?
Still, when I read Shannon Hale (i.e. The Goose Girl), Erin Hunter(Warrior series), Donna Jo Napoli (Zel), or Megan Whalen Turner (The Thief - Attolia series), I find myself deeply involved with both characters and plots. Even if the above books are written for a younger audience, they contain something that lasts beyond turning the final page.
I do think very young readers might be quite taken with this novel, and the sequel City of Thieves has also been released. Although it didn't offer me the feeling of delight that some YA novels do, every reader has preferences for a certain kind of book.
Other Reviews: Bookhi, BookMonkeys,
Fiction. YA Fantasy. 2010. 336 pages.