cover image The Girl from Shadow Springs

The Girl from Shadow Springs

Ellie Cypher. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5344-6569-5

Blood Red Road meets “The Snow Queen” in an icy frontier fantasy that only sometimes rises above well-used tropes. Sixteen-year-old Jorie Harrow scavenges dead men outside the gold rush town of Shadow Springs, where spring hasn’t come for a generation. But her latest find—a bullet-riddled Southern naturalist—brings trouble to her doorstep when white-haired outlaw Harden Reeves kidnaps Jorie’s younger sister to trade for a map to a lost city’s storied treasure, one he’s convinced Jorie’s hiding. Alongside the dead naturalist’s nephew Cody Colburn, Jorie ventures into the haunted Ice Flats to save her sister, a quest that leads them into the North’s most sinister folktale—and an impossible showdown. Lushly described Arctic beauty shimmers through Jorie’s journey, but cryptic arguments, didactic speeches, and temporary crises slow its pace and break the spell. While younger Mandalorian fans should enjoy this winter-bound western, seasoned YA readers may be left unsatisfied. Ages 12–up. Agent: Rachel Ekstrom, Folio Literary. (Feb.)