Cast No Shadow

Nick Tapalansky, illus. by Anissa Espinosa. First Second, $16.99 trade paper (224p) ISBN 978-1-59643-877-4
Greg Shepard has gotten used to not having a shadow—things aren’t exactly ordinary in his tourist trap of a town, which has recently become home to the World’s Largest Hairball. But he’s not ready to deal with his widowed father’s new girlfriend, Ruth, moving in, no matter how kind she is. While avoiding home, Greg and his best friend, Layla, visit a dilapidated mansion on the outskirts of town where he meets, Eleanor, a ghost only he can see. Their budding romance is interrupted by the unexpected appearance arrival of Greg’s shadow, which wreaks havoc on the town, targeting those whom Greg has been mad at, including Ruth and Layla’s new boyfriend. Tapalansky creates an entertaining villain in Greg’s shadow, who is less evil incarnate than a Loki figure, disrupting order, and Espinosa’s angular b&w cartooning captures the atmosphere of a story that’s eerie, playful, and poignant. But although Greg’s lingering pain over his mother’s death is keenly felt, the mysteries surrounding Nick’s shadow and Eleanor’s past are inelegantly and confusingly addressed in rapidly deployed info dumps, leaving the conclusion rushed and unsatisfying. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/18/2017
Release date: 10/10/2017
Genre: Children's
Prebound-Glued - 224 pages - 978-0-606-40591-1
Hardcover - 978-1-250-19389-6
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